Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Year in Sum

2010 has been an interesting year for me. I started in 2009 realizing I wanted a new career, and that I needed to take a few years to work toward it. I even began writing regularly again in 2009, but that did fizzle out later in the year when my wife had some medical problems and I had to stop writing to take care of her and the family.
This carried into 2010 which unfortunately had a negative effect on my writing routine. By the time my wife was fully better it had been too many months without writing that it was hard to get back into the habit. because she had to take it easy, we'd fallen into the habit of watching tv/movies after the kids went to bed as a way to relax. Nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't moving my goals forward.
Summer of 2010 helped change that. Two major events helped kick my butt into high gear and got me back on track:
Friends got published. Two of my friends from High School, both of which wrote, had been published. Granted they were small presses, but it was something. They had completed something, I hadn't.
I got a phone call from my boss. I was being moved to a new account at my company, a large company that handles IT support for other companies. I had been doing the same thing for the same client for about 14 years when I was being told I needed to leave my comfort zone and start something different. 
I realized I'd fallen into a rut at work. I was showing up, doing my job, and finishing for the day. It was easy, comfortable, and I wasn't all that happy. This new account required me to learn a lot of new processes, new people, and quite frankly work harder. I knew everything so well at my last job that I knew how to get things done quickly and efficiently. This new one was a wake-up-call. Since the year prior I'd known that I wanted to change careers, but this year it really hit home. I had to stop making excuses for myself and just do it.
So I sat down, figured out a basic plan on how I would become a writer. Step One was to make it a daily habit.  This I detailed through my blog post called 15 and 500 .
I also set a goal to complete NaNoWriMo this year.
Once I got into the habit of writing daily, I increased my word-count, picked up pace with my novel, set more specific goals, and dug in for the long haul.
So how are things now?
As of today, Dec 28th. I've written 70,000 words this year in free writing exercises, which I do daily before I delve into writing. This also counts as my daily journal to keep track of life, writing, and other random thoughts.
22,000 words written for the blog. only half of it has been published so far.
23,000 words spread across three partially-started novels. All of them are now in cold-storage, unknown if I’ll ever pull those out.
110,000 words written on my book I’ve codenamed Elements 1. Book 1 of a trilogy. Jennifer is currently alpha reading this book, and I already know when I sit down to edit it I have major changes in store for it.
I completed NaNoWriMo 50,000 words on my book ‘Grandpa’ in the month of November.
59,000 words written on my book codenamed Grandpa.  I’m nearly complete with this book’s rough draft as well, only three more chapters to go I hope to have this done in the next couple weeks. 
I know I didn’t get much written on the book over what I did in November, but December was pretty busy. We remodeled two bathrooms, moved electrical and did minor remodeling in three bedrooms. Completely remodeled and did flooring in two other bedrooms, as well as some minor fixes here and there in the house. All in all it was justified to take a break from writing in December.
All of this accomplished in the last half of 2010, since that was when my butt was kicked.
All in all I would say it’s pretty successful year. So what do I plan to work on for the next year? Well funny you should ask, I already have a list, but you’ll have to wait to see it.

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