1. Don’t die.
I am alive as of this posting. .
2. Lose 20 pounds.
Down five pounds as of this morning. Finally, some momentum.
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 June. Soda consumption remains reduced by at least half and water consumption has increased dramatically.
5. Practice yoga at least five days a week.
I have restarted my routine. My yoga instructor is on the west coast for a few weeks, but I think I'm doing okay. I'm sure he would disagree, but at least I'm doing it.
6. Learn to cook three good meals for my wife.
I have three recipes to plan for courtesy of a good friend.
7. Complete my sixth novel before the end of the summer 2015.
Progress continues in earnest. Between this book and the book that I thought would be my sixth book, I've written enough pages for a novel, but sadly, this doesn't count when it comes to actually selling a book.
8. Complete my seventh novel.
This book is also more than half finished.
9. Sell one children’s book to a publisher.
I have three books written and ready to go. I have four 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. I hope to polish it as soon as the novel is finished.
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.
Progress continues. It's almost fully outlined.
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
Finished! It will be produced at a local summer camp in a few weeks.
16. Publish at least one Op-Ed in a physical newspaper.
I published one more piece in the Huffington Post last month:
I also published two pieces in Seasons magazine. In addition to my usual humor column, my wife and I co-authored a feature on Speak Up, our storytelling organization.
None of these appeared in a physical newspaper.
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 was supposed to begin this experiment last month and forgot, probably because it's going to be annoying. I begin today.
19. Build an author mailing list.
Done! My sixth monthly email goes out next week. The job remains twofold:
- Continue to create engaging content that will keep readers interested.
- Build my subscription base.
If you're not signed up for my mailing list, you can do so here. It's about one email a month and includes updates on my writing and speaking and recommendations. This month's newsletter, which will be sent tomorrow, includes TWO GIVEAWAYS and THE GREATEST RECOMMENDATION OF ALL TIME.
20. Build a new website for matthewdicks.com
Done! Tweaks will continue to be made, but it's up and running.
21. Produce a total of eight Speak Up storytelling events.
We produced two events in June, including our first at the Connecticut Historical Society, bringing our total to six. Two to go.
22. Deliver my fourth TED Talk.
Done! I've also pitched talks to three other TEDx events in 2015 and two in 2016 and await word.
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 a GrandSLAM, two Moth StorySLAMs, a Mainstage show, and a special event at Yale in June and told stories at all five shows. This brings my total number of Moth events in 2015 to 13.
25. Win at least two Moth StorySLAMs.
I won a StorySLAM in April. I lost by a tenth of a point last night.
26. Win a Moth GrandSLAM.
Done twice over! I won the New York GrandSLAM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in June, bringing my total number of GrandSLAM wins this year to two. Remarkable considering I lost my first eight GrandSLAM championships and have now won three of the last four.
A lesson in persistence.
27. Launch at least one podcast.
We have a name. We are ready to launch.
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.
I played six rounds of golf in May, breaking 50 for nine holes twice but not coming close to my personal best.
32. Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month.