Looking Back to Look Ahead

It’s officially 2018 Tax Season, and that closes my first fiscal year of being a small business owner! It’s still crazy for me to think it was already 6 months ago that I was putting the final touches on this website and conferencing with friends and my local SBDC resources about next steps on my new adventure.

Since then I’ve had my first client! First-client jitters are a part of starting a business, and this one at first  was especially daunting, because A) you don’t ever want to disappoint your friends, and B) she was looking for my most complex and work-intensive service I offer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love developmental editing. I thoroughly enjoy sinking my teeth into a fresh draft and working my way through it like I used to in my undergrad days. Fortunately, Corinne was extremely pleased with her service and my feedback from the edit and I can move into 2019 with confidence in my process for future clients! She was kind enough to give me a testimonial, which you can find here.

Due to the holidays, a ongoing restructure at my day job, and personal health reasons, I took a break from editing in the later part of 2018 and hope to get back to work in 2019. January is a time to evaluate, assess, and adjust for me. It’s my time of year (as I’m sure it is with many others) to try new approaches, make adjustments I’ve been meaning to make for some time, and see if I can actually stick to them. And if my January was any indication of my 2019, I feel like it’s going to be a good year.

I started trying to read and write regularly again. Reading during my  lunch breaks and before bed most nights has been, by far, my most successful venture this year. I’ve already finished one book and am well on my way to completing my very modest Goodreads goal of 12 books this year. I’m trying to write at least 3 times a week. I haven’t gotten to three times a week consistently just yet, but I’ll take 2 on a good week for the first month. As a result, I’ve tripled my overall word count from last year’s NaNoWriMo dash by continuing to work on that same project.

The secret? Managing my own expectations. I’m very guilty of shooting for the starts, when I can’t even get myself off the ground. I tried challenges to try to appease my (slightly) competitive nature with minimal success. My NaNo word count  at the end of November last year was a pitiful 1,211/50,000 words. My Goodreads total was 6/25 books read. I’m honestly ashamed of those numbers. I didn’t even want to write them here. But I’ve learned from them. I realized to reach the goals and results I want, I needed to break it down smaller than just a final goal I raced to reach after a specific amount of time. First, I needed to accept that I couldn’t expect to work on these specific goals every day. Next, I needed to set a realistic goals, and steps to achieve those realistic goals. Reading on my lunch break works reading into at least 5 days of my week. Writing 3 days a week gives me 3 opportunities to increase my word count, hopefully resulting in a full manuscript by the end of the year.

All in all, at the start of February, I’m optimistic about being able to maintain these habits I’m establishing and continue to work towards these goals over the rest of the year. What are your creative or bookish goals for the year? What are you doing to achieve them? No matter what you choose to work towards this year, I sincerely hope that you’re successful at it. And if you need an accountability buddy, I’m here for you!

There is one thing that I’m a little late to starting on this year, I admit. I want to start utilizing this blog better, and this was my first attempt at that. So my parting question for you today is: What kind of content would you like to see? Writing advice? Book community current events discussions? Book reviews? A monthly check-in? A mix? Leave me a comment below!

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