Like most bloggers in these last few day of 2013, I'm ending the year with some highlights and accomplishments I've made throughout the year.
This was the year I really took my writing seriously. I wrote…a lot!
I have three "completed" novels. Quotes mean there's still work to be done, revisions, editing and such. But next steps will lead to an editor and then I will take the self-publishing route. I even signed up for an eight-week writing course at Chicago's Story Studio in 2014 and I'm hoping it will help me with revisions before I publish in 2014.
I networked…a ton! Online and in person. I've created relationships with some of the best people in the Chicago literary scene. People I look up to and aspire to be like. I attended conferences, book signings and discussions, live reads, critique groups, books expos, and took a few classes. I've even started getting recognized at some of these events which is extremely flattering and motivating.
I read my own work, onstage, twice this year. Earlier in the year I provided some holiday comic relief with my story The 12 XXX Days of Christmas and recently spoke about my Super Dad for a hero-themed show.
I challenged myself to write almost every day - and kicked it in high gear for my second NaNoWriMo competition.
I started to create a business plan - where I see myself in five years - and have been singing it from the rafters at work to my day-job counterparts and boss in order to motivate myself to strive toward those goals.
I created an awesome home office in 2013. I surrounded myself with my stereo systems for awesome tunes and decorated the room with rich, earthy tones in the pillows on the daybed. My book shelves are lined with resources for writing, notebooks, and books I have read or plan to read in 2014.
I went to a ton of concerts (and this list reads like my college years): Local H - several shows; KMFDM; Peter Murphy; Depeche Mode; Counting Crows; The Wallflowers; Lollapalooza; Tame Impala; The Trans-Siberian Orchestra; New Kids on the Block; and the two that were spiritually moving and fulfilling: The Stereophonics and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
I also saw the Book of Mormon (outstanding and offensive!), attended my second Vampire Diaries Convention (oh, Damon Salvatore), watched Mayweather beat the hell out of his opponents on pay-per-view, and laughed at Marc Maron and Chris Hardwicke's stand up shows.
On a personal level, after nine years of unnecessary stress and anxiety, I feel like I have come to terms with the fact that my dad is aging and the results of his stroke and seizure disorder means he'll have good days and bad days and I can't freak out over the bad days.
That takes us to 2014. Besides the writing, there is one big personal goal: to be happy and content, not stress out over the things I cannot control, and focus on health and diet along with further developing the bonds with my family and small group of friends.
Thanks for reading my stuff in 2013! Best wishes for everyone to have a prosperous, healthy and happy new year!