A Year Of Habit Building


It's that time of year again. Time to glance back at the recently sculpted land.

I started this writing gig back in October 2016. I had many lofty ideas but no idea how to implement them. I envisioned 2017 as a year of prosperous edifices and towering successes. Such was my innocence. I quickly learned (the hard way) that building anything of great value takes time. So instead of hastily building a haphazard mess, I laid the foundations on which star-scraping towers will be built.

Some of the things I did in 2017:

  • Wrote and published a short story collection
  • Garnered a twelve thousand strong mailing list
  • Wrote a science fiction western novel (having this edited by the brilliant Kendra Olson taught me so much)
  • Got published in an anthology
  • Wrote a military science fiction novella (A Galactic Sentinel Story)
  • Wrote two military science fiction novels (Galactic Sentinel Book One and Two)
  • Wrote numerous short stories for my back catalogue
  • Started a collaboration with two other authors
  • Collectively wrote two novels in said collaboration (Black Death Book One and Two)
  • Started a Podcast
  • Started a YouTube channel
  • Learned to market things online

I'm pretty happy with what I accomplished this past year even if I hit about 50% of the things I set out to do. There were other things that took my by surprise, like the collaboration with Jon Cronshaw and Lynn Sheridan. This started as a joke. The next thing we know, we're opening a company and filling out paperwork. This will be a huge part of 2018 and I can't wait to see how our plans pan out.

I've also started mentoring someone. I've helped him write a few short stories, and depending on how things go over the next few months, you could be seeing big things come out if this too. 

The most valuable thing I accomplished this year by far, and it is also one of the most fundamental things, is building habits. I didn't consciously set out to build habits. It kind of just happened as a byproduct of everything else. But they are invaluable and I wouldn't have been anywhere near as productive without them. What habits have I built?

  • Writing daily (my current daily average is 3000 words and I plan on raising that in 2018)
  • Sending weekly emails with awesome book promotions and free books for readers
  • Regularly contributing to the online indie community
  • Keeping organised using my bullet journal (I'd die without it)
  • Managing expectations (I swear this is a habit) 

So what does 2018 hold? For starters, I will be publishing the first few books in the Galactic Sentinel series between January and March. My hope is that this will allow me to retire from my IT career in June/July. I've never had a dream that burned so brightly as does the one to become a full-time author. It'll be awesome when it comes true because I'll be able to dedicate more time to writing great material that readers will hopefully enjoy. This is a writer's end goal after all, is it not? To bring people entertainment, escape, and joy.

I'll be kicking of the new year with the 20books London conference in February. Here I will meet in person many indies who have inspired me over the years, including the one an only Jon Cronshaw. Unfortunately, Lynn can't make this one but we hope to meet up at another conference later in the year.

2017 has been an eventful year. The ground-work has been laid but there is much yet to be done. In 2018, construction on those towers will begin.

Wishing you all a safe and successful 2018!