My Year-End Review

 

As this year comes to a close, it’s pretty standard for people to take a look at themselves and evaluate whether or not they accomplished their goals for the year. I try not to make New Years Resolutions simply because I don’t like to be disappointed with myself when I look back and see that I haven’t completed any of them. I can’t even remember what goals I made for myself a year ago. Naturally, I went back to the column I wrote on Jan. 5, 2017 about making New Years Resolutions. I didn’t find much because I had said in the column that I wasn’t going to get into those “because I’ve also resolved this year not to over saturate my rants with lengthy and boring material.”

Boy, did I sure fail that goal.

Even though I said in that column that I wasn’t going to get into my resolutions I did say that I wanted to read 20 books and other things that included “eating healthier, exercising, and not reading books by James Patterson.”

As far as the books, I’ve read about half that number. As far as exercising, let’s just say that was a pipe dream anyway. I’ve also probably gained some weight since the beginning of the year. My health has been about the same. I even read half a James Patterson book. The intent was to read it and write a review but it’s gathering dust somewhere on a bookshelf or a window sill. It might also be in my bathroom.

Don’t judge, we all read in the bathroom. Patterson is best read while in the bathroom for a really obvious reason which I can’t say in front of you fine readers.

If you looked at my failures over the past year, it might look like I’ve failed. While I would not entirely disagree with you, I would also point out that my successes would far outweigh the failures.

Since the beginning of 2017, I have become a real life published author. Besides my first ever book, The Book of Roland which you can find here, I have had one short story published in an anthology with another story coming out in another anthology sometime next year.

In addition to being a writer for The Pilot News, this will have been my second full year, I started writing a weekly gaming article for The Buzz Kill Magazine, an online website located at http://www.tbkmagazine.com. I was even featured on one of their podcasts about Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi.

I didn’t read 20 books this year, but I did go and see 21 films. Most of those I wrote reviews for. I’ve grown my connection of authors and publishers to the point where I have been asked to read and provide book blurbs for three fellow authors. I’ve also become a part of the acquisitions team at Burning Willow Press LLC, the home of my book.

Man, I really failed when I said I wouldn’t over saturate my rants with lengthy and boring material. What does all this mean though? I’ve written 52 columns this year. Hopefully I’ll have written another 52 by this time next year. Over the course of one year, you (the reader) have hopefully seen me grow into an accomplished writer/author/editor. I am hopeful that is the case. Otherwise, what am I writing this for? If the object of this column is to show each week why I’m growing as an author then it becomes a stagnate storyline. Typically when that happens the character is killed off or worse, edited out of the story entirely.

Characters are supposed to grow and triumph over their obstacles. They are supposed to meet their goals and crush whatever expectations others have for them. That’s what makes characters interesting to read. That’s what makes them memorable and beloved in a readers mind. Readers don’t really want to read about how depressing the characters life is or how epic they fail at their tasks. It’s not good storytelling. Unless you’re George R.R. Martin or Robert Kirkman. The things those two write, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, have people focused on one simple question: What else can go wrong?

So hopefully, you aren’t just reading this hoping I get beheaded or castrated (Game of Thrones) or get bit by a fan foaming at the mouth (The Walking Dead). It is my hope that you are reading this and rooting for the main character to win.

Next week’s column will most likely be about what my expectations and New Years Resolutions are as a writer and as a person. I know, it’ll be boring and lengthy so if you want to skip it and read the cartoon section be my guest. The Family Circus gets me every time.

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