Out with the old: Reflections on 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, and thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions begin to fill my head, I thought I’d take a look back on some of my accomplishments from the past year.

Here are some fun stats from 2016…

Personal Bests by Word Count in 2016 (By Month)

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  • January 19 – 1,236 words, with 14,665 words total for the month
  • February 13 – 1,414; 17,546/month
  • March 29 – 1,975; 19,869/month
  • April 18 – 1,439 (16,842/month)
  • May 2 – 1,789 (18,580/month)
  • June 19 – 1,626 (17,676/month)
  • July 25 – 6,391; 43,806/month
  • August 8 – 2,090 (30,215/month)
  • September 3 – 3,462 (31,237/month)
  • October 23 – 3,015 (34,985/month)
  • November 12 – 2,925 (36,229/month)
  • December 2 – 1,740
  • December 28 – Over 300,000 words for the year!


As you can see, July was my best month in terms of total word count, and my best day for writing this year was July 25. Must’ve been my determination to beat the mid-year doldrums, or the decision to make good use of my summer! Either way, I look forward to another productive July in 2017.

I’ve also joined the 365 Club Challenge again (formerly known as the 365K Club), and have set a daily goal of 1,000 words for myself. Given that my daily goal this year was a mere 275 words, I look forward to bumping up my productivity and filling the 1K per day with a variety of different projects.

And now, my “the good, the bad, and the ugly” take on 2016!



  1. Wrote and published five books
  2. Completed my first book with a traditional publisher (with another currently in progress, and a third in the development stage)
  3. Completed my first 365K Club Challenge at the “Poe” level (where the goal was to write 100K in a year)
  4. Wrote more than 300,000 words this year!
  5. Took on the role of the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild‘s Newsletter Editor
  6. Hosted five monthly events for the Nonfiction Authors Association’s San Diego chapter, which I founded last year (I have since stepped down, in order to pursue other interests)
  7. Created and hosted a monthly writing critique group
  8. Created and hosted a bi-weekly accountability group
  9. Edited nonfiction books for Norm Schriever, Judd Reid, and a local realtor (among others)
  10. Attended the San Diego Public Library’s Local Authors gala
  11. Wrote several “1 in 12” poems (one of which was published in Stardust, Always in honor of David Bowie)
  12. Did some in-person sales events
  13. Got several foreign language translations of my books published (including San Diego from A to Z in Spanish and Portuguese)
  14. Participated in another April A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing Chicago from A to Z, and hosting local blog-ins
  15. Started the DISARM anthology (to be published in 2017)
  16. Organized a day-long writing retreat
  17. Had a piece accepted in SDW/EG’s The Guilded Pen anthology (5th edition)
  18. Attended Twainfest, as a volunteer, handwriting responses to notes posted at the Letter Writing Booth
  19. Attended the Citizen’s Academy and learned a lot about the local criminal justice system – and even got to visit the county morgue (aka Medical Examiner’s Office)!
  20. Completed a 5K Walk/Run/Write event with the 10 Minute Novelists


  1. Awesome Lady Authors
  2. Careers in Digital Media (edits currently in progress)
  3. Careers in Gaming (ReferencePoint Press – out January 2017)
  4. Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From Pop Songs (editor)
  5. Just A Quickie!


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  • Careers in Digital Media
  • Careers if You Like Music
  • The Case of the Cunning Linguist
  • YA book series (currently in development)




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  • Write once a week, minimum, as part of the #52essays2017 challenge
  • Revamp my author newsletter
  • Write more “P is for Pop Songs” posts
  • Write more “First Lines Friday” posts
  • Write more “Top 10 Takeaways” posts
  • Start a “Cool Careers” series – pitch me if you’ve got an awesome job you’d like to talk about!







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  • Walk 30 minutes daily, minimum
  • Walk 250 steps/hour during the work day (9-5)
  • Acquire and use a standing or treadmill desk



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  • Read a book a week, for a total of 52 books



Organized by Vanessa Mártir and Lizz Huerta, here’s the gist: Write an essay a week, for 52 weeks, and you win.

In Vanessa’s own words:

1. This isn’t about producing a polished essay. This is about surrendering to [the] process. This is for you, no one else.

2. There is no word limit. It can be as short or as long as you like. Just try to dig into the stories. Why is this coming up? What is it you’re not saying? What is it you want to say? Why? Dig!

3. […] If you decide to make the essay public, […] don’t forget to tag the essay with the hashtag: #52essays2017.

4. You have to post an essay a week, which isn’t easy. I have missed a week here or there but posted it later, usually not past the following Monday. If you miss a week, okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Just try. Push. Write. Then post it.

I plan to publish my first essay this week, on the subject of New Year’s Resolutions and goal-setting for writers. Stay tuned!


And finally, I recently discovered Cerries Mooney’s approach to personal branding, which relies on personal archetypes. I am, obviously, a Creator:

What are you made of?

Created by Cerries Mooney

My secondary archetype is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Jester. So stay tuned for changes to this blog based around my two archetypes, as I continue the journey ever forward.

Your turn!

What have you accomplished in 2016, and what are some of your goals for next year?