The reason is that as I did my end of the year evaluations, I realized that some of my biggest pain points are the projects that I’ve begun but not completed. I’m pretty good at finishing things but the sheer volume of projects, ideas, books, stories, and websites that I take on has left me with at least a years worth of major projects that I want to finish. Completing these projects in 2013 will not only benefit my life (and hopefully yours too) but it will also be fun. After all, I never take on a project without it promising to be fun.
The problem is that sometimes I get sidetracked or outside pressures come into play and projects begin to go in different directions that I intended them to. The pressures can be from family, friends, business interests, politics, or life in general – but this resistance comes up and takes something that was created to be fun and makes it not so fun. The easy thing to do at that point is to head in another direction and abandon the project – I’ve done that. But, some ideas are just too good to let die and too fun to let a bunch of sticks in the mud spoil them.
Take Vagobond.com for instance. Over the past few years, I turned it from a fun way to share my travel and life into a full time job! And what happened over 2011-2012 was that I began to listen to all kinds of experts on business, travel blogging, web design, SEO, marketers, social media, and monetization experts. Lots of their ideas were good, but the truth is that a lot of what they were pushing wasn’t at all what I wanted to do. Vagobond stopped being fun! I was no longer able to say the things I wanted to say, have the fun I wanted to have, or go in the direction I wanted to go. I knew that I had to do something drastic. I even thought about shutting the site down, quitting, or selling it!
Instead, I dis-associated myself from Vagobond. I put together my own separate social media accounts, began to develop this website, and made Vagobond into something that was not me. I think that decision may have saved me and Vagobond. What’s funny, is that by doing that, I not only freed myself to be me but I also freed Vagobond to go in the most fun direction possible because the truth is, it’s no fun to feel trapped. I’m really excited about the direction Vagobond is heading in this year. It’s heading back towards fun! Check out What to Expect from Vagobond in 2013!
That’s not my only project for 2013 though it is a full time job. Here are the other things I’m working on in 2013.
Editing, Rewriting, and Publishing
I’ve already begun the process of cleaning up my past work. The truth is, a lot of it is messy and needs to be rewritten, re-editied, and re-published. The process begins with my first novel Slackville Road which I am rewriting as a serialized newsletter called The Madman.
In The Madman. I am rewriting that novel and sending it to you in weekly installments. When Slackville Road is done, I’m going to rewrite The Princess and the Vagabond – my first Fairy Tale. In 2013 I will also re-edit Liminal Travel, Not My Morocco, Rough Living Tips and Tales of a Vagabond, and The Hu Factor. All of them need work and this is the year I’m going to give it to them. I’m also going to develop new cover art where needed and re-publish them as both print and ebook versions. I know – it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. One of my favorite illustrators has even agreed to have a look at my fairy tale…I’m hoping he likes it enough to illustrate it!
Writing and Publishing
It’s not just a year for working on old projects. It’s a year for finishing projects. Ten years later, I’ve finished writing Smooth Living: Beyond the Life of a Vagabond. It’s the sequel to Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond and will blow your mind when the editing is finished and I publish it. I will also publish the novel I wrote last year The Keys of the Riad. This novel is currently in the hands of a couple of publishers and I have high hopes for it. I am also going to submit Douchebags, Fags, and Hags for the Amazon Breakout Novel of the Year in the coming weeks.
Come November and NANOWRIMO 2013 – I’m going to finally write the sequel to The Hu Factor. In addition to that I am working on book one of a non-fiction series called The Invented God. All of these projects are going to be completed by the end of 2013. If I have some extra writing time, I’ll work on finishing Blue Eyed Bastards.
Last year, I created an association for online travel journalists. As usually happens, some nasty people made nasty comments and their nasty followers repeated all the nasty comments. The whole thing became bogged down as I gave up control to the naysayers who were doing nothing to drive it forward. This year, this organization gets a big kick in the ass and I’m going to do it my way. If people don’t like it, they can hike it.
Travel and Family
One of the biggest challenges of 2012 was being forced to live in Morocco while we wait for my wife’s visa to the USA to be approved. Each time we moved forward, we had to overcome another paperwork challenge – not easy when you consider that we were dealing with two of the most nightmarish paperwork bureaucracies in the world. Last week, I sent what I hope is the last batch of paperwork to the USA. Next (I hope) is the Visa Interview and then the big move to the USA with my wife and daughter. Huge challenges lie ahead, but I look forward to them! I’m not making any travel plans for 2013 beyond getting my family to the USA. It’s my most important project!
I haven’t quite figured out how to reign in this beast yet. Over 2012 I acquired more than 50 travel sites. That was all fine and good as long as there were link sales, advertising sales, and sponsorships but with those drying up amidst the Google Panda and Penguin updates…I’m not sure exactly what to do with my two score and ten sites…I’ll figure something out though.
This is my favorite project of 2013. I’ve intentionally kept it simple and easy. I’ve written a manifesto of the Micro Victory, I am learning how to build an android app, and I am keeping track of my own micro victories and sharing them with the hashtag #microvictory – I invite you to do the same! Join the Micro Victory Army and lets kick the world’s ass.
Gardening and Permaculture
It’s been far too long since I had a garden. This year, I will find a place for my family to live and I will plant and work in a garden. 2013 is also the year I will finally take a Permaculture Design Course and become certified. This is a long standing goal that it’s time I meet.
More Fun in 2013
I’m going to have more fun in 2013 than ever before. Everything above may sound like work to you, but to me, it sounds fun. In addition, I’m going to have fun with my wife, my daughter, my friends, and my life. More hiking, more biking, more art, more fun. More sun, more water, more laughter, more friends. I hope you will let me count you among my friends. By the way – fun for me often involves pissing on the accepted or expected. If you can’t take that – you probably can’t take me.
The Project I Won’t Complete in 2013
The project I won’t compete in 2013 is my life. My life is my work and my biggest project by far. I’m going to make leaps and bounds on it this year, but it won’t be completed for another sixty years at least by my reckoning.