102 comments on “Year in Review

  1. Well done this year! It looks like you’ve made a lot of progress writing- and reading-wise. I actually didn’t really make any specific goals (that I remember haha) last year, but I hope to this year — write every day, and keep up my two-year streak of reading a book a week. I definitely look forward to reading more of your work in this coming year! I only discovered this blog recently but I’m glad I did.

    As for your reading list, Term Limits immediately caught my eye. Vince Flynn (at least, I assume this is the Term Limits you read, and not something else by a different author) is one of my favorite authors. A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games Trilogy I both really enjoyed as well. You’ve got good tastes. =P A lot of other books on your list I plan on reading in the future as well.

    Good luck in your writing and reading endeavors of 2013!

  2. Congratulations on a good year and thanks for sharing your reading list – quite inspiring! Bradbury wrote a good book on writing called Zen and the Art of Writing, I think…check it out and keep up the good work my friend! – Bill

  3. Fantastic goals! And I admire how well you did at accomplishing all of them. I hope to set some better goals for myself and my writing in the coming year. Good luck with accomplishing all of your new ones for 2013!

  4. You did much better than I managed as regards number of words per day. In 2012 I aimed to write a post every day (from the date on which I started my blog), while I didn’t accomplish this, I am, on the whole pleased with what I did achieve. You mention a number of books which I’ve never heard of. I’ll check them out. Good luck with your writing in 2013.

  5. Excellent job on realizing your successes this year. While progress may not be optimal, it is to be commended. How much of life really is optimal? (Not very much, from my experience) Measuring successes and defining areas of improvement is a key strategy in setting goals.
    The year of 2012 was an amazing year for me and my family. I accomplished 4 of 6 goals, which included, but are not limited to: making a living as a writer (Technical Writer, during the day), publishing my first novel (The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens), and buying a house. There are others that are in the works that I plan to accomplish this year. Just because a new year rolls over doesn’t mean the goal-setting resets. Me and my family work on our goals until we see them through.
    Our family motto is, “Keep Moving Forward.” (It’s from Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons” animated film). So we keep moving forward, charting our goals and making our dreams come true. May 2013 be as powerful a year of growth and insight as was 2012. Happy New Year.

  6. Wow. You downed a lot of novels last year. Awesome job! I didn’t get to read as much as I’d like. I was just too busy. Got to take in a metric ton of short stories though, so that was fun :)

  7. Hmm…I sense a sci-fi fan! Good job reading and writing. I like the one story a week goal. Might try that myself.

    • Oh, yeah. I’m a big sci-fi fan. The trilogy I’ve been working on is very sci-fi, so this year I’ve spent a considerable amount of effort trying to make myself more rounded in that particular genre.

  8. I did not have a focused writing goal for 2012, merely researching everything I could to build my story world.

    Like your aim last year, 1000 words a day is my aim. I hope to complete the first book of my 7-book series if I manage to keep to that aim.

    As for my reading list, I managed to read 22 books for the year. Sorry for the long list below:

    ‘Shards of a Broken Crown’ by Raymond Feist
    ‘The Darkness That Comes Before’ by R. Scott Bakker
    ‘The Crystal Shard’ by R.A Salvatore
    ‘Golden Fool’ by Robin Hobb
    ‘The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow’ by A.J. Mackinnon
    ‘Stormed Fortress’ by Janny Wurts
    ‘Krondor: The Betrayal’ by Raymond Feist
    ‘The Shahnameh’ by Ferdowsi
    ‘A Dance With Dragons’ by George Martin
    ‘The Warrior Prophet’ by R. Scott Bakker
    ‘Streams of Silver’ by R.A Salvatore
    ‘Fool’s Fate’ by Robin Hobb
    ‘Initiate’s Trial’ by Janny Wurts
    ‘Krondor: The Assassins’ by Raymond Feist
    ‘The Final Empire’ by Brandon Sanderson
    ‘Periar Council of Prime’ by Jackson Brown
    ‘The Halfling’s Gem’ by R.A Salvatore
    ‘The Puma’s Shadow’ by Antoine Daniel
    ‘A Shadow in Summer’ by Daniel Abraham
    ‘Krondor: Tears of the Gods’ by Raymond Feist
    ‘The Well of Ascension’ by Brandon Sanderson
    ‘Pillars of the Earth’ by Ken Follett

