Monday, March 7, 2016

2015 Accomplishments, 2016 Goals

It's a little late for the traditional writer's New Year post, listing my prior accomplishments and this year's goals, but I figure this way I'm at an advantage. Because I've already accomplished some things this year!

In truth, these posts are more for my own sake than yours. They help me look back and see that I'm actually getting things done, even when in the moment I feel like a miserable failure.

What did I do in 2015? I survived. And for me, for this year, that is quite an accomplishment. 2015 goes on record as being one of the worst years of my life. I left my two life-partners under extremely painful conditions, put myself in the hospital to prevent my suicide, lost my means of support, moved twice in two months, considered my limited career options, and began my recovery from the brand new case of Complex-PTSD that I developed over 7 years in a trauma-inducing environment.

This has left me with an unimaginable level of anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairments which make work extra difficult and discouraging. But I'm recovering, even if slower than I'd like.

So I survived. A great big check off the list!

That said, I didn’t let myself off the hook too much. Even though I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to (see last year's post), in some ways I accomplished more. And I crossed some significant goals off my list.
  • Sold one short story, Theogenesis Gimmick, which just came out in the Truth Beyond Paradox anthology, which you can purchase at the link.
  • Another of my previously published stories (Meltdown in Freezer Three) became SFWA qualifying (one more till Active Member!)
  • Wrote two posts that were published on the SFWA blog.
  • Had fun speaking on Radcon 6C panels.
  • I was a Norwescon panelist for the first time! Huge bucket list accomplishment.
  • Presented at Sunstone Symposium for the first time. An amazing experience that I would like to repeat.
  • Presented at an International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference on Helping Former Members and Their Families in Santa Fe.
  • My talk was selected to present at the big ICSA conference in Dallas next summer.
  • Created a number of video podcasts analyzing LDS Conference talks, with Jonathan Streeter.
  • In spite of the financial challenges getting there, I helped launch the first year of the DEFCON Biohacking Village, and committed to running their CFP Review in 2016.
  • Attended Rainforest Writer's Retreat.
  • Wrote a large number of Recovering Agency blog posts, including in-depth conference talk analyses
  • Participated heavily in the outrage against the LDS LGBT Exclusion Policy, and helped comfort (and allowed myself to be comforted) those who were impacted by this decision.
  • Moved to a wonderful new house.
  • Learned an unbelievable amount about life and grew in ways that's really difficult to quantify.
  • Had a number of significant spiritual experiences which are difficult to quantify or even explain.
In short, I have no idea how I did all of that, given where I've been. Even though I'm an atheist and a skeptic, I did feel my feet being guided often this year, like I was being placed in the right spaces at the right times, and carried through rough patches that I wasn't sure I could navigate. For this, I am grateful to The Universe for the wonders I've been shown.

Now to 2016!

The future is so uncertain. And because of that uncertainty, these goals are more squishy (less specific) than I prefer. But it's important to write these things down. It helps make them true.

  • Keep surviving (because some days it’s still hard!)
  • Continue trauma recovery and be happy with where I'm at.
  • Release the Recovering Agency audiobook.
  • Submit more stories, publish more fiction.
  • Write more fiction.
  • Make more income.
  • Successfully run the CFP for the DEFCON Biohacking Village.
  • Speak at Sunstone Symposium on multiple topics.
  • Speak at ICSA Dallas (already accepted!)
  • Panels at NWC and Radcon (already did Radcon!)
  • More blog posts and mind control analysis of LDS Conference Talks.
  • More writing for the SFWA blog.
  • Complete my first paid speaking gig (already accepted!)
  • Publish a few more short ebooks using material I've already written.
  • More guest posts. Stretch goal: maybe even a big one on a well-known and possibly paying blog, like HuffPo, MarySue, Jezebel. Bonus points if it pays!
  • Stretch goal: Write and/or publish a new book, either fiction or nonfiction.

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