2016 In a Nutshell: Retrospective

Last year I took some time to reflect on my progress, and I'm excited to do so again now.

Here were my goals (posted on my blog last January):

  • Publish my tabletop card game, Heartcatchers. Done (thanks again, Tim!) And available for purchase on the Galileo Games site.
  • Publish Witherwelt, the sequel to my novel Mechalarum. Definitely fell behind on this one. The year was pretty light on personal projects as I poured my time and passion into DreamSail.
  • Launch DreamSail's first indie game title, Blade Ballet. Nailed it! This turned out to be a bigger project than any of us had anticipated - but it was worth it. We released a great product, I got to work with a great team, and I met a ton of interesting people at the fifteen conventions and events I attended.
  • Prep at least two more games for release. Also fell to the wayside with other projects.
  • Grow my NYC Local Multiplayer Gamers group. Did some more of this with DreamSail, but eventually petered out. I still want to help build game-related communities in some way, hope to figure it out more this year.
  • Take a break. Well, this kind of happened accidentally because of the biggest event of the year...

I could say that three out of six goals achieved isn't too shabby, but the point of setting goals isn't to pass judgment or "measure up." Yearly goals are guides that help me along my path. Working towards the goals, I grow and come across new information that reveals new paths. It's important to set the goals, because without them there is no forward movement. However, it's just as important to know when it's time to change my course.

This year included a huge course change. Phil got an awesome job at Amazon, and the two of us embarking on a great journey across the country to Seattle.

So far the move has been hugely positive for us. Although we really miss all our friends and family back on the East Coast, we're lucky to have been welcomed to our new state by wonderful and caring people. For the first time, we've put a lot of time and effort into making our beautiful new apartment a place we can call home. And we're building and tweaking systems that will make us happier, healthier, and stronger in the years to come.

2016 was a year of upheaval in many ways. It's helped me to see that now more than ever is the time for focus, process, and building a solid foundation for the future. In the past I've often given in to chaos, using speed and brute force to move forward. I'm excited now to step back, take a breath, gather some momentum, and work smarter towards my goals (not just harder).

Here's to a great 2017!

Leap of Faith

Six years ago, I finished the first draft of Mechalarum - 88,000 words during National Novel Writing Month. My response to this feat was "It sucks. But maybe someday I'll make it better :p." I didn't really believe that. I'd long ago tossed aside the notion of having my name printed in a book as a silly fantasy.

Since then, I've run a successful Kickstarter; thrown hundreds of hours into rewrites; contracted an editor, printer, and cover artist; and self-published on Amazon. As an unexpected and lovely byproduct of this venture, I met and fell for Phillip. And now we're on a fantastic new adventure in Seattle.

Sometimes we get so caught up in doubting that we'll ever amount to anything that we forget our grand achievements that once looked like absolute impossibilities.

What we are today has little bearing on what we might be tomorrow. Everything can change in an instant. Step into old perspectives to bolster confidence during times of doubt. And always be open to the next leap of faith.