    Good luck with achieving your goals this year =)

  9. Hey, weaklyshortstories! Some of the best books I read this year (that you might also like, based on your list) were: “Gone Girl,” “Tallulah Rising” (book 2 of Glen Duncan’s “The Last Werewolf” trilogy), “A Discovery of Witches” and “Shadow of Night” (Books 1 & 2 of Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls” trilogy).

    Um, you might want to reconsider the name of your upcoming book. Don’t know if you’re aware of this, but “Master of the Universe” was the name of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy when it was still just a fan-fic — something you may or may not want to be associated with. (And, yes, I know He-man had a series first, but 50 Shades is sooooo popular right now….) Just a thought. No offense intended!

    • Thanks for the book recommendations. I will definitely have to take a look at them. Also, thanks for the heads up on the Fifty Shades of Grey association. I will definitely be rethinking the name of my story.

  10. I reached many of my goals in 2012, but had to revise a few along the way. Still, they give me a structure that helps me achieve more than I would otherwise! Thanks for the “like”…and the best in 2013.

  11. Interesting to read your tale of wrestling with the muse.

    First off, be your own worst critic. But second, be your own best confessor. Grant yourself penance and absolution through the process. Otherwise, the weight of your failure (“I didn’t accomplish the goal, therefore I am now worthless pond scum.”) will stop you. It helps to start from the knowledge that you were already pond scum – but EXTRAORDINARY POND SCUM!

    Here’s an example from my world. I am a huge fan of some amazing people – folks I’ve admired not for years but decades. These folks have acted on stage and screen and written for animation and film. They are even now active as screenwriters in Hollywood, and some have even received award nominations in the past year.

    The amazing thing? They think I’m a pretty awesome thing because they think what I did (write an original novel) was incredible. Different tool sets. I can’t speak screenplay very fluently, they don’t do long form prose real well. So I learned I am, in my own way, just as amazing as those folks.

    Point is, keep going with your trilogy. You say you’ve got the first book done? Really? Been edited and proof read? Cover finished? Shopping it to agents and publishers, or going indie? What you have done is a MANUSCRIPT. Get it out the door. Then you’ll have a book.

    And trust me. The day the box arrives and you open it and lay eyes on the proof copy of your book… the feeling of pride is almost like being a dad all over again.

  12. Thank you for liking my most recent post on The Urge to Write. I loved Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, but I haven’t gotten around to reading Xenocide and Children of the Mind yet. Best of luck reaching your 2013 goals, and I’m looking forward to checking out more of your work!

  13. I’ll take you at your word although I really can’t imagine why you should want to hear from me! Thanks for visiting mt site – OK, it is polite to return the visit, but also I’m curious as to why or how you found me – don’t know if you only looked at today’s post but if you happened to also look at yesterday’s you’ll see some of us are wondering about the kindred spirit or essence of attraction that accounts for visiting new sites for the first time and finding people we know.

    As to your post – what do you count towards your 500 or 1000 words? I tend not to include stuff I write for me as distinct from stuff that I hope someone somewhere might read. My blog posts are generally pretty short – I tend to write more in comments on other people’s!
    The main project I started on in February went in fits and starts for a few months – a good month in August and nothing since.
    About October I started writing a novel almost by accident.
    And no, I don’t think I’ve got any specific goals for 2013; I don’t tend to think in calendar years.

    • Hey there Rosalie, I found your site through the front page of WordPress.

