Carpe Blogiem: 2023 – A Year In Review

Here are how things went for me in 2023:

The Good (What I did well or that went well)

  • My Patreon continues to grow and remains most of my monthly (steady) income. I’m sitting at 102 patrons right now and 12 followers (free members – something Patreon changed that I actually liked).
  • I ended up back in the tech-sector working as the staff writer and community manager for Haptic. Haptic is a small and scrappy start-up and I really like the people I’ve found myself working with. If you need server-side hosting for Minecraft, Terraria, or Valheim you should come try it out. First month is free. We’re gonna be expanding our base more with tons of games this year so get in while it’s good.
  • GURPS Monster Hunters Adventure: The Face of Fire aka “GURPS Visage-22″ is a book I’m writing with J. Edward Tremlett. We’re done with the first draft and have comments from the editor. We’ll be doing that this month and then revising like crazy and sending it back some time in February
  • GURPS Meta-Tech aka GURPS Whatchamacallit was submitted, revised with comments, and now submitted again for a playtest that will happen early this month sometime. Yes, it’s a full length book treatment for “Metatronic Generators” from Pyramid #3/46: Weird Science.
  • I wrote a Quick Quest for The Fantasy Trip called “The Gallery of Hands”. It has yet to be published and is with Steve Jackson.
  • I wrote a Hexagram article for The Fantasy Trip called “Vile Vines.” It has yet to be published and is with Steve Jackson.
  • Grammar studies continued with an hour a day of reading style guides, help books, taking practice tests, etc. You name it. Elizabeth (aka ArchangelBeth) says I am significantly improved. Still. I must get better. I must level up my Writer level.
  • I am in the process of ending AEON on a good notes with at least 2 out of 4 of my teams. It’s been fun, but I’m looking forward to the new campaign which is a highly revamped version of Aersalus (seventh time is the charm!). I’ve highly revised it and I’ve got some gonzo ideas for making stuff work. If you like high/dark fantasy keep a eye out for posts about the setting.
  • I remained COVID free thanks to masking, vaccines, and being a general homebody. Good. Because ugh.
  • My workflow using Evernote and Tasks remains good and I’ve backed off from super “on on on” all the time to about half on and I’m producing around 1,500 to 2,000 good words on all my work days (which is most days). This lets me remain agile and able to pivot to new work very fast and that can only be good.
  • I continued the Virginia Board of Workforce Development program. It’s still pretty great.
  • My sister finally married her long-time girlfriend. It was awesome. I got to give my sister away, give a bit of a speech, but not dancing. Not stable enough for that. I regret it. I should have just fell down. Would have been worth it.
  • At the end of the year I completely reorganized my studio space and cleaned. I’ve been needing to do this for a long time now and when I felt the ability to do so – I did. Next up, a good solid cleaning of everything. Once I’m clear and clean my brain will operate a lot better – or so I hope.
  • I wrote 473,217 words last year with a goal of 315,000 words or about 26,250 words per month with an average of 39,435 words per month. I failed to meet my set goals for 3 out of 12 months but made it up for it in other months. Still, I beat my projection by over 50% – that’s not terrible. I can do better.

 

The Bad (What I could have done better or had no control over)

  • I still didn’t publish anything in the fiction market in 2023. I missed my 2023 goal and went about another year without publishing anything. That must change.
  • Posting remained at 2-3 entries per week with most posts being session recaps – I really need to get back to steady output of game advice, mechanics, etc.
  • Mental Health: My mental health suffered almost as badly this year as it had last year. Lots of dips and and downs. I did get a new psychiatrist and he is intensely involved in getting me more stable and in general better. The medicines he put me on has helped with my night terrors by eliminating them to maybe one or two every 30-45 days. I can handle that.
  • Physical Health: My weight has decided to gain instead of flux. It has not been good. A1C was good. Bad year for my sleep apnea as tolerating the pressure has been near impossible. My migraines are worse then normal. I was diagnosed with a rare form of severe asthma (esophillinic asthma) and it forced me to go to the ER because I just couldn’t breathe. That’s the bad news. The good news (such as it is) is I am taking medication now that seems to be fixing it to where I’m almost normal. Diagnosed with lots of nerve damage and some weakness in my hands and jaw (probably because of the nerve damage). It was not a good year for my health…but things are looking up.

 

The Ugly (I don’t know how to categorize this or too early to tell)

  • The “Fiction” tier for Patreon remains untouched and I’ve decided to work harder.
  • InDesign remains interesting. I need to just sit down and mess with it daily until I get the hang out of it. That’s how I work anyways. A 1,000 mistakes building the path to success.
  • was going to do NaNoWriMo2023 – but I stopped and decided against it on day three. Good thing too because three out of my four current projects came in at one time.
  • We lost the Twitter War. Only X remains. I’m not really on there anymore as I’ve migrated to Blue Sky and Mastodon.

 

Some fun dates this year:

  • I’ve been a professional writer and game designer for 13 years as of February 2024 with my Pyramid article “It’s Pure Chemistry!” I would never in my entire life have thought I would have ended up here.
  • I’ve been blogging for 12 years now (well, it’ll be 12 years on January 16th, 2024 at 0817 hours. It was this post.
  • I wrote my first book with Antoni Ten Monros eight years ago. Since then I have written, co-authored, or contributed to eleven other books. It was GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 19: Incantation Magic.
  • I co-edited my first book four years ago (GURPS Sorcery: Sound Spells).
  • I became a staff-writer for a tech firm 11 months ago for Haptic. February 2024 will make a year.

Basically, things are looking up professionally.

Like my previous years, there was more good than bad and it was overall a good to middling year. I still didn’t get everything I wanted done and it has left me with a bit of frustration regarding the goals I set myself

So for 2024 I’ve set the following goals for myself:

  • Publish a novel either via self-publishing or through a company. I have got to do this to move to the next phase of my work. I must.
  • Propose and (hopefully) write more GURPS supplements.
  • Propose and (hopefully) write more The Fantasy Trip supplements.
  • Look at Savage Worlds and maybe propose something for their Rifts treatment (I was a big Pallidum guy back in the day).
  • Maintain my obligations for freelancing.
  • Maintain my obligations to Haptic as their staff writer and community manager.
  • Continue to deliver Patreon content to all patrons.
  • Build up my Patreon more and give better content to higher tiers.
  • Continue to blog at least twice per week. I’d like to get to 3-4 times a week (excluding session recap posts if possible).
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