1. Don’t die.
I played football with a few guys the other day and survived, though my shoulder is still killing me.
2. Lose 20 pounds.
Still down 12 pounds. No change for the month of September. Too much traveling. A lot of bad food eaten in cars.
3. Do at least 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups five days a week.
4. Stop drinking soda from two-liter bottles.
I didn’t drink soda from a two-liter bottle in September. Soda consumption continues to fall dramatically and water consumption is on the increase.
5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.
I continue to practice yoga almost every morning. I have some shoulder pain from the aforementioned football game which has made the last week hard.
6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.
I have three recipes to plan for courtesy of a good friend. I have done nothing with them thus far.
7. Complete my sixth novel before the end of 2015.
In fairness, I've written more than a novel's worth of content this year, spread between three different books, but none are completely finished.
8. Complete my seventh novel.
This book remains more than half finished.
9. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
My agent is submitting my children's books to editors following the Frankfurt Book Fair.
I also have a meeting with a children's book editor this month to discuss writing middle grade books. She passed on my picture books but feels that I may have the sensibilities for middle grade fiction. I am open minded but skeptical.
10. Sell a memoir to a publisher.
The memoir is written and polished. It will be paired with my book of essays, so it remains on my laptop, waiting for the essays to sell.
11. Sell a book of essays to a publisher.
The essays are revised and the proposal is complete. My agent is reviewing it now.
12. Complete a book proposal for a book on storytelling.
Progress continues. It's now fully outlined. I am currently writing the first of two sample chapters.
13. Write a new screenplay.
Revisions of my first screenplay - based upon film agent’s notes - are nearly complete.
I have decided upon the story for the next screenplay and have the story fairly well outlined (thanks in part to a friend's excellent suggestion).
14. Write 50 pages of a new memoir about the years of 1991-1993.
The collection of essays that I am writing now encompasses this period of time. This book and the book of essays are now one and the same.
15. Write a musical for a summer camp.
Done! I was lucky enough to see it performed onstage in July. The feedback was outstanding. I hope to find a home for it at some point.
The musical that we wrote for last year's summer camp will be produced this fall at schools and other venues in the Hartford area.
16. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
I've also written another for the Hartford Courant that will run sometime this month. My dream is to land a weekly column at a newspaper like the Hartford Courant before they disappear forever, but this is probably a hard gig to get.
17. Submit one or more short stories to at least three publishing outlets.
I submitted one of my short stories to a student magazine in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and it was accepted. The bar for acceptance was admittedly quite low, but it counts.
18. Select three behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog.
I spent a week in July backing into parking spots, which was something I assumed was only done by lunatics of the highest order. I'm in the process of writing about my experience in for a blog post (or perhaps an Op-Ed somewhere).
I'm still on the hunt for my second behavior. Suggestions?
19. Build an author mailing list.
Done! My latest newsletter will be sent today. My mailing list is close to 1,000 subscribers and growing.
If you're not signed up for my mailing list, you can do so here:
20. Build a new website for matthewdicks.com
21. Produce a total of eight Speak Up storytelling events.
Done! We produced our eighth show at the Noah Webster House in September.
We have two more shows scheduled for October and shows scheduled for November and December as well.
22. Deliver my fourth TED Talk.
Done! The recording was released in August. One of the cameras did not record my talk, and the other started about two minutes late. The recording is disappointing and useless. I have the worst TED luck ever.
I may be speaking at another TED conference in November.
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.
Done! I attended two Moth StorySLAMs in September and performed at a Mainstage show in Pittsburgh and told stories at two of the three events (my name sadly remained in the hat in Boston) This brings my total number of Moth events attended in 2015 to 21.
25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.
Done! I won a StorySLAM at The Bell House in Brooklyn on August 3. I won a StorySLAM at Oberon in Cambridge back in April, giving me the two wins needed to achieve this goal.
I'd like to double this win total before the end of the year.
26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
Done twice over! I won the New York GrandSLAM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in April and June.
27. Launch at least one podcast.
We didn't like our recording.
We record again next week.
28. Pitch at least three new projects to two smart people.
Done! I pitched a new writing project to a smart person in September, bringing my total to three new projects to three smart people.
Nothing has come from any of my pitches, but I'll keep trying.
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.
I played golf half a dozen times in September. I tied my personal best of 47 through nine holes. Last Sunday I opened my round with four bogies and ended the round with a bogie. Sandwiched between those holes were three triple bogies.
32. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.
Two days late.