      When I sit down to write for the day, the only words I count towards my 1,000 goal, are the new additions I make to the project I am currently working on. If I finish the story and still have more words left to write for the day, I start a new story. That isn’t usually a problem, though, cause I juggle multiple projects at the same time, so there is always something to work on. I don’t count any journaling, outlining, or editing towards my total for the day.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope to hear how the novel you started in October is going.

  14. Impressive. Even falling short of those goals left you accomplishing a lot. A lot of Science-Fiction in there. I’m trying to work through the Foundation series myself, finished the Ender’s Game series last year. You chose some excellent books for 2012!

    A short story a week. Reminds me of something Ira Glass said about writing:

    “We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

    Cheers to you! And good luck in 2013!

  15. Good job on making so much progress toward your goals last year! My main goal was to get a rough draft written and I did, but only because I participated in NaNoWriMo. (Let’s just not talk about the rest of the year. :) ) This year I’m challenging myself to write for a minimum of a 1/2 hour a day, every day. Thank you for stopping by Timed Write!

  16. 500 words per day across a full year is impressive. Congratulations! Amongst your list of books are Hitchicker’s Guide, Asimov’s short stories and Fahrenheit 451. If you’ve not yet come across it then you may enjoy reading Phillip Dick’s “The Penultimate Truth.”

  17. Ender’s Game, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hunger Games, Fahrenheit 451… Love all of these books. I’m going to try and keep a lis of books I read this year. Have you read Ender’s Shadow? That one’s really great.

  18. Hey, that’s a lot of Asimov I’m seeing–very awesome! He’s right up there consistently in my top 5. Not always the most sophisticated writer, but in terms of ideas and following science and sociology to logical and interesting ends, he’s incredible. The Caves of Steel is probably my favorite–I think I’ve read it twenty times. The rest of the list is definitely worth reading–lots of stuff to learn from all of them.

    180,000 is a very respectable wordcount. That’s my goal for this year, since I have to work it around my job. But I really liked that you set yourself reading goals as well as writing goals. I should look at that–I know when I’m writing heavily, my reading tends to slacken off. Thanks for the idea!

  19. All writers have good intentions of meeting certain writing goals. For me, I find that if I just write when I feel the desire I seem to write better. I guess forcing myself to write is pretty much like studying for a test I really don’t want to take. Yet, how many of us play board games that have challenging questions??? ~~`~ : – O
    I like to have growth goals. It helps me to then focus on writing. If I know who I am and what makes me feel tranquil than the mind can be open for anything.
    Thank you for visiting my blog in 2012. I appreciate all visits. I hope your New Year 2013 will be filled with treaures of memories that will become the muse in your writings.
    Happy New Year 2013 …


  20. You read some of the best classics (and soon to be classic!) in Sci-fi; well done! Have you read the Dune series?

    I am not going to put a word total on my writing – just that I have to complete what I start. Well done, considering the time you took off as well!

  21. I read 14 of the books you read. Not this past year, but over time.
    When I posted my goals for 2013, I didn’t think to post what I’d accomplished in 2012. Good idea.
    I finished rewriting my novel and turned it in to a publisher, which they want.
    My days don’t work out so I’m not able to write everyday, but I do set goals to meet by a certain time and I usually meet them.
    I’ve started the next book.
    I didn’t lose the weight I wanted, but I do now have a workable exercise plan.
    Looking forward to reading some of your short stories.
    See you on the page. ;0)

      • It’s a fantasy.
        Gods in heaven and how their subjects get involved in the war war of the gods.
        Mmm that might be a better title for my book. War of the Gods. I was going to be the Balance of Power, but now I may change it.

  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope you enjoyed my post and come back soon. Awesome goals for the new year (1k words a day? I could never!) and excellent suggestions on your reading list! Best of luck and happy writing!

  23. You’re list is very close to mine. I will post one very soon. It’s a big list though. I don’t have much time on my hands!

