Looking Back on my 2016 Goals

2016 was a hard year for so many people, so I feel like no matter what I say here I will sound ungrateful. Part of me feels bad that it was a great year for me personally. But a bigger part says STFU, embrace your success and be thankful. And I am. I did so many things I never would have imagined and am so proud of the books I released. (If I don’t sound like it, it’s because I’m going through a lot and feel kind of flat right now.)

I just looked back at my goals for 2016 and started laughing. I did very well and some and deplorably on others.

  1. Enjoy the whirlwind of releasing four books in under seven months – I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right word for all that craziness, but I did survive it. And I did have fun, but it was a heck of a lot more work than I thought it would be. While I have proven it can be done, I don’t recommend that schedule to anyone. I’m glad it’s over and am so proud of what I accomplished! I’m even more proud that the books are out in the world and in the hands of readers.
  2. Write at least one new book (two is my stretch goal) – Not so much. You can totally tell I didn’t know how much work I had cut out for me when I wrote this goal. I didn’t write anything new this year. I did edit a lot and I have started on the research that will form the basis of a book to be published next year, but that’s it.
  3. Continue to market my books and learn about self-publishing – This one I actually did really good at. Talk about a crash course! I read what feels like a million books (and have about a million more to go) and tons of blog posts. but I learned the most through doing. Indie publishing is all about trial and error. This will be an ongoing goal, as it is a never-ending learning process, especially as the industry keeps changing.
  4. Exercise on a regular basis and eat healthy – I was so bad at this. I am ashamed to admit how bad. I haven’t exercised in about a month now, and not much before that. Some it is time, most of it is laziness, and a lot is that I can’t find any kind of exercise right now that interests me. I used to dance, I really want to get into yoga but so far I’ve been bored, and I’m too out of shape for the boot camp I used to love. I’m not really a taking classes kind of person, but right now DVDs/YouTube isn’t working for me either. That HAS to change. Suggestions?
  5. Nourish my spirit – This kind of fell by the wayside too. I did work with a life coach this year, which was an amazing experience on many levels, so I think that counts. But I need to make daily prayer/meditation a regular practice again, as well as taking time off to refill my creative well.
  6. Take time to have fun – I had a ball at the conferences and book signings I went to this year! While I can’t say I really did much outside of the writing community for fun, I wouldn’t trade the great experiences this year for anything (although I could have done without American Airlines losing my luggage and not reimbursing my expenses. I’m still sore over that, can you tell?)

For those who don’t know, this year has come to a close on a sad note for my family. My cousin, who was only six months younger than me, passed away suddenly on Christmas Eve. She and I were very close when we were young, so this was a great shock. I’ll talk more about how this affected me (grief, obviously) in my January 1 post, but I wanted everyone who had a rough year to know I understand how you feel, at least to an extent (and that’s without getting into politics).

Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to kicking 2016 to the curb and welcoming in 2017. I’ve learned so much this year, but it is time to move on.

I wish you all a wonderful remainder of the holiday season and a Happy New Year!

2016 – In Review and By the Numbers

Image purchased from Adobe Stock

This may well be my last blog post of 2016, unless something else comes up, so I thought it would be a good time to look back on this wacky, wonderful year – as my boss at my day job calls it “The Year of Niki.” To be honest, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to stop and enjoy it. I haven’t let the successes sink in. So, this is going to be as much of an experience for me and it is a wrap-up for everyone else.

Books published: 4
Print and ebook: 4
Audio book: 3
Awards won: 13
Media appearances: 26
TV: 2
Radio: 6
Podcasts: 2
Print articles:  16
Speaking events: 10
Book signings (outside of speaking events):  5
Blog tours: 6
Blog posts: 90 (82 on this blog and 8 others I didn’t re-blog from Spellbound Scribes)
Guest posts/interviews: 90
Daughter of Destiny: 24
Camelot’s Queen: 18
Been Searching for You: 17
Madame Presidentess: 25
Other/General: 6
Travel destinations: Bellingham, WA; Chicago, IL; Schaumburg, IL;  Oxford, England
Books read: 89 (including two beta read books, but the year is not over yet and I’m aiming for 100)
Pages read: (according to Goodreads): 29,792

Ah, I think I now know why I’m so tired! I had no idea I did all of this! Wow. And this is with a full-time job and no assistant. Yeah, I’m crazy. But it proves I live my mantra, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

I haven’t formally set my goals for 2017 yet, but I already have 7 events planned between March-June. I know you will get at least two books from me in 2017 (Mistress of Legend and one smaller, non-fiction book. I’m hoping possibly a Chicago Soulmate book as well – we’ll see.) And 2017 was supposed to be my year to slow down…

I hope all of you have wonderful holidays, no matter what you celebrate, and in case I don’t blog again before the end of the year, Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your support over this crazy year. It really means so much to me and is what holds me up on the days I’m so exhausted I can’t see straight or am down for one reason or another. You are all wonderful!