Sunday, January 6, 2019

2018 Recap

First, I want to thank everyone for your support over the last couple of years. And most especially, for cheering me on when I had the stomach flu last week.

For anyone who is new to this group, it may not seem like it day-by-day, but the ROWer’s will be there for you in a pinch. Hang in there, keep writing, keep blogging, keep sharing your progress on the ROW website or Facebook page.

Before I jump into the goals for 2019 (which are still being tweaked, and as we all know, will continue to be tweaked for twelve months), I thought I would tell you how 2018 ended up. Here are the year-long goals I came up with a year ago and whether or not I achieved them. Green highlight is achieved, red lettering is a fail. (If you are new to my blog, I also usually include other colors for goals at least worked on, but I was thinking that in 365 days, I either succeeded or failed.)

1)    Start and finish editing my novel “The Truth Beyond the River”. Finished the second edit in September.
2)    Start and finish editing the novella “Finding Justice”. Nope, not really.
3)    Finish typing the novella “No Body Found. Nope, not at all.  
4)    Start writing the next novel, “Old New Spies”. Wrote six chapters.
5)    Continue posting three times weekly to “The Dino Chronicles”. Pretty much.
6)    Continue posting once a week here. Pretty much.  
1)    Find an agent. Or how about an editor first! Done! Hired an editor in November, who got the manuscript back to me in December. She did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to review all her edits. This really needs to be my priority this January.
2)    Publish “The Truth Beyond the River”. Nope.
3)    Submit twelve pieces. Only submitted nine and two were accepted (which is about what I’ve been averaging the last few years).
4)    Have 40 reviews of “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. Only up to 28.
1)    Read twelve books. Read exactly 12. Yeah!
2)    Read an average of five other blogs per week, commenting on three of them. Pretty much.
1)    Return to Kenya in the spring. Yeah! Went with my son Nick and had a good time. 
2)    Write a Procedure Manual for Tumaini Volunteers. Worked on it, but I guess it is a work-in-progress.
3)    Empty one box of old pictures.  I don’t know that I actually got rid of one, but was able to consolidate it down from three boxes to one.  
4)    Get in the best shape of my life. I never liked this goal, too vague, and not even close to being achieved.  
5)    Get my house in the best shape of its life. Again, way too vague, and way too not close to happening.  

That’s it for now. Next time I’ll let you know what I am thinking for 2019. 
A Very Merry Christmas was had by myself and my kids. 


  1. It looks like you make good progress on your specific goals, not so much on those vague promises you want to happen ("best shape of my/its life" isn't just vague... it almost has to vary depending on your needs of the time). It does help to have a good image of what best might be and record it somewhere if you're going to use that kind of goal. Better would be to set yourself steps toward bettering (if there's one thing writers know, it's that perfection is a dream) yourself and your house.

    Welcome back, Chris. You accomplished a lot last year.

  2. Goals are always evolving, which gives you the chance to adjust and achieve them.

    Good luck this week!

  3. Welcome back! I am also back after a semi-long hiatus. Feels good, doesn't it?

    You made tons of progress last year. Be proud.

  4. Lovely to see you again - and lookit all that green!!!!

    Those last two goals - looks like they could use some more thought and specificity. I know that those are nebulous areas for me, and harder to assign concrete goals to (for instance, I don't diet or want a rigid exercise regime, so things lots of people list as goals won't work for me).

    The 12 Week Year system suggests process goals. So, instead of a diet and/or weight loss goal, I'm reading Intuitive Eating, with further goals to begin applying the principles of the book, and to learn about and experiment with meal planning for myself (since the kids and I eat very differently).

    For exercise, there's counting steps while walking with one or both dogs, treating myself to tai chi and swimming, both of which I love, and got set aside last year when Jim became too ill for me to be away from him, and resuming some weight and (eventually) cardio training. I can set specific targets, work toward them, and know I will feel better about myself when I meet them.

    For hometending, I'm taking an online clutter reduction course, and working toward creating spaces that support our actual needs, regardless whether they'd make sense to the rest of the world or not.

    Maybe there's something in there that can help you firm those nebulous ideas into measurable, scalable goals.

    Either way, you had a great 2018, and it's lovely to see you back!

  5. Looks to me like you passed 2018. Sure some goals are in red but so much green too! Congratulations!

  6. Welcome back, Chris. What a full year you've had with a lovely end-of-the-year celebration with family. I too have been pretty sick with a nasty cold the last 10 days, finally returning to reasonable health. What I learned? Another appreciation of the gifts of health, family, friends, and the writing life. May the coming week go well, and may you find your way to "the healthiest exercise and cleanest house ever" in a way that works for you!