Each month I post the progress of my New Year’s resolutions here as a means of holding myself accountable. The following are the results through the month of February.
1. Don’t die.
Didn’t even come close to dying.
2. Lose 20 pounds.
I remain just one pound down. At this pace, I will miss this goal by a lot. It’s mostly been my inability to get to the gym regularly in March due to illness and scheduling.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.
Done. I’ve added a plank every morning as well.
4. Stop drinking soda from two-liter bottles.
I didn’t drink soda from a two-liter bottle in March, and my soda consumption remains cut by well over half. I’m also drinking more water than ever before.
5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.
I tried last week to restart my yoga routine after healing from an injury and realized that I could barely remember it. I’ll be meeting with my yoga instructor in April, I hope.
6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.
7. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer 2015.
The book remains about half finished, and I am about to launch back into fiction, but for reasons that are complicated, I may actually be putting that half-finished novel aside temporarily and beginning a new one.
It’s crazy. I know
8. Complete my seventh novel.
This book remains about half finished as well.
9. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
I have three books written and ready to go. I have three new ideas that I plan to work on in 2015. We will submit one or more of these books to editors at some point soon.
10. Sell a memoir to a publisher.
The memoir is written and is being polished now.
11. Sell a book of essays to a publisher.
My book of essays did not sell, but the responses that we received from editors were exceptionally positive. In a few cases, it was not a pass as much as a request that the book be reorganized and written slightly differently than it is currently constituted. I will do so. Fiction is now my main focus, but this remains a priority in 2015.
12. Complete a book proposal for a book on storytelling.
13. Write a new screenplay.
I’m still revising my first screenplay based upon film agent’s notes. No progress on the new one.
14. Write 50 pages of a new memoir about the years of 1991-1993.
I have 25 badly written pages for this memoir that must be transformed into 50 good pages in 2015. No progress yet.
15. Write a musical for a summer camp
Excellent progress. It’s moving along well.
In addition, I completed revisions on the musical that my partner and I wrote last year. In the fall, it will be produced by a local theater company.
We also have interest in our first musical – a rock opera – from another local playhouse.
16. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
I published three more pieces in the Huffington Post last month.
Again, this is not a physical newspaper. Writing pieces for physical newspapers is part of the plan to launch my next novel, so this may happen in the fall if not before.
17. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.
18. Select three behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog.
My first idea: Backing into a parking spot. I rightfully assume that anyone backing into a parking spot is a lunatic of the highest order. I shall spend a week backing into parking spots and see what wisdom I can glean.
I have not begun this experiment yet.
19. Build an author mailing list.
Third email sends today. Things are good. The job remains twofold:
- Create engaging content that will keep readers interested.
- Build my subscription base.
20. Build a new website for matthewdicks.com
Nearly finished. I will be migrating my blog and website over to the new website at some point in April.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will open this blog one day in April and find an entirely new look. I hope you like.
21. Produce a total of eight Speak Up storytelling events.
Two down and six to go. We have two more shows scheduled in April, at both Real Art Ways and Connecticut College, and we have two new partnerships with local venues that we will be announcing soon.
22. Deliver my fourth TED Talk.
I will be delivering a TED Talk at Boston University in three days. I have also pitched talks to two other TEDx events in 2015 and await work.
23. Build a website for Speak Up.
Done! It’s a single page on my new author website, and it’s not nearly as robust as we want it to eventually be, but Speak Up finally has a webpage where you can find dates of events, ticket information, an opportunity to sign up for the mailing list, and more. You can find our webpage at speakupstorytelling.com.
24. Attend at least 10 Moth events with the intention of telling a story.
I performed in a Moth StorySLAM at Housing Works in New York and a GrandSLAM at The Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA, bringing my total number of Moth events in 2015 to four.
25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.
I’ve competed in one StorySLAM in March, receiving the two highest scores of the night from two judging teams (9.6 and 9.4) and the lowest score of the night (7.9, which is also the lowest score I have ever received) from the third team, which landed me in second place. I still cannot understand what happened, and when I think about it, I still get a little upset.
26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
Like the February GrandSLAM in NYC (and six before it), I placed second in the March GrandSLAM in Boston. I was chosen to tell from second position, which is an exceptionally difficult spot to win from, but I was still in the lead when the seventh storyteller took the stage and beat me by a tenth of a point.
I compete in another GrandSLAM in NYC this month.
27. Launch at least one podcast.
The MacBook Pro has arrived, complete with GarageBand, which was critical to my podcasting efforts.
I have crossed over to the dark side, at least in terms of podcasting.
My website is nearly ready to receive podcasts.
This will happen soon.
28. Pitch at least three new projects to two smart people.
I pitched one of my projects to one person in January. No further progress.
29. Host at least one Shakespeare Circle.
Nothing scheduled yet.
30. Enroll in the final class needed for certification as a high school English teacher.
31. Set a new personal best in golf.
There are rumors that the golf course may open in April. .
32. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.