Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: My Year In Review

2010: My Year In Review

goodbye-2010-hello-2011There is one aspect of every job I’ve ever had that I hate the most: reviews. Whether once a year, twice a year, quarterly, weekly, heck—some places had daily “stand-up” meetings—they all had one thing in common: they were opportunities for me to see how poorly I was doing; a chance for me to browbeat myself into submission; and ultimately, of course, to be the avenue for my exit from those companies. Let me explain:




So why am I giving myself an annual review and posting it for the world to see? Why give myself an honest assessment of my successes and failures? I have no fucking clue. But here it goes.

Last years goals:


I want to know that this whole “writing career” thing is progressing…What I really want is to feel some measure of success by the End of the Year.
Before I answer this, let’s look at how I did vs. my other stated goals.

Resolutions (for reference, not for evaluation)

  1. Be a better father and husband. Spend more “quality time” with the family.
  2. Eat healthy and exercise. Get back to the gym and the pool.
  3. Stay focused on my writing and not get too distracted by blogging.
  4. Increase the amount of critiques I do.
  5. Clear all the clutter out of the house.
  6. Try to avoid disasters.

Goals (to be graded)

  1. Lose weight.
    RESULT: FAIL Actually gained ~5lbs this year
  2. Complete the current Steam Palace revision by April 1
    RESULT: MISS Completed Revision 2 on 6/22.
  3. Attract an agent and/or publisher for Steam Palace.
    RESULT: FAIL Made some contacts but have not actually queried.
  4. Get back into running (tendonitis permitting).
    RESULT: N/A, tendonitis as bad as ever :(
  5. Write a new book for NaNoWriMo.
    RESULT: SUCCESS Wrote Dead Air for NaNo. 55K words.
  6. Complete a draft of The Immortals.
    RESULT: FAIL Did nothing more than polish an excerpt for a blogfest.
  7. Go to at least one writer’s conference.
    RESULT: MISS Planned for Jan 20, 2011.
  8. Go to at least one convention where I can push my novel.
    RESULT: FAIL I kinda talked it up at
    Steamcon though.
  9. Take a vacation at some point.
    RESULT: FAIL Took a day off here and there.

Wow, that was humbling. I got almost nothing “done” except NaNoWriMo. Of course back then I had no idea that Steam Palace revisions would take all year. However, I do have a few achievements to note that were not on my official “goal” sheet:

  • 107 blog posts in 2010 with 2 more planned (including this one)
  • Stuck with exercise plan
  • Completed 3rd revision and am on 4th revision of Steam Palace
  • Created new story concept called “Girl World”
  • Created concept for Steam Palace 2
  • Did clean out a lot of the clutter mentioned in Resolutions
  • Participated in ~35 blogfests and hosted one
  • Wrote ~7 Flash Fiction pieces
  • Hosted Eastside Writers Meetup Group for most of the year
  • Actively participated in 4 in-person critique groups overall
  • Avoided disasters (so far knock knock)

And now to address the “Main Goal” mentioned above.

To be honest, I think I’ve progressed in a huge way. I am so much more in touch with story structure, characters, conflict, goals, emotions, scene structure, style, POV, critique, everything. It’s become much easier to recognize good writing and knowing where the writing is weak. That’s what drove me crazy about NaNoWriMo this year…the knowledge that I was writing crap. But as far as Steam Palace, I do feel like I’m on the verge of publication…or at least a lot of polite rejections. So while I don’t feel like I have “succeeded”, I do feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to be doing. I have a solid, well-written manuscript that will be done by Jan. 20, 2011 come hell or high water (or any number of disasters).

So if I was my own boss (which I am), I’d give myself an overall passing grade. I think this coming year will be the real test, when I put myself on the line and submit my story. More details about 2011 in my next post.

So aside from missing most of my goals (which I expect anyways since I know that my plan is flexible to take advantage of opportunities/adjust to setbacks) I think I‘m doing well.

Happy New Year!


  1. Andrew, I love your honesty. If I were your employer I'd definitely give you an A. Thank you for reminding me to stop and take a look back in preparation for looking ahead.

    Here's for a knock 'em dead 2011, ,that rebel, Olivia

  2. Progress and avoided disasters; yep, I'd say you did exceedingly well. If this last revision fails to attract requests, then there is something wrong with THEM :)

    Good luck on meeting your 2011 goals.


  3. Andrew,
    Congratulations on your finishing NaNo and good luck at your upcoming conference. Sounds like you've been very busy...4 revisions??!! Wow!
    Have a Happy New Year!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  4. @Olivia: Thanks! I try to grade on a curve.

    @Donna: That's what I'm thinking

    @Raquel: Yup, it's been a lot.


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