December is, typically, a month of reflection for many.
Authors, in particular, seem to like to review the year just gone and see what they've achieved.
So, what have I done?
While I tend to mark my achievements by career milestones -- two of which were reached in the year -- there were other successes and failures I should also celebrate for 2018:
*MILESTONE* Nominated for my first big award -- an Australian Shadows Award
*MILESTONE* Won my first big award (unexpectedly) -- the Australian Shadows Award for Short Fiction 2017
Self-published my first story -- the Australian Shadows Award winning The Banksia Boys
One novel drafted, one novelette all-but drafted
One short story completely polished and added to the submissions churn
Semi-successfully pitched a novel to small press publisher
Twelve short story submission rejections and zero sales for the year
On a personal note, Mum -- the person who probably most nurtured my love of reading and creating stories -- passed away earlier in the year.
(Thankfully, she got to see her little boy win his first writing award before she went.)
Once again, I'm surprised at just how productive I've been for the year.
I managed over 101,000 words, in pure, artistic creativity, for the year (an average of nearly 2,000 a week).
I dedicated just shy of 9.5 hours each week (on average) to my blog, my newsletters, my submissions and my marketing, and, most joyfully, to creating my stories.
The simple act of plugging away, minute-piece-by-minute-piece, is, as always, one of the most powerful tools I have in my disposal.
Can I live up to the challenge in 2019?
So long as I can keep on creating stories, who cares?
How did you fare in 2018?
Hope your New Year is a safe one.
All images from pixabay.com