Happy New Year! 2014 in Review – and hello 2015!

Happy New Year!

The last week or so has been a blur, and I didn’t get everything I wanted done, but 2015 is here and I am excited. I thought I’d start off with a review of my #WriteOrDie progress, where for the first time, I made a serious commitment to writing and started to track my writing progress through the year. I even kept an Excel spreadsheet to track my daily word count across several writing projects.

Although I started tracking in February, I wrote 164,645 words in 2014. To put that in perspective, Shadow Assassins clocks in at about 79,000 words and Warpath at a meager 63,000 words. Most of what I wrote was split between the third book in the Second Realm Trilogy and a side project that I don’t know if I’ll release yet. (It’s not fantasy and not too family-friendly)

To be honest, 164k words is the most I’ve ever done in a single year. Before I committed to my #WriteOrDie promise, writing happened whenever I found the time, between school, family and other obligations. This year I put myself to writing as a professional would, and as a result, I am incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished. 2014 was the first year that I saw my writing as a career instead of a hobby. Because of that, I’ve learned to put myself on a good sleep schedule, because less sleep means a grumpy writer too tired to write (or think). I’ve learned the importance of planning ahead, because ideas don’t always stick around. I learned how to make use of Evernote, which is actually one of the most useful tools I’ve found for taking short notes across different digital devices. After the previous writing¬†app on my phone somehow wiped all of the notes I had, I got smart and looked for an app that would keep notes stored where I can access them easily and not try and restore from a backup (which didn’t restore my notes anyway, so I lost a lot of good ideas and only remember a handful). Hell, in the earliest part of the year, I would disconnect from the¬†internet on my computer and phone so I could work in peace – and that’s incredibly hard to do, when the internet is a huge part of who I am. I keep it on now for fact checking and yes, I got distracted by cat videos as any proper internet addict might. But the discipline is building. The motivation and drive are there.

And now I have a goal for 2015.

I’m pretty terrible at keeping resolutions, so instead of making a New Year’s resolution I know I’ll forget about, I told myself that I simply wanted to grow. Grow in writing – and make that 164k writing accomplishment grow in the coming year. Grow in love, in family and friendship, skill and accomplishment. Whatever is coming up in 2015, I just want to grow, and learn from what holds me back. There are things I did (or didn’t do) that I want to make up for in 2015, somehow. Maybe this is the typical New Year’s optimism talking, I don’t know. But 2015 is a new year and there is so much room for growth.

Welcome to 2015, friends. I said last year that 2014 would be my year, but you know what? I am going to conquer in 2015, and there is no stopping me. Get ready. 2015 is going to be a wild ride.