My 4th quarter update

photo-210I’m not sure that I actually created a blog post about goals for 2014. I can’t seem to find one. I know I had a few in mind so, as we enter the 4th quarter of the year, it’s time to check back in with them.

1. Finish the Book-Formerly-Known-As-Mosaic. On track for this one, as long as we nail down the title soon! The bulk of this 75,000-word manuscript is finished and much of what is going on now is polishing.

2. Put my novel out in the world. I’m cutting this one down to the wire, but I’m editing this 100,000-word beast now, and I’m in the process of hiring the contractors who will help me make it look its best.

3. Grow my blog readership. It is growing, though slower than I’d like. I welcome suggestions for expanding readership, other than calling every post “The one shocking, crazy discovery that will change everything you know about the internet.”

4. Travel goals: I wanted to go see the Netherlands during tulip time, and we did. I wanted to spend some extended time at the beach, so we went for 2 weeks, but frankly, I’m not sure that’s a goal I’d like to repeat until the kids are older. I have another major trip coming up in mid-October that I’ll blog about later, and there may be one in November. This has been a surprisingly good year for vacations, considering.

5. Hit my goal weight. I did touch there, briefly, this spring, but then the pregnancy moved me in the other direction. C’est la vie! I’ve been happy, though, with how well my body has taken this pregnancy in stride. I’m just over 24 weeks and have been doing some lovely trail runs.

6. Better clothes. Looking more put-together has been a long-term goal. In happy news, Stitch Fix is now doing maternity wear. They sent me some awesome maternity pants, which I wore with a black lace top and a statement necklace from different shipments to a dinner last night (statement necklace detail at top). Most of the other stuff from the shipment didn’t work out as well, but hey.

How are you doing on your 2014 goals or new year’s resolutions?

Photo: Headshot courtesy the 2-almost-3-year old.

21 thoughts on “My 4th quarter update

  1. “The one shocking, crazy discovery that will change everything you know about the internet.” This made me laugh 😉

    Ref growing readership, I am in no way an expert. But what I believe is that slow growth tends to be quality growth. It may take a while for long-term loyal readers to find you, but when they do they are worth having.

    I’ll subscribe today! Jo

    1. @Jo – yay! Thank you for subscribing and reading. It has been mostly organic growth, and when I think back, it’s a lot higher than it was even 2.5 years ago. I just sometimes have fantasies of achieving world domination yesterday 🙂

    2. I agree with Jo. My blog has never gone viral or anything like that, but it has steadily grown over time. Little by little, here and there.

      It seems like most worthwhile things take time, don’t they? Learning a new skill, developing a relationship, parenting your kids, etc. It’s tough to accept that in a culture of instant gratification, I think.

      1. @The Frugal Girl – true. I’ve not set this blog up as a way to make money. It’s completely just my home on the internet where I share my thoughts, and then if people want, they can buy my books or read my articles other places. I also float ideas here and find out what people think. That is helpful in and of itself, and getting that feedback is extremely motivational.

  2. I purposefully didn’t make any new year’s resolutions for this year (other than to be better about putting things away rather than leaving them strewn about – clutter drives me nuts) because I knew it was going to be a huge year of transition for our family in ways I couldn’t control. But now, coming toward the end of the year, I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. DH has a great new job. We’re living near family and have awesome neighbors. I feel like my job situation, while not perfect, is good and is going to change for the better. I might make some resolutions for next year when I feel like I have more control over life, but, on the other hand, this year it’s been kind of fun to just wing it and see where life takes us.

    1. @Chelsea – I like annual goals, but I do agree that they need to be within one’s sphere of control. From that perspective, something like “be active for 30 minutes a day” is mostly within one’s control, whereas the organization where your husband lands a job isn’t as much. Instead of “grow my blog readership” perhaps my goal should have been to blog 4-5 times weekly, answer comments, link to other blogs and reach out to other bloggers with content they might find useful. That I can definitely do, and doing those things regularly does in fact lead to readership growth (if I can’t control the rate of increase).

    1. @gwinne- I have thought about using it as a real headshot places. It was certainly cheaper than the last round I had taken!

  3. I borrowed a movie from the library couple days ago-The Fault In Our Stars and the main characters went to Amsterdam and visit Anne Frank’s house.It seems like a lovely place.I’m glad you posted about the places you’ve been,somehow you give us virtually tour of what it’s like that’s why I love reading your blog!

    1. @Gladys – thanks, I’m glad you like the travel posts! I may (fingers crossed!) have two more coming this year! We didn’t go to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. I think it’s the kind of things my kids would do better with later — I just don’t think they’d understand at this point (not that any of us can quite comprehend the incomprehensibility of it).

  4. I hate shopping but need to spruce things up. Is there a frustrating ramp-up with Stitch Fix to get the right sizes and styles going? I’m dubious because of the hassle of returning things that don’t fit and measuring myself to begin with.

    Regarding blog readership, I’m curious about the why behind your goal. Does it help when you pitch ideas to publishers to say I have “x” readers?

    1. Yes. There is. And the super-quick turn-around they ask of you to return things (and the $20 you are out if you don’t keep anything), make just buying tons of things from other retailers on line (many have free shipping & returns) more worthwhile for me. I have thoughts about stitch fix.

      1. @Ana – some of my stuff has worked and some has not, but I’ve gotten enough pieces that I would not have personally chosen in a store (which I hate going to in any case) that I’m happy with it. There is a ramp up, for sure.

    2. @Griffin – re blog readership, yes, it helps for publishing projects to have a “platform.” That is, people who specifically want to hear from you. But it’s also just nice to get good discussions going!

  5. I can’t wait to put “lose baby weight” as a resolution for 2015. This is my last pregnancy, which I am trying to soak in with zen-like mindfulness and appreciation; but man it will be nice to be back in regular clothes again. And I won’t have the “why bother losing the weight since we just want to get pregnant again” thing to sabotage myself with:)

    1. @Katherine – I don’t have a whole lot of zen-like mindfulness and appreciation. I stay off pregnancy forums so I don’t come across as that woman. To me, the major “special and wonderful” thing about pregnancy is that I will get a cool kid at the end of it. But everything leading up to that? Meh.

  6. Laura — Have you ever tried Keaton Row? It’s more directed than Stitch Fix — you tell ’em what you want and a stylist gives you a look book. It’s free, and a lot of the vendors (Nordstrom, Asos) have maternity stuff. (Congrats, by the way!)

  7. In my experience, the best way to increase readership is to comment on other people’s blogs (preferably ones with high traffic). I laughed out loud at your beach vacation comment

  8. I should go check on Stitch Fix again. Maybe if they’ve added maternity clothes, they’ve also added more clothes that will fit me. I gave up on them because most of what they sent was just a little too tight. I gathered they were sending me the largest clothes they had. I hover between a 12 and a 14, and a lot of their “large” size clothes were too tight, particularly around the chest.
    I’ve got nothing on building a blog readership beyond OMDG’s point about leaving comments. If you figure out any secrets, let me know!

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