So, as it turns out, I haven’t been using this blog very much. Sorry 🙁 Also, this is a relatively personal post and may contain grammatical errors (I’m tired).
Oh man, 2013. Probably the strangest year for me so far. I spun my wheels for a long time trying to make money doing things I’m frankly not that good at. Better than average maybe, but not exceptional. Then for the last quarter I started contracting within my actual trained skillset.
Honestly, it felt good to do what I’m good at again. It was a big step for me as well, I had gotten into the mindset that I may have just burned out of the industry. I’m glad I didn’t, I just needed a break. The contracting ended up taking almost all of my time those months. I’m still contracting, but managing my time a little better so far this month. I’m actually able to do something other than work and sleep :/
Normally, I don’t bother with the whole “New Year’s Resolutions” stuff. And honestly, I didn’t set any resolutions this year either. Resolutions are dumb (post about that incoming later). Goals are actually useful. I took enough time off around the holidays to actually get a little creative and think laterally again. So, let’s get into the meat of it, shall we?
I made a list of 22 goals for 2014, broken into two lists of 11. The first 11 are my goals, the second 11 are stretch goals or minor goals. I had decided that I should make sure my goals fit into the following categories:
- Career/Professional Goals
Yes, health and lifestyle overlap quite a bit, and honestly I’m not sure I did a good job filling out the “lifestyle” part, unless you consider things that may not contribute to my career as “lifestyle.” Maybe? I don’t know, but it was just a guideline.
I normally don’t post this sort of stuff publicly, but hey, maybe I’ll get farther along if I post it. The deadline for all of these is the end of the year, though I kind of hope I hit some of them sooner.
1. Lose 60 pounds
I need to lose weight. More than 60 lbs, that’s for sure, but this seems like an attainable goal. That averages to only a little over 1 pound / week. I have this written down as weighing under a specific weight on my own goal list here, so I can’t get away with that whole “I lost 10 pounds” then gain it back and more, then start over and “lose 10 pounds” and so on. I swear, some people lose 60 pounds every year, but somehow are heavier than last year at they physical.
Anyways, this is simple enough in concept, and I can’t cheat like that. I have ideas on how to accomplish this, but that’s for another post. Moving along.
2. 2 full novels published (self-published is fine)
No more excuses on the writing, guys. I want to make sure I have 2 novels written and available for people to read, preferably by purchasing it from Amazon or something. I might think about posting on something like fictionpress along the way. It’s scary, but I think that’s the first step towards putting something out on a paid service and dealing with negative reviews and old fashioned goodreads vitriol.
What’s a “full” novel? I’m aiming for 250 pages or more per book. No less than 200 pages.
What is “published”? No, fictionpress or this blog doesn’t count. It has to be online as an ebook that someone needs to pay for to read. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or something similar.
3. 3 volumes of the light novel published (illustrated, hard copies)
I’m working on a light novel series right now. It’s not very far along, I just kind of know the main characters and the basics of the world at the moment. I know it’s a light novel series though, and I have some weird ideas about publishing. Anyways, when I have enough for a volume (200 pages or s0), I want to get an illustrator lined up, and have hard copies available. Even if I only make, like, $1 per copy, I want to do this.
This is quite a bit harder than the novels. More writing, more research, and more production.
If you’re keeping track, we’re at a minimum of 1000 pages written.
4. 1 manuscript submitted to an agent or publisher
Another novel, probably. I want to get in a professional relationship with a literary agent, if I can. I know that acceptance is near impossible at first, and that’s OK. There’s one piece of phrasing here that makes harder than it seems. At first glance you’d think “oh, you just need to send it in, that’s no problem.” Not quite. First, you have to send a synopsis and query letter. After you get some interest, they might ask for the manuscript.
I want to give this the old college try, though with how long the backlogs for these people can be, it’s entirely possible I send out dozens of query letters and get no responses before the year’s out. I don’t already have the connections in the industry, so I’d be in the queue if I didn’t end up in the circular file right away.
(1200 pages now)
5. 50 new posts published here
Here, meaning this blog. This goals is what got me back writing on here. I know this post sucks, but I have to get back into the groove.
I hope to write a few technical posts (the one technical post I wrote is easily the most popular), some more of these, and fill out some other types of content. I’m too obsessive about quality to churn out 50 short or garbage posts, so this could end up taking a while.