  24. I love that you assessed your goals and accomplishments at the end of the year ! Bravo! Thank you for stopping by my blog today and I wish you all the success with your trilogy!

  25. Oh gosh I’ve set myself a goal of almost 3000 words a day! I think I may over under estimated this haha, I hope you keep going with this I want updates you here!

  26. Like you I fell abysmally short of my 2012 goal, hope 2013 is a better year for the both of us! Thanks for the reading list, I’ve already read a few but am looking into some of the others.

  27. I love your reading list. I’ve read a lot of those same books. And congratulations on achieving so much with your writing this year! I look forward to exploring your blog and your writing.

  28. Your reading list is awesome, Like Sherrie I’ve got a number of those under my belt, and have some of them on my nightstand as we speak. Stoked found your blog! Can’t wait to check out your writing, Happy New Year!

  29. No goals for me last year short of making it to 2013- which I did! This year, complete my book in time for the Christmas rush. So by end of October, beginning of November, we shall see…

  30. Your short stories are simply thrilling.

    I hope you will be happy that I have nominated you for The Beautiful Blogger Award. The rules that come with the award are:

    1. Post the award on your page.
    2. Link back the person who nominated you.
    3. Tell seven facts about yourself.
    4. Nominate seven bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.

    My reasons for nominating the seven blogs are listed in my post. http://ladybelz.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/beautiful-blogger-award-nod/

  31. Well done for 2012! Good luck meeting your goals for 2013 and thanks for visiting my blog. Last year was crazy for me, so I failed in most of my targets, but things are settling now so I’m going for a New Year, New Start attitude and hopefully I’ll be able to actually read some more this time – it’s one of the things I’ve missed most and your list (and some of the suggestions in the comments here) looks very interesting.

  32. I think you did really well last year, I came late to your site, but the stories I read were really good – the target of a short story every week was great, but reality often sets in if the unforseen takes you away from writing. I started writing the Dregs of History with the idea of one character a week, but after about 10 months I slowed down as I wanted to keep the ideas fresh. I thought about stopping the blog entirely, but these days I just post a new character whenever it comes to me.

  33. Good work! May 2013 bring you the same or better success. I didn’t have any blog goals for 2012 since I picked it back up this past October 2012. However for this year one goal I have is to post a short story out of the four I’m doing now every five days. So far so good!

  34. “Third, I wanted to average 1,000 words of writing per day for the year. That would give me a grand total of 365,000 words written in a year. The average length of a novel is just under 80,000 so that would have been about 4 1/2 books worth.”

    Of course! You have solved my dilemma of writing two books this year. Thank you! :)
    Wishing you the best this year, I hope to reach my 1,000 words a day soon… hopefully.

  35. Hey, yes…aside from applying to grad. school finally for English, and continuing running, and hopefully doing a 5k this year ;), I have to have some writing/ reading goals too. :) Thanks for the reminder. By the way Foundations is one of my books on the list too! I refuse to read it though until I can get a nice copy of that book. I’m a sucker for finding first the editions I like before buying/ collecting the books. I want to read most of Asimov’s work. ;) Otherwise…what kind of a sci-fi literature fan can I be? By the way, did you like Ender’s Game? I see your a fan of sci-fi, I recommend reading Arthur C. Clarke’s stuff too. :)

  36. I’m impressed with your goals! I don’t usually set goals for the new year, though I’m breaking that this year for personal and professional publishing goals! We shall see how it all plays out.

  37. Thanks for visiting my blog today! Though I don’t write about it, I’ve been a long time fan of sci-fi, since back in the days of the original Star Trek series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. (Yes, I’m giving away my age there, lol) I enjoyed reading through your stories…very suspenseful and entertaining!

    As for the goals, I must say 1,000 p/day is an admirable task. I’ve never set a goal for the number of words to write, except in the NaNoWriMo challenge, which is also 1,000 words p/day. That endeavor didn’t work out too well for me last year, my first year, due to too many scheduling conflicts. But I learned from the experience, so there was something accomplished. And I will take the challenge again this year, using what I learned to plan ahead.

