A New Year
I want to start by acknowledging how incredible this year has been. It marks the end of my service in the US Army National Guard and is the beginning of a new chapter of my life. The first question I get asked is, "what are you going to do now that you're out of the armed services?" The answer to that isn't as simple as I thought it would be eight years ago. I believed I would be celebrating with an egregious amount of alcohol, surrounded by many friends in a bar or large house. What actually happened is I had a small glass of wine made a delicious Italian meal and sat back reading a book on philosophy. Why hadn't I invited all of my friends from years past for a wild party? Why didn't I go out and celebrate downtown, touting that I'm out now expecting some kind of special treatment or free drinks? Something inside me has certainly changed in all this time, and I wouldn't just peg it on 'Getting older' because we all know a young guy my age is far from "too old to party," No, this was something different. What filled the hole in my being that yearned to escape my responsibilities was purpose. A purpose that gave meaning to all the responsibilities. I've properly found my vocation
I've implemented a lot of changes throughout the year to how I do things and I've started to figure out a routine that really works for me. I've narrowed it down to a rule of threes. Three has always been a lucky number for me and it felt like it was a distinguished number. Not too high, not too low. Perfectly in unity with itself. I started with writing three goals for this year. Things I really want done and would bear a lot of weight if I succeeded. Things that I found a lot of value in and that would be worthwhile and fulfilling if I pursued them. They are:
Getting my novel published.
Creating a tabletop game using the story world from my novel.
Create an internet presence that encompasses medias beyond my own websites that people find value in and follow. Something that I can create at least a residual income from.
These goals are to be completed by the end of the year. If I accomplish them early on then I will replace it with a new annual goal that is reasonable to complete in the remaining time frame. Any goals that extend down to the month and then down to the week should reflect or make progress towards these three goals for the year. Obviously, that doesn't mean I won't do anything else aside from them, but this essentially puts a framework around what I do and I can measure the weight of each task and whether or not it's worth my time. Each goal I broke down into three goals that could reasonably done in the month of January and then I broke those goals down into three goals to be completed each week. This is how the rule of threes works. It gives me a list of things to accomplish each day and I can gauge how productive each day was. It's also a way to prevent me from overworking myself or getting burnt out, which I'm wont to do. By declaring my 2019 goals here I've essentially created a way in which I'm holding myself accountable by public declaration. Now, I doubt any of you will actually call me out were I to fail in these three goals as it would go against the grains of anyone's good conscious. Who are you to judge someone else for failing a resolution when you yourself have failed at things like this before? Some of you may not be thinking that and are fully willing to call me out on failing, but that's not quite the point of all this. The point is for me to create the self-discipline to hit my goals regardless of exterior motivators. I see my website everyday while I make changes so I'll see this post, and it will be a constant reminder of what I MUST do this year.
Goals of 2019
Goal 1: Publish Novel
My annual goals are not set in any particular order but the one with highest priority is finishing my novel and getting it published. For those of you who have been following me, you know that I wrote over 200 pages or 50,000 words in the month of November for NaNoWriMo. Now that it's over I've reviewed my work and there's a lot of it that I've edited, picked apart, or all together removed from the final product. The benefit of writing so much in such little time was that it gave me a boat load of content to look at, but it was unfortunately not my best work. With the short time restriction the goal was always quantity of quality, so I've gone back and picked out what I can and I'm moving forward into the second version of the novel.
My initial March date to complete the word count and prepare it for publishing might be a bit tough to reach so I imagine I'll be extending it to around mid-2019 and shoot for publishing later on in the fall. It'll ease up on the stress of writing so much every single day and will give me some time to work on other projects. One of the things I really want to do this year is to provide quality content every other week or so that will build hype for the book and entertain those who follow me. These stories will most all apply to the story of the novel as well as the tabletop game I plan on making so it will all be connected. This way I can essentially knock out more than one bird out with the same stone. The actual update schedule I plan to start beginning January first and maintaining throughout the year. I'll go over more detail in goal 3.
Goal 2: Tabletop Game
The tabletop game I'm planning is akin to what you would see in other RPG tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons or Call of Cthulhu where a part of it is played in the theater of the mind while the other part is played on a board with little figures and notes. The game will be a bit more direct than these games as it will allow for players to not only have their own adventures that they craft using the rule-sets of the game but it will have an engaging story that will evolve over time. Imagine the update format of an MMORPG except it's played over the tabletop. What drove me to want to make something like this is that I constantly get bored with MMOs in that the story just doesn't feel engaging and the other players always felt distanced from me. I wanted something that brought everyone together in real life that has the impact of making a group and following a story-line that feels interesting and exciting. I want to make it dynamic in so much that players can meet in local venues with their character and start parts of the main story-line or side quests that reward them for playing with new people. When they go back home and play with their friends they have gained in skill and can aid them in their current adventure. It may sound complex at first, and to be honest, it really is. There are a lot of things I've gotta work out and play-tested before this can really become a reality. Fortunately, parts of the story world and mechanics are already done and are being play-tested now. My first updates I plan on sharing some of the race and class information on a new page that will open on my website. Along with this I plan on making a subscription based newsletter with updates as they come out so stay tuned for that!
Goal 3: Create an Online Presence
The website has been my grounding point for the work I've been making thus far. I want it to grow and expand outward into other avenues so that residual income will start coming in and I can begin focusing more on this rather than my day job. Moving forward I'm assessing what work I do is worth putting behind a paywall. As much as I wish I could share all my writing for free, the amount of hours spent going into my works can't sustain my life or put food on the table. I'm still figuring this out and will keep you all updated on when and if certain things change. One of the ways I'm going to try to swing is creating a YouTube Channel. There I could post a variety of things from writing tips, critiques of modern writings, book reports, updates to my other works, and perhaps a video of me learning how to play my ukulele.
Bi-Weekly Short Stories
Monthly Posts on Tabletop Game Status
Seasonal updates to the website
Blog posts sporadically posted (Subject to change)
I look forward to 2019 and I'm determined to make it far better than 2018. With the budding of my writing blossoming into a personal business I foresee things only getting tougher from here on out and I want to fully embrace it. I thank all of you who took the time to read this and hope your New Years is Happy and that you find something meaningful to strive for this upcoming year!