6. 1000 followers on Twitter (@KadonoGaming)
At least, probably @KadonoGaming. I also want to get @MattEkenstedt patched up and start posting there again. I know dividing my attention and the people who follow me like that is a bad idea, but I can’t really see @KadonoGaming being a useful Author/Productivity profile. Anyways, the goal isn’t for the combined total to be 1000. No, one of the individual accounts needs to have over 1000 followers. That’s not really that hard of a number to get. I don’t think Twitter is really the marketing platform that it keeps being heralded as. I doubt many people find you on Twitter, then follow you to your other platforms. But hey, who knows, right? And having at least 1000 followers is necessary to have a respectable Twitter account.
7. Taken the JLPT N5
I actually have this listed as “Passed the JLPT N5” but since I’m going to take it in December, and you don’t find out your pass/fail status until the next year, I can’t really know if I passed or not. Passing is the goal, obviously, but I won’t know in 2014. And before anyone jumps on me for taking the N5, I know it’s basically useless for your career and so on. I could probably take the N4 this year and have a chance at passing (Kanji being my greatest weakness there). My reasoning for starting at the bottom is that it gives me an opportunity to feel out how the test environment/process is handled and it’s a first step. I don’t have any formal education in Japanese either, so I think it’s best for me to start at the bottom.
8. 300 Twitch followers
Again, I’m trying to increase my reach here. Right now I have 88, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t good either. I got 87 of those last year, so I figure with the snowball effect, 300 should be easy. The main limiting factor is that I’m not a part of a network.
Note: Things are getting weird around game streaming and game videos. Hopefully this doesn’t mess me up too much.
9. $10k income from non-salary/contract/hourly source
Since I’m trying to diversify my income sources (and reduce risk), I wanted to put a number on it. $10k isn’t all that much over the course of a year. Especially since this is income and not revenue. $10k revenue would be a much harder goal. At any rate, if I can drum up at least this much it will be a sign that I’m successfully diversifying my income.
10. 100 RSS subscribers on a new podcast (or on YouTube)
New Podcast? Yeah, new podcast. Specifically, I need to produce non-live content for people to consume. 100 is incredibly low if we’re talking about YouTube, but with all the ContentID stuff on YouTube I might keep away from there. It seems like if you’re not already big, stuff like gaming content will get your channel shut down once you gain some traction.
100 RSS subs without already having an audience is actually kind of a challenge. Especially since people tend to go through YouTube for this stuff. The final reason I don’t have too ambitious of a number here is that I just don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet, so I want to keep my goal attainable.
11. 10 new plushies designed and created
No chance I can make a living out of it, but I want to keep doing this because I think it takes me out of my normal few circles enough that it keeps me more creative. I want to do a few pokemon, maybe some food or something, we’ll see.
No talking about these individually, just a list:
12. Completed the Genki Textbook
13. Made over $7000 gross income one month
14. Founded a publishing company LLC
15. Lose 100 lbs
16. 5 manuscripts completed
17. YouTube channel (or RSS feed) with 500 subs
18. 2 Podcasts or regular shows (each running for 3 months or more)
19. $3000 through patreon (or similar)
20. 5 guest spots on blogs (or podcasts or videos)
21. 100 people on a mailing list of some kind
22. 100 new posts on this blog
Most of those are related to the first 11. Either related, ambitious goals, or just a straight up stretch goal for an earlier goal.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks. If you have, you probably noticed that I put a lot of focus on writing, mostly in novel form, but also this blog. In fact, almost everything is about content creation.
I basically stopped making content for about 3 months there. Honestly, I hated it. After doing content creation of some kind for a couple years, it was horrible to feel so creatively drained. The lack of content is entirely my fault. Poor time management, and even poorer energy management.
Some of the goals are money oriented, but none of the numbers are all that big if you think about the time frame. They’re just there to provide a progress marker. If I can make $10k over the year on things aside from my primary income, I’m doing the right things. People are engaged and think my content is worth a few bucks.
Let me be clear with you guys. My long term goal here is to get a content publishing company going that involves more than just me (hopefully people much more talented than me). The only way I can think of to bootstrap this without industry connections or lots of money is by starting with my own stuff. Once I’ve gotten familiar with what’s out there and have some traction, I can bring in other people. To be able to do that, though, I’ll have to be able to pay those people.
So I think about it like this: These projects I’m working on are like a car starter. I spin as fast as I can, and some of the rotations might seemingly do nothing, but eventually the engine will start. That’s the theory anyways.
This post was little more rambling than I was hoping, but it’s a personal post, not an instructional one. I wanted to put my goals out there. Maybe I’ll accomplish all of them, but probably not. Still, I expect to accomplish more than half of them and be much farther along by the time the year ends.
It’s going to be a productive year, I can feel it.