A quick wrap up

This will be a short one, readers.  Just cleaning up a few end of year details, getting ready for the new year and highlighting a milestone of sorts.

So this is 2011 damn near done.  For the first third of this past year, I say, good frigging riddance.  They were a rough time for me personally and professionally.  On the plus side, I changed jobs (within the same company), and I think I grew up a lot personally and learned to place blame squarely where most of it lay.  With me.  Then I learned to deal with it.  I also learned to stand up for myself a lot more.

The last two-thirds of the year are a whirlwind.  I joined the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) writing community and went to the Ontario Writers’ Conference on April 30.  Two days later, as a direct result of the conference, I started this blog.  Only 244 days ago.  Or 5856 hours.  351,360 minutes…or 21,081,600 seconds…give or take.

From a chance meeting at the OWC, I ended up a founding board member of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC).  From meetings at WCDR, I ended up great friends with members of the brand new Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR).

At the same time, I also taught three Creative Writing courses and met a lot of new friends and writers that way.

So I’ve met a lot of writers/editors/enthusiasts.

I got published for the first time ever in August at the Festival of Fear and the response not only at the booklaunch but also ever since, whether it was readers, fellow writers or reviewers, has been so much more positive and passionate than I ever could have hoped for.

I also got reacquainted with some old friends and family and met some new ones.

In all, though it started out as the worst time of my life, it’s turned into one of the best years, professionally and personally, that I ever could have hoped for.

In the beginning, I had modest hopes for this blog.  244 days ago, I’d originally planned to put up a new blog every day.  That turned out to be unrealistic, but I have managed an average of one every two-and-a-half days.  I’ve almost hit a hundred posts, which seemed so unattainable way back in May.

Which leads me to the milestone I was talking about.  Sometime today, I’ll cross 10,000 hits (only 26 to go as I write this).  Now, I’ve come across some blogs that have had ten or twenty times that, but for me to have an average of forty people viewing this site daily or about a 100 or so per blog post…when it didn’t even exist in April…that’s surprising to me.  It always shocks me that so many people are somehow interested in anything I have to say.  Because most of what I say is either dirty, profane or doesn’t make sense.  Ohid I actually good peanuts!

And yet, still you come.

And starting tomorrow, or next year, however you want to look at it, I’ve decided to make three resolutions.  Two are easy, the third’s going to be a challenge for me.

  1. Keep doing what I’m doing when it comes to my family and friends.  I don’t want to lose any of them because of my boneheadedness.
  2. Create a page on here to let you know what I’m reading.  As a heavy reader and a pathetically slow writer, I’m always interested in what others are reading.  When I visit someone’s house, I always look at what books they have on their shelf.  So I’m gonna let you know as well.  Could generate discussion…could suck.
  3. (And this is the hard one, folks)  Write an average of 500 words a day.  Every day.  I came across a site (thanks Jason Darrick!) that is set up like an all-year NaNoWriMo, but, at least for me, seems a little more attainable.  So I’m not going to count blog posts in the word count.  Only actual fiction writing.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress here.  Yes, in public.  Humiliation works wonders.

That’s it.  Next year at this time, we’ll see how I did.

So, thank each and every one of you who take time out of your day to stop by.  I really do appreciate it.

Have a fantastic 2012 and let’s keep doing this, shall we?

16 thoughts on “A quick wrap up

  1. High hopes, but realistic. I like that you won’t count your blog postings in your word count. Even though, quite frankly, I find blogging more challenging than writing fiction or memoir. I think that’s because there seems to be an unspoken expectation to keep it light or nice or humourous, and my work isn’t usually any of those things. Once a week is about all I can manage to write about writing; the rest of the time I’m doing it! Here’s to a productive and gratifying 2012!

  2. Congrats on all your success this year, Tobin. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your writing. I’m very interested to see how 500 words a day goes, it seems to have a lot of steam behind the movement. All the best from my family to yours in 2012.

    • Right back at you, Jason. Thanks for publicizing that site, it’s likely the kick in the ass I need to get writing. And best of luck to you as well with the relaunch of Fear in Words and school. Hopefully you’ll find a nice, gullible collage woman!

  3. Hi Tobin,

    I remember meeting you at the OWC, but I didn’t know at that point that you weren’t a WCDR/SC/YR member – I could have sworn I saw you before then.

    Anyways, glad that the OWC opened up a bunch of good horizons for you!

    • You likely saw me once before then. I think my first WCDR meeting was April. And yes, the Writers’ Communities and the OWC (as well as the other one I forgot to mention, the DarkLit Festival in Oshawa) opened up worlds for me.

  4. It just goes to show that with hard work you can turn a bad year around! Congrats on all your success! I love that 365 day NaNoWriMo site. I may have to do that one too! 10,000 hits is incredible. Best to you in the New Year!

  5. Great post! Congrats on all the accomplishments! To meet #3 just set aside a block of time every day for writing…and write during that time every day. It’ll be habit forming and eventually something you can’t go without. Good luck! Happy New Year!

    • You’re right about setting aside the time. I’m going to go back to early morning wake up calls again. It just seems to work better then…as long as I stay off the internet! Thanks for the support and retweet, Kevin! Happy New Year to you as well!

  6. I’m joining you on the 500 words daily thing. Overall, the sum total of words isn’t a problem; the real challenge is going to be in doing it daily – especially in the mornings. I’ll root for you in 2012, as much as I did in 2011! Team Tobin for the win!

    • “The sum total of words isn’t a problem” she says…this is coming from, ladies and gentlemen, the most prolific writer I’ve ever seen. 183K words in a year? Pat can do that in a month. With a broken hand. And no ideas. And still push out amazing stuff. Let’s root for each other in 2012, Pat. This is the year you get published. For everyone else, if you get sick of reading idiot blogs like mine and prefer some intelligence in your reading, visit Pat’s blog. And guilt her into tweeting more by following @Nine_Day_Wonder

  7. Congratulations Tobin on all your accomplishments this year. Sorry that your year started out so horribly but you are going out with a bang! Reading your stuff and ideas/tips about writing has encouraged me, too, to keep writing and to start things off I joined a critique group! I wish you both and your kids all the best for this coming year. Keep up the great job! Miss ya both!!!

  8. Pingback: A strange beginning to the year « Left to Write

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