    I did accomplish one goal last year that was very important to me. I completed and self-published my first book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. Through the process of writing and publishing this book, I have learned so much about the writing industry and the “do’s” and “don’ts”, I could have earned another college degree. But it is all worth the journey. Even though my book got off to a slow start in circulation, it has been steadily gaining momentum, and I’m happy with that. I didn’t write it to get rich, I wrote it because it’s a true story that needed to be shared.

    For my reading list last year, much of it was from my son’s school curriculum. (I’m home schooling my 10 year old son, so I get to read all of his books too.) In addition, I read several of the “do-it-yourself” type books on publishing. One book I did read for pleasure was “Beyond My Control” by Stuart Ross McCallum, a heart warming and educational memoir about living with Epilepsy and overcoming it.

    Anyway, I wish you well in your endeavors for 2013, and I look forward to reading more of your stories. Have a great and beautiful week! – Amber

  38. I won’t say 2012 was an abysmal failure, but it was certainly disappointing in a number of ways. This year I intend to change things and, like you, I’ll be using my blog to do it. When I’m a bit more awake I think I’ll stalk through your other posts and check out some of your stories. ;]
    But until then, thanks for taking a gander at my blog and if you’re interested in my goals head over here: http://lalexandrawordsmith.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/changing-choices/ because frankly, I’m too tired to type them all up again.

  39. I think having goals are important, yet I didn’t have any last year. Maybe that’s why 2012 was a crap-shoot. Anyway, I have only one goal this year as in the past I’ve overwhelmed myself with goals. My one and only goal is to inspire as many people as I can – this includes myself. So far, not too shabby for a start. However, it is still early in the year. Time will tell, but I feel really good about this one – I refuse to give up on it! :) BTW, thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m interested to see if you reach your goals and I’ll offer encouragement when I can. (Would be most thankful for the same) ;) Good luck and God Bless!

  40. Wow! You read a lot! I read some too… i will have to go back and look. i loved “The Road” and I re-read, “Gone with the Wind” and “Of Mice and Men” some others. A couple new books on my Kindle, some I wish I’d not read and some I was so glad I did! My problem is that I don’t quit early… I go to the end. I’ve only stopped reading one book on my Kindle and that was because it was clearly written for younger readers… as in 16-year-olds.

    Thank you so much for liking my fiction posts. I am having a wonderful time writing them. My book-book is about 75k words and I need to edit it. I’ll be mostly tied up in that this year. That’s fiction, but it’s different from the fiction you’ve seen on my blog.

    Good luck with the rest of your goals!

  41. I really appreciate seeing your goals and what you did and didn’t accomplish. I’m looking forward to sticking to my own guns this year, too. Do you work outside of writing or do you just write?

      • Best of luck! It’s amazing that you’re able to get that much writing done on top of the full-time work. I know from experience how tricky that is!

  42. Great job! I’m on book three of the Song of Ice and Fire series. After I finish what’s published for that, I’m going to start the Hunger Games trilogy. My personal goal is 1 novel a month. I like your goals, though, so I might have to adopt them.

    One I might try is the short stories. If you get stuck on a topic for any reason, I’d recommend trying Rory’s Story Cubes. It’s a set of nine dice that have random pictures on them. You’re supposed to roll them and make up a story based on the results. It’s good for an improv short story.

    Also, I recently did a “beta reading” of my coworkers’ series (Valley of Demesne), so I’m looking forward to seeing another author’s work. Let me know when you finish your series. I’d love to read it!

    • Thanks, Ryan! I might have to take a look at those dice if I ever run into a block! As I was telling somebody else, I would love to have another pair of eyes go over my work, so I might take you up on that if you’re serious.

  43. I’ve never thought of making my reading a goal. I’m an avid reader, so I might have to make reading a goal this year. As is, finishing my first novel and staying consistent on the blog are my two goals in 2013. The novel’s on about the sixth edit. It’s so close I can taste it!

