Thoughts,  writing

Welcome to 2020!

Happy New Year!

And happy new decade (I start counting with 0, so to me this is a new decade). I will say the teens were an interesting 10 years. There were ups and there were downs. A lot changed around me and a lot changed within me. This post will share some of those highlights.

The Ups of the last decade

  • One of the biggest high points of the decade is my writing: I finished writing 6 books (the first book of a new series went to my editor just before the end of the year)
  • Adopted 2 cats (or destructo-matic 2000s) named Pip and Saffie
  • Got back into photography
  • Got back into art
  • Sold our house and moved
  • Did a lot of hiking
  • Went on three cruises
  • Attended my first Comicon
  • Changed day jobs once
  • Regained confidence in myself

The Downs

  • Lost our horse: Dollar ‘The Scholar’ had been with us for 21 years and we still miss him
  • Allowed myself to get sidetracked and lost focus
  • Allowed myself to lose confidence in my abilities
  • Allowed myself to get out of shape

My thoughts for the next decade

As you can see from the lists, this last decade left me some really good highs (writing 6 books is part of a lifelong dream) as well as some low points. Outside of losing Dollar, I’ll own the lows. Those are things I allowed to happen. I pride myself on being self-aware and recognizing stupid behavior, but I failed to counter some of those behaviors in myself. I intend to learn from that and not repeat those same mistakes.

I rounded out this last decade on a strong note and I plan to continue with that. I have a 7th book mostly done, and hope to finish it in the first part of 2020. That will give me 3 series, one that I wrapped up in 2016, and two active series (I’ll alternate writing books in each). My goal is to produce 2-3 books a year (while I have the day job). If I get to the point I can do without it, I am sure I could produce a lot more each year.

I have a backpacking trip scheduled for later this year. That will force me to get back into hiking shape. Nothing like a deadline to motivate me. And motivated I am. The outdoors relaxes me and keeps my head in the right frame of mind.

It is all part of the idea of “taking it to 11.” Like anyone, I need my downtime to unwind (I binged The Witcher series after I finished editing my last book as a reward to myself). But, I need to keep focused and work when I have idle time. Effectively, keep moving. And if I keep moving, I won’t have time for the negative items to build up. Balance is the key.

So, while my cats watch birds on YouTube, I will spend this first day of the new decade keeping up the pace I set at the end of the last one and continue to remind myself there is always somewhere new to explore.

Rocky Mountain National Park on the Green Mountain trail