HAPPY NEW YEAR, imaginary people of the internet! It is I, your lackadaisical random writer from the same realm.
In our annual January look back on the year that just closed — an original idea that no one has ever done before (/sarcasm) — I would like to say that although from a hobbyist perspective it was a massive failure, on another level entirely, it was one of the best years ever.
WHAT DID I DO IN 2022?
Let’s start on a positive note with the things that were amazing (or adjacent) in 2022. I was relaxed. If I were one of those full time writers, I would have been ripping out what’s left of my hair in a mad dash to produce words and buy covers and create audio files. I would have tried to be a mad publishing machine, which to be honest is not my idea of a good time. Yes, I enjoy being a writer. I enjoy hitting “submit” on a new book at KDP or D2D.It was fun auditioning narrators for my slasher audiobook and listening back to the files once she was done with them.
But all of that takes effort. Time. Money. I would much rather be watching one of nearly a dozen Spider-Man animated series. Rather be working through my 40+ TV shows I am currently watching via various streaming platforms.
Hell, I’d rather be sleeping. And I don’t do nearly enough of that one.
Rather be chatting with my friend in Canada about her fantastic books. Playing games or watching movies with my biweekly gaming group. Watching random YouTube videos dissecting the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe announcements or watching Stinkin’ Liberal™ political commentary denouncing the evil that seems to be flooding the political climate these days. (I may get into that one day, but not today.)
About the only thing I would not rather be doing is going to JOB. Being at JOB. Doing JOB-related things.
So the good that came out of 2022 is that I did all those things. I spent my weekends watching those streaming services and talking to those people and watching those videos. When I would think that I “should” be writing (which, to be fair, I need to do to continue to call myself a writer), I let go of that stress and watched Spidey web up another bad guy.
I did not move as expected. In fact, Roomie has completely reconsidered her position on buying a new home, so I may never have to move. I’m thinking I still want to, but it is no longer a stressor on my radar.
In short, I simply existed in 2022. I committed to almost nothing. I accomplished almost nothing. I was nothing but a lump on my sofa, which is also my bed, and only moved when absolutely necessary for my continued survival. All I really did of note was National Novel Writing Month in November.
And that was awesome.
AND THE GOALS?
Well, the goals will very likely come out similarly to 2021, in that I accomplished an almost identical amount, maybe with the exception of the writing side. Let’s take a look! (And I am weighting them the same as I did last year.)
1) 134,000 words. (45.7%) – I wrote a grand total of 61,296 words, including the ones for THIS BLOG ENTRY. (I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, which means that, as I write this, I do not know the exact number — only that it did not reach the target.54k or so of the words shown came from NaNoWriMo.
2) Publish ONE book. (0.0%) – Hey, at least I’m consistently inconsistent.
3) Write at least one book OUTSIDE November. (0.0%) – Yes, I wrote about 4500 words of Axe to Grind, but this still says zero because those words were written INSIDE November. Therefore they don’t count. Even for the partial.
4) (LOW PRIORITY) Write at least ONE short stories. (0.0%) – As a joke I wanted to say 100% — you know, since Group Therapy would work better as a short story. Alas, that would be cheating. I have not converted it yet.
5) Read 11 books. (100.0%) – That goal officially climbed to 17, because 6 of the things I read were part of Amazon’s Hush collection — 6 short stories / novelettes written by various thriller writers including Jeffrey Deaver and Lisa Unger. I wanted to be able to count them because I did read them, but I didn’t want it to count against my 11 goal. Solution? Increase the goal to compensate.
I ended up listening to or reading 22 books in total. It’s the most I have read in a single year since 2012.
6) (LOW PRIORITY) Spend a total of $50 in advertising. (0%) – My plan was to do this around mid-year or early fall… but then my “meh” phase started, and it just dipped off the radar entirely. I can’t feel sad about it.
GRAND FINAL TOTAL: 29.1% — Again, because I don’t know what #1 is for sure, I don’t know what this one is for sure (don’t worry, the numbers will be there before I post this). Pretty sure it will be even more pitiful than last year.
WHAT’S COMING UP?
There is only one thing I am currently planning to commit to, and it’s overdue. No, not the moving, although that one is also overdue. This one is slightly more serious.
I’ve talked here in this blog before about my declining vision. It is starting to reach a point where it is affecting my ability to function. Not only as a writer, but at JOB and in my daily life. More than just adapting to things like having to use the Windows Magnifier and Dark Mode for everything. It’s to the point where if it’s bright and sunny outside (and I live in Southern California), I am almost blind.
This was driven home by Titania’s visit in November. I had to make a left from JOB instead of right, and I was at a loss due to the unfamiliar terrain. Plus, when she found me, I didn’t even see the shape of a person until she was almost close enough to touch me.
So my commitment for early-to-mid 2023 is researching and (hopefully) getting laser eye surgery to correct my cataracts. It’s a terrifying prospect. I have only ever had surgery once in my life, and that was for an ingrown toenail. I know a couple of people who have had this type of eye surgery, and they say it’s no big deal… but I’m a wimp and a scaredy-cat. I don’t even like the air-puff test they do for glaucoma in ordinary eye exams, and this is actual surgery. I don’t know exactly what to expect. If it doesn’t work, I’m toast.
I also want to take more time off JOB. The surgery will help with that a bit, but I want a real staycation, not just a random day off here and there like I’m currently doing.
As for my writing goals, that one’s easy! A rehash of THIS year’s goals! Third time’s the charm, right?
1) 134,000 words for the year. (250 words/day except in November, where the goal for that month is 50,000.)
2) Publish one book.
3) Write one book outside November.
4) Write one short story. (LOW PRIORITY)
5) Read 11 books. (One per month except in November.)
6) Spend $50 in advertising at some point in the year. (LOW PRIORITY)
I hope your 2022 was somewhere between “OK” and “WHOA! Can we do that again?” Closer to the “WHOA” side. I hope your 2023 will be even better. Let me know what your goals are. Maybe catch me on the Facebook page from time to time. We can keep each other accountable. (I’ve left Twitter. Armand Rosamelia of the Mando Method podcast complained that people were fleeing Twitter because “a billionaire bought it” and that we’re all going to Facebook where another billionaire owns it. For me it’s not that a billionaire bought it. It’s WHO the billionaire is. Again, not going to get into it here.)
You can also leave a comment right here, and I will eventually see it. Your first comment will need to be approved by me before it will be public. Spambots are a pain in my neck.
Meanwhile, I already have next month’s topic all picked out. Mostly. I’ll need to organize my brain molecules a little bit before I start.
Thanks for spending a little time with me. And don’t forget to spread your positive energy all across the cosmos. People need it.