    Good job keeping your reading goal last year. You’re list includes some good books. I might have to check out the ones I haven’t read yet. Good luck with the writing this year=)

  44. Loved this post! It made me realize that even if I don’t reach the goals I set for 2013 that I wrote about in my post The Year of the Mousicorn, if I even get halfway there, it is WAY better than the nothing I did in 2012! I think you had a very productive year! (Thanks for reading and liking that post, by the way). :)

  45. Congratulations on doing so well, make sure you give yourself credit. I think part of my problem last year was that I didn’t set many goals to take pressure off myself and then just kind of floundered around. I won’t make that mistake this year. I’ve gotten myself organized, will blog once a week, I hope, and finish editing my manuscript. Those are the main ones, but just cleaning all of the crap out of my office feels like a step in the right direction.

  46. Wow, congrats to your output! Really inspiring. And you’ve got a cool reading list as well. I wish I had finished my science fiction short film “Echoes” in 2012, but my goal is to finish it this year. Besides, I got a little 2 year old amazon warrior in my home who calls me “Papa, Papa!” whenever I get home and her little brother is on the way :)

  47. 2012 was a success–and yet I didn’t meet my goals. I did publish “The Gift of Guylaine Claire.” But new writing lagged. So, given that I have some major dislocations scheduled for 2013, I’ll be modest and say that I hope to finish (and even more hopefully, publish) “The Trial of Trudy Castor.” If I get that done, and blog a bit, it’ll be enough.

  48. I didn’t really set anything for 2012, just wanted to enjoy college and life. Found the girl of my dreams, fell in love and chased her until it happened, so that was my 2012 pretty much!

    This year, I’ve two goals:

    Achieve a GPA in college that will get me the second class honour degree (I’m going for first, but a illness riddled first semester meant I had to re-shape this for the time being.). I’ll re-asses this in September to push for the first class degree, keeping my options open for further study.

    Complete my thriller novel, which I started in 2013, so I can walk the road of publication with it. It will also be used as the main driving force for my application to a Creative Writing MA course in my college. Up and down for now but I’m buckling down to it now, as my latest blog post as declared!

  49. It sounds like even though you didn’t quite make your goals, you did some great work anyway. My goal for last year was to finish my first novel, which I managed with the last 2000 words on Dec 31! This year I just want to write *something* – story, blog post, writing exercise, part of a novel – every day. We’ll see where it goes.

  50. You and I have the same taste in books. I have read most on your list and will put the rest on mine. I’m sure you will like “1Q84″ by Haruki Murakami. Have you tried any of Terry Goodkind’s fantasy series “The Sword of Truth”? About 10 books, several absolutely awesome. And now I am looking forward to reading your works. Good luck in 2013!

    • I second your recommendation of Terry Goodkind. He builds one fantastic world. I never have to guess where the characters are because, even though I’m in book four and he described the place in book one, it’s so distinct that I can picture it right away.

  51. I made my last year’s goal to finish my second novel and pay off my credit card. 93,000 words and $16,000 later; I’m a happier man. At forty-eight I’ve made and accomplished my first two New Year’s resolutions. On a side note; my wife and I argue about money a little more and I’ve stolen more quiet nights to myself than previously, but we’re both happily married.

  52. Congratulations! That’s quite a feat I must say. Especially since I recently tried my hand at creative writing and it was SO difficult. Churning out a short story every week? That sounds like a huge task to me..

  53. Wow, you’re so organized, setting New Years goals in the New Year! :) (I just posted mine yesterday, so I’m talking to you through a veil of jealousy this morning.)

    I think you aimed high, and that’s wonderful. I really like that goal about writing 1000 words a day. I’ve thought of doing the same, but haven’t set it as a firm goal. Maybe I should…

    Thanks for the food for thought, and happy writing!

  54. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award « write lies

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