In an effort to hold myself accountable, I post a list my New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each month, along with their progress (or lack thereof).
1. Don’t die.
2. Lose ten pounds.
Seven down and three to go.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.
4. Launch at least one new podcast.
Author Out Loud, my first podcast, is still yet to launch (and therefore still not my first). Once we have that podcast running smoothly, we can think about adding a second podcast.
Progress so far: I have selected an online service to redesign my website, which would allow me to post podcast online, which will allow me to actually make my podcast.
I’ve also secured a commitment from a cohost for that second podcast.
5. Complete my sixth novel before the end of
the summer 2014.
Work on this book finally recommenced this month.
6. Complete my seventh novel.
7. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
Three manuscripts remain in the hands of my agent. I await word on their fate. Work began on a fourth.
8. Complete a book proposal for my memoir.
The proposal for a memoir comprised of the about three dozen of my Moth stories is complete. It will be sent to editors for their consideration later this month.
Work also continues on a memoir that focuses on the two years that encompassed my arrest and trial for a crime I did not commit. These two years also include an armed robbery, the onset of my post traumatic stress disorder, my period of homelessness, and the time I spent living with a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It was a memorable two years.
I’m also writing another memoir about this current season of golf. Since I haven’t played enough golf this summer, I plan to stretch it so that it encompasses the entire year rather than just the summer.
Work also began on a new book which is part memoir and part how-to.
9. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.
Nothing scheduled yet.
10. Write a screenplay.
Done! In the hands of my agent.
11. Write at least three short stories.
Nothing. I still hate this goal.
12. Write a collection of poetry using existing and newly written poems.
My agent has spoken. Not only does poetry not earn any money, but she doesn’t think my poetry is worth my time in terms of time and money. She encouraged me to send some of my better poems to journals and contests, which I may do at some point.
13. Become certified to teach high school English by completing one required class.
Still one class and $50 away from completion. My wife is actively looking for a place online where I can complete this relatively obscure requirement.
14. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
My second column in Seasons magazine publishes this month.
I still await word from a major online magazine about a pitch that I made last month.
I also published a piece in The Cook’s Cook, a magazine for aspiring food writers and recipe testers. You can read the April-May issue here.
None of these are Op-Eds in a physical paper. Please ignore that fact in the event I need to use these publishing credits in order to claim that I have completed my goal.
15. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
I attended a Moth StorySLAM in New York in September but was not called to the stage. It brings my total number of events for the year to 13.
16. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
I have competed in five GrandSLAMs in 2014 in New York City and Boston, finishing second three times. When I didn’t finish in second place, I was forced to tell my story from first position (the kiss of death).
It’s all terribly annoying.
I have another GrandSLAM in New York in November, and that may be my last chance at a championship for 2014.
17. Give yoga an honest try.
My friend, who is a yoga guru, has agreed to give me a lesson.
18. De-clutter the basement.
Progress continues at a constant, slightly less than glacial, pace.
19. De-clutter the shed
Done! I dislodged a mouse family, filled the back of my truck with junk, and now I have an empty, organized shed.
20. Conduct the ninth No-Longer-Annual A-Mattzing Race in 2014.
21. Produce a total of six Speak Up storytelling events.
Done! Our September show (one of our best ever) was our sixth of the year, and we have additional shows planned for October at The Mount in Lennox, MA and December at Real Art Ways
22. Deliver a TED Talk.
I delivered a TED Talk in March at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA.
I have also been contacted about speaking at two other TED conferences in the fall and am still awaiting word on my pitches.
23. Set a new personal best in golf.
Nothing close to a personal best last month. But I beat my friend, Jeff, for only the third time in my life, which was great.
24. Find a way to keep my wife home for one more year with our children.
We still don’t know how we will afford this, but we made the decision to keep Elysha at home for one more year with our son.
25. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.