I’ve started a personal campaign to write and publish 12 books in 12 months this year. Yikes, right? I would invite anyone else to join me, if they wish. Or take it as a challenge too. Much of this decision had to do with a desire to share my work more. And do so on a consistent basis. The rest came during some reflections over the past year.

In 2014, I did a lot of writing behind closed doors. Rather, I did a lot of experimenting. I started about 20 short stories, finished nearly half of them, and by year’s end, I published one of those of short stories. By the numbers, that’s not incredibly bad. But, if I were to continue this way – following through once every 20 times I began – it wouldn’t bode well for me in the long run. I’ve recognized I need greater discipline, specifically in bringing things to completion. This challenge will help me become better in that arena, I feel.

Or cause me to have a nervous breakdown by August.

No matter – I’ve started off 2015 on the right track. As I’m typing this, my January story is done and released –  The Color of Soul – and February’s title, A Dinner with Titans, is on its way to a final edit. Here’s my hope and prayer to stay the course as I head into March, April, and beyond.

Good to luck to those who are facing their own challenges this year. #12Months12Books, here we go.

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Sometimes it’s better to spell things out. Especially when it comes to making goals. That way you actually have your aspirations in writing and can refer back as necessary. As for me, I’ve always enjoyed making lists. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve liked to make tangible evidence of my hopes and dreams. On paper, that is. Ironically, I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions really stick. I think it’s because I never did very well historically. Here’s a brief history lesson on why:

1990 (age 6): Take plane to North Pole to look for Santa (didn’t get past the front door; in fact, the thought of flying in a plane terrified me)
2001 (age 16): Drive parent’s lawnmower before getting an actual driver’s license (my father shunned me from riding our family lawnmower so I waited an extra 6 months before getting my driver’s license, out of spite. Eventually I rode the lawnmower and wrecked it within the first 2 rides. Not cool.)
2007 (age 22): Don’t live in Ohio because I want to live on the coast (moved to Cleveland two months after college and have lived there ever since – not that it’s a bad thing, just sayin’ it wasn’t what I had originally intended).
2009 (age 24): Learn to play guitar (I dabbled in Star Spangled Banner but never got past Hot Cross Buns. Bummer.)
2013 (age 28): Don’t get injured playing baseball, stay in my bowling league, buy a house, don’t lose money in Texas Hold’em, learn how to cook rather than just use a crock pot all the time, etc. (as you may guess, none of this came to fruition….)

So yes, most of my New Years’ resolutions have never been truly realized. But on the plus side, I’ve accomplished much from year to year: publishing two books, getting engaged, starting a writer’s group, traveling across many states via plane (which I hate), among others. In light of this, I’ve decided to keep things simple this year on the resolutions.
Here’s a top 5:
5. Don’t make too many big goals…in fact, don’t make any that require the intervention of so many others beyond your sphere of control. Pray, hope, and believe instead.
4. Make one meal that doesn’t involve a crock pot. And eat it regardless of how it tastes. Then maybe throw it out if it’s awful.
3. Remind yourself that you can drive a lawnmower now. At turtle or even bunny speed. Both are equally dangerous and you’ve done both in your day.
2. Don’t take guitar lessons…again. Seriously.
1. Just keep writing. Eventually, your next book will find its way out of you.

I think those are rather realistic for the new year. Short, sweet, and to the point without too much stress involved. That’s what any resolution should be anyway, right? What are yours this year (if you have any)? Perhaps start with something small and go from there. And even if you haven’t ever made a resolution before, this could be a fine year to start; regardless of your situation.

Here’s to 2014.