That said, I do think the New Year is more than just an arbitrary day on a calendar. I think it is a great time to look back on the last year that I can look forward and plan for this year!
With that, I'd like to discuss some of my successes, my stumbles, and what I learned from 2013 as I look forward to what I plan for 2014.
Painting!If I had one creative venture this last year I saw as a success, it would be the miniature painting I took up in the summer after I received my Reaper Bones from their first Kickstarter. I never imagined how much fun I would have with this new hobby.
If you look back through my various posts, you can see pictures of the various minis I painted. I think it is also pretty evident how I improved as I went. I learned a lot of new techniques, and I continue to learn as I go. I never burned out on painting as I went, as I never forced myself to paint when I didn't want to. It was a true hobby and it worked well!
ReviewsI'm not sure where the idea first originated, but I think I did a good job of picking up steam reading and reviewing the works of #IndiePub authors. I read a number of books I would never have found otherwise, and really enjoyed it.
I hope my reviews helped both authors with valuable feedback and readers with finding authors they might enjoy. I have a number of books queued up to review early in the year, and I expect they will keep rolling in.
WritingThis one was really tough for me. The whole reason I started this blog was to make progress on writing stories and giving life to the ideas in my head. I feel like I made several positive strides in the right direction in improving my writing. I wrote a number of character bios/stories to go with miniatures I painted. I took a class on writing "flash fiction" and then wrote six flash fiction stories in six weeks.
Looking at all this, I feel like I had some success in writing this year. Why do I call it a stumble? I have not written much of anything in over a month since finishing the previous flash fiction story. I burned myself out. I found that forcing myself to write at such a feverish pace just wasn't fun. I ended up not enjoying what I was doing. I wrote the last couple stories just to meet a deadline, and I believe their quality lacked because of that.
If I want to write, I need to find a rhythm that keeps me writing while also still enjoying the process.
Over CommitmentI think I put this on my personal list of stumbles every year! I suffer from committing to way too many things. I end up filling my "free time" with more things than I can handle. Over time, the pressure builds, and I am forced to quit everything in order to "simplify my life." Of course, within about 6 months, I repeat the process.
Looking ForwardSo, what does this mean for 2014? My first instinct is to focus on the successes and cut out the stumbles. But as I think about it more, I wonder if that's exactly the right thing to do. How can I grow if I only do what is fun and I feel I'm already good at? How do I stretch myself?
Here's what I do know: I have a number of personal commitments that must come before any Ryndaria.com work this year. It's a big year for my family (did I mention child #4 will join us in March?), and I have a number of other commitments that must take priority over this dream, at least for the next six months.
Does that mean I'm quitting? Oh no! I just need to determine what I'm going to work on this year. I have a number of things I want to try this year, and I will be announcing them over the next few weeks.
I will continue to paint, continue to read and review, and continue to play D&D this year. On the writing front, my goal is to continue writing and to rekindle my love for writing about the characters and places of Ryndaria. I hope you'll come along for the ride.
Happy New Year, and thank you, as always, for reading.