2014 – the half-a -year

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on my year for 2014 – and that’s a good thing.  It’s been cleansing and I feel like I have a much clearer picture of what I need to do to make the pieces of the puzzle come together in 2015.

And yet, as I sit to write this, I flip from window to window, refreshing Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook to see what might be new.  I’m avoiding it and I’m not sure why.

For this year, I’m going to take a look at what went well and what did not go well.  To set the stage – my three focus words (thanks Chris Brogan) were: Growth, Packaging (as in putting a finished shine on what I produce, overall), and Visibility.

Overall, I think I did pretty well along those lines – especially considering the year was really half of what it could have been.

What went well
TEDxRochester 2014
Storychick was a lot of places in Rochester this fall:

  • TEDxRochester – Speaker #1 for the day and set the tone for everything to come!  I made a lot of great connections and showed that the little mouse did not fear a huge audience.  So excited to see where this leads.  Once I have the video, you’ll see it!  Plus, I did a ton of Superhero Backstories (one still pending) that nicely teased our speaker talks while letting them talk about their inspiration in their own voice.
  • Rochester Mini Maker Faire – A huge crowd came to see and experience all sorts of making at the Convention Center.  I exhibited my papercrafts and again made some great connections talking about bringing the concepts and stories to other audiences.
  • First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival 2014 – Another great show that got the audience excited and energized about stories in the ROC.  More connections made and such great post-show conversation, I wish I could have splintered into clones to talk more with everyone!

Storychick.wordpress.com redesigned – I put a lot of thought into how to bring the elements of my work more to the forefront on the site.  There are still a few tweaks that I want to make, but I love the way it came out – it looks a lot more professional and real than just a blog with too many categories.  I got a lot of great feedback on it, too.

ROC networking – I had some great advice from Rob Young on narrowing my focus for now to the ROC – until I get established.  This is sort of what I was doing already, because I’m here and it’s convenient and something I care about, but the new focus really kicked me into gear making the Rochester connections I need.  I put myself out there and met a lot of great new people.

New non-profit work – I started new relationships in two new volunteer spaces who needed what Storychick can offer.  Loop Ministries is a soup kitchen/ food pantry that wanted to gather and share the stories of those it serves – bringing light to the dark corners of need, showcasing the humanity of their participants, and celebrating the work being done.  ROCspot is leading a grassroots movement to bring manufacturing, jobs, education, power savings, and community spirit to ROC through the solar industry.  I’ll be telling the tale and leading the marketing and messaging efforts for the group.

Finally, I started writing – Page for page, I’d like to have done more, but I got started and that’s big.  I have several book ideas and shorter things rumbling in my head that I started bringing to life.  I also started capturing the moments of wonder that strike me – again – there should be more of these – that’s part of next year’s plan.

So, if all of that went well – what didn’t?
Well, I called it half-a-year –  I had serious health problems that led to me spending most of the first half of this year in bed.  I couldn’t go.  I hurt and the only even minor relief was flat on my back.  All told, 6 months is not necessarily a long amount of time to deal with something before it goes away completely.  I am lucky there – I just wonder what else could have happened if I had been fixed all year.

Blogging frequency – I fell off.  After the site redesign, I moved the news that was what frequently made up my blog posts to the newsletter and struggled sometimes to find something to post.  And some obvious posts didn’t happen for the same reason I was avoiding this one.

“More of an art project” – I’m not making money at Storychick yet – I’ll be honest.  It’s evolving and growing.  Now I just have to master that business model.

New projects didn’t get attention – In the midst of everything else, I had to cancel a new class because I didn’t get the minimum number of registrants.  I’m not swayed and will be trying that again in January.

Personal stuff – In addition to health issues, there were some personal stresses and disappointments in 2014 that I won’t get into here.  I’m hoping the clearer mindset for 2015 helps with these, as well.  I will fight so that they don’t keep me from my work.

All in all, several great victories and some struggles I just need to get under control and beyond.  But a good year – one that did see Growth, Packaging, and Visibility.  I’m quite excited for 2015!  Watch for that post later this week.

Thanks also to Chris Guillebeau for the #AnnualReview framework.


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