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Check out my video companion for this blog. I get to rambling and drop a few f-bombs, but I was alone for too long at work, so there you go.

Here’s something I’ve learned during 2021: I need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

Seriously. Every year, I lay out my goals and think I’m going to smash them like I never have before.

Sometimes, I’m able to do that, but 2021 was all over the place for me.

The project I planned to have finished in January took me until July.

Editing has taken me far longer than I hoped.

Freelance editing took over for a while, too.

And fighting for my former business took my will to do anything creative for far too long.

I’m really excited for my 2022 reset, but before I can truly get there, we need to talk about how my goals went in 2021.

2021 was split up thusly:

Write: Project Graves 2, Loving Them Both, Wooing the Alpha, Ry & Eli, Brad & Shy, Anthemos, and four Lishky shorts. That totals at about 266,000 words.

Edit: Wooing the Alpha, Project Graves 2, Sister with the Stolen Pocket Watch, four Lishky shorts, and an Earth anthology.

Market via Bookbub, reviews and swaps, reading addiction, kickstarted, a/b ad testing, enchanted quill, and consistent content.

Build a cookbook, BP: Resurrection, a Broken World companion, followers, stores, courses, and freelancing clients.

Learn how to HTML, my camera settings, how to use insta stories, how to use a saw, how to build ads and promote sales, and how to use discord and tik tok.

Launch Wooing the Alpha, Project Graves 2, Lishky LLC, and editing videos.

And finally my fitness goals were to do one pull up, fifty push ups, ten-thousand steps a day, under 200, increase flexibility, increase hydration, and working out three days a week.

A lot of these are similar to 2020. Just to be honest with everyone. And I laugh at myself for thinking that I could get over 250,000 words in 2021 just because I did in 2020.

Circumstances change, y’all. That goal was so far beyond realistic, that I simply have to scratch my head at past me and move on.

My accomplishments in 2021 are as follows:

I wrote 87,043 words. This includes marketing and outlining along with my actual fiction words. Y’all, it’s not a lot, although I can see how it might be for some. I hit January strong before working at Starbucks drained the life out of my life. Waking up at 3:30 am took its toll on me. And that kind of job is a lot more physical than I remembered from my early twenties.

I survived it, but my writing dropped off drastically as I petered through months at that job.

However, Starbucks was not the cause of my least “productive” writing months. June, when I transitioned jobs, hit me hard with only 2,636 words total. September and October, however, were abysmally low at 843 and 457.

Now, to keep from being so grumpy about this fact, let me explain that I was focused on a very different part of the writing process. I was editing large chunks of my series, which I did finish in 2021. Well, the writing anyway. I’m still digging my way through the last half of book fourteen.

Editing take a lot of work, y’all. As does reading it aloud to my mom and husband. And not at the same time.

I also did a lot of other administrative stuff to prepare for Wooing the Alpha’s release for 2022. Book one is out, and I have almost everything set for the entire year where that’s concerned.

I also got to write and publish a handful of Lishky shorts and promote them via a free service. I watched my books sell in November and December, and I’ve never been prouder of the work I put in. My husband was right all along, I just had to get myself to do it.

I didn’t touch any of the other projects except for some loose outlining that I hope to make up for in 2022.

Thanks to tips from Starbucks and my new job, I finally have enough to buy a BookBub ad, which will happen in 2022. I did plan out some reviews for this year as well, booked some promos, and produced semi-consistent content. I’m still trying to manage that as a part of my every day, but it’s difficult sometimes. I did, however, find that some of the promos I’ve been using aren’t serving me, so I have to let the idea that they’re helping me go.

I was able to build two things off my list: followers and freelance clients. Although I work for a company in a freelance capacity. The editing work I get is enjoyable and relatively easy for me, so it’s been a nice extra income to get us out of some debts and worries. I hope it will get me the down payment for a house in 2022.

Last month, December, I edited over 250,000 words. 104,000 of them during Christmas week. It’s helped me realize that I can be an editing badass if I need to be.

Y’all. I didn’t learn a damn thing on my list this year. I learned other things, so it’s not a complete loss, but I didn’t make the progress I’d hoped in this section.

I launched my Lishky LLC, which is called Dirty Little Love, LLC, officially. I also launched her website and am doing well with her stories so far.

My fitness is still up and down. I work out three or four days one week and none the next, and it’s not a great cycle, but it’s better than being back at zero. I have to remember to take my small victories and run with them, even if it’s not that far.

Something I didn’t have on my list was one of the best things about 2021: I gained a new writing buddy, one of my old colleagues at the university we worked at. Hint: neither of us work there anymore. We meet once a week to talk and write, and it has been fantastic. I didn’t know how much I missed simply drafting with another writer and getting to talk shop. Most of all, her friendship has been amazing. I think we give each other confidence, and that’s the best.

What can I take away from all of this listing and planning and reviewing? These successes and failures? 

I need to slow down in 2022. A lot of writers are saying this, but I need to focus enjoying the craft and the work. I need to spend more time with my family. I need to recharge more (especially after I read 145 books last year, but that’s a whole new set of stats that I won’t dive into here). And most importantly, I need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and simply decorate mine the way I like it.

How did you do in 2021? What are you plans and goals for 2022? Let me know in the comments below!