84 Days

I live in twelve-week increments.  I set training goals, business goals, personal goals, in twelve-week steps so that I have a clear deadline and I can break down the task to achieve these goals into their needed steps.  Most of my goals end up being writing and training, with a few professional and personal goals mixed in.  I try to keep my goals on the modest side because it is all too easy to get overambitious.  Plus, if I meet my goals halfway through the cycle, I can always do more. 

As I’m on the final week of the twelve (I take a week off in between), I look back and I’m kind of stunned by how much I got done.  The publishing of RocKaiju was a major (and long-delayed) accomplishment.  The completion and publishing of Proton and the 2017 Short Story Anthology were, likewise, huge steps.  I expect to release a 2018 collection, next year, but I am not yet certain what book will join it.  Rhest for the Wicked 2?  Proton 2?  RocKaiju 2?  Something totally new? 

I had planned several really ambitious projects for 2018 that ended up not panning out.  I really wanted to resurrect my serials.  I worked very hard through an entirely new IP for a seven-year story but it ended up not coalescing like I wanted.  While I have few problems starting a project half-baked and seeing what I can turn it into, this was at a point where there were more plot holes than plot.  It just wasn’t ready. 

I went back to my beloved Teach The Sky franchise, with the Knights and APT Responders and the like, but the formatting issues were too tricky.  I couldn’t just lift episodes and slot them into PDFs.  And the stories needed some editing.  While Epi and Epitaph for a Dream might be able to go out of the box, Neo-Romance and Deadman are horribly dated.  APT Responders and Maidens of Steel, likewise, would need to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb to address world matters.  So I didn’t throw the project out but it went to the backburner. 

I’m focusing on some new projects unrelated to writing at the moment.  I’m pulling together some materials for my conventions, of which I am trying to do more.  I am hoping to begin attending a convention or three every season if I can manage it.  I have the odd issue of having a day job I really love, so it’s not just a matter of having the time off. 

This has led me to work on my online presence, trying to clean up my Twitter and Facebook pages and deal with my Amazon and Goodreads accounts.  It would be easy to say ‘just go all-in’ on social media, but social media is draining and demanding and, quite simply, just not that much fun.  I don’t really LIKE being on Facebook and Twitter.  I think it shows given how much I retweet rather than create new content.  I wouldn’t call social media a necessary evil but it’s something I would be inclined to do far more sporadically. 

I’m not sure what the next cycle will hold.  I haven’t picked my goals just yet.  I typically do that after the rest week between, when I don’t write or exercise.  It is often a very refreshing period, but since this rest week will be leading into Katsucon, I don’t know quite how restful it will be. 

What I do know is that in the past twelve weeks, I have written more than I have in a long time, saw the release of three books, guested at two major conventions, and managed to keep my head above water on all fronts.  Not an easy task, especially given the tumultuous times we live in.  2018 seems off to a pretty decent start and that gives me hope. 

I hope your year is going just as well.

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Author: Robert V Aldrich

Author. Speaker. Cancer Researcher. Martial Artist. Illustrator. Cat dad. Nerd.

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