I had a couple of goals for the past year. A few of them were sidetracked but I kept to them as much as I could.
I wanted to get in better shape, which I did through half the year, but faltered in the latter half. This was my fault and I take full responsibility for it.
I wanted to finish a book. I finished two.
I wanted to spend more time with my family, especially my wife.
I’ve done this. I was able to attend multiple field trips with my daughter and watch my son perform at his Christmas guitar concert.
I wanted to read a lot more. The only way to improve you writing is by reading.
I read 15 fiction book and 11 non-fiction, which I’ll list below.
Fiction: The Darkness that Comes Before – R. Scott Bakker, The Fireman – Joe Hill, The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty, Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay, Haunting of Hill House – Shirly Jackson, Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb, The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan, The Shadow Rising – Robert Jordan, The Magic of Recluse – L.E. Modesitt Jr., Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence, Magician: Apprentice – Raymond Feist, The Man in the High Castle – Phillip K. Dick, Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson.
I’m also reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin and should have it done by the end of the year.
Non-Fiction: Ask Gary V – Crush It – Jab, Jab, Right Hook all by Gary Vaynerchuck. The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster – Darren Hardy, Go For No – Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz, Go Pro – Eric Worre, Grit – Angela Duckworth, Scrum – JJ Sutherland, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson, No God but God – Reza Aslan.
There are a couple of books from each of these lists that have either changed the way I write or the way I think.
From fiction: Head Full of Ghosts and Prince of Thorns. Both of these books gave me a new way to look at my writing and others writing, I would put Left Hand of Darkness on this list as well but I haven’t finished it and am only judging for the first two-thirds of the book.
From Non-Fiction: No God but God, Crush It and Grit. These three changed my brain about a few things.
No God but God gave me insight into Islam, a topic that is reported improperly in MSM. Islam is something I’ve wanted to learn more about and this was a good place to start. Crush It was the book that changed my mind about my writing and how hard I wasn’t working to achieve my goals. Grit helped me identify where I’m lacking in preparation for my writing.
I accomplished my goals for the most part, but I still have a couple things to improve.
Next year I’ll be publishing.