By the numbers, during November I wrote 45,278 words, at an average of 1,509 words per day—up quite a bit from October. I wrote every day, which put my writing streak at 411 days in a row as of Nov. 30. That also put my 2018 word count at 491,836.
Yup. That’s right. Home stretch to 500,000 words for the year!
I’m actually just going to spoiler that for you. I crossed the 500K threshold on Dec. 6, and as of Dec. 10 am at 506,155.
Note that I said threshold, not finish line.
Finish line implies stopping. That you reached a final destination.
There is no final destination in writing, except when you decide to stop. And I’m not stopping. There are so many stories to tell. So many wonders to share, joy to kindle, love to reflect. As I plan and look ahead for 2019 and beyond… wow, there’s so much I’m excited to share with you.
To riff off American Revolution hero Captain John Paul Jones, I have not yet begun to write.
General/team email inboxes aren’t just some vanilla business contact need. There’s a lot more they can be doing for sales, customer service, and business growth.
Full