As in previous years I’ve posted some New Year Resolutions on my blog. Given it’s the end of the year I thought I ought to revisit them.

2018 Resolutions

I have a few 2018 resolutions, they’re all a little lower key than the 2017 ones.

  • Read 40 books over the course of the year (I managed 27 in 2017, but have read more in previous years)
  • Design a megagame (finishing what I started)
  • Write 50 blog posts, edit Perfects and publish it
  • Get my weight under 13 stone and keep it there.

Read 40 Books

I haven’t done this, my Goodreads profile shows that I’ve fallen short by 1 book, 135 pages to be exact. That’s an improvement on last year, but still not the forty I set as a target. One thing I’ve realised is that progress depends on how much I need to engage my brain. The fiction titles got burnt through in a couple of days. The non-fiction all took much longer for similar page counts.

So for my 2019 target I’m going to take a different approach to a reading target.

Design a Megagame

I’ve not even gone there. It is something that I’d like to do, but it isn’t high enough on my priority list to get done soon. In part it needs me to be able to commit to attending CLWG several times over the course of the year to play test elements of the Megagame.

This isn’t going to be forgotten about, but it also won’t feature on the 2019 list.

Write 50 Blog Posts

If you just read Themself then you probably think I’ve missed this one too. Especially since I barely wrote anything between September and December. However I don’t just write here. Here’s a run down of the places where I’ve published blog posts (only counting the first place a post is published)

  • Themself – this is the 39th published post this year (and there are three more lined up for early 2019)
  • DWP internal – 36 (I wrote weeknotes pretty consistently from January to July, and picked up again in the winter)
  • Cold Steel – 4 (plus two drafts)
  • Red Leader – 8
  • Medium – nothing new, but I’ve started to share some of my posts here – mostly from Red Leader
  • Milmud – 2 new pages

In addition to the published posts there are also a number of not yet published drafts. However I’m not going to count those even the target only said ‘write’. I make that 89 published posts, although 39 are on an internal system with only 80,000 users.

Edit Perfects

Audiobook cover for Crisis Point (image: James Kemp)

I didn’t do this, even though I’ve got a marked up draft. What I did do was to edit Yngvild the Fierce, the fantasy novel I wrote in 2016. It isn’t yet published, but it is ready for a professional edit. It also needs me to get a better cover for it. If I’d not been unwell in the summer then I might have got further with it.

What I did do, as an experiment, was record an audiobook of Crisis Point. I chose it because as a novella it’s relatively short, and therefore cheaper to record and produce. I went to Audible for it and it was a pretty straightforward process. The narrator, Gary Westphalen, is a former White House correspondent, so the opening lines from the news anchor are pretty realistic! You can listen to it for free if you sign up to a 30 day audible trial. Here’s the Amazon UK link

Lose Weight

I did lose enough weight to get myself under 13 stone. In fact when I came out of hospital I was about twelve and a half stone. I’ve put a bit back on, but I’m maintaining a relatively stable weight at a couple of pounds over 13 stone. My Fitbit tells me that the fluctuations are down to the level of exercise I get. When I do more then my weight drops, when I slack off then it goes up again. It also claims that my annual average weight was 13 stone, 4lbs.

2018 Overall

I’m pretty happy now. I’m still here, my head is clear and I’m enjoying the holidays. The year as a whole hasn’t been the best year ever, but I can see that things are improving. Despite it being the darkest depths of the year I feel more optimistic now than I did in November. The pace is different, and at work I feel more in control. There are still frustrations, but I know I’m accelerating out of this role into something bigger.

When it comes to writing, I’m also clearer. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo this year. I did do the prep in October, but pressure of work meant I couldn’t follow through. I’m okay with that. For me writing is a hobby, I do it because I enjoy spinning stories. My day job is successful enough that I’d need to be a best selling household name before I could afford to switch to writing full time.

I spent a few days in hospital in the summer. It could have been a lot more serious than it was. My wife deserves a lot of credit for that. A senior nurse, she took one look at me and drove me straight to the hospital. I still think she saved my life.

Optimism for 2019

From a personal and family perspective I’m pretty optimistic about 2019. It’ll be an interesting year.

I can see real challenges at work, I’m quite likely to get dragged into EU Exit preparations, I’m hoping to get promoted too. I’m applying for SCS posts and have been invited to interview early in the new year. Even if that one doesn’t come up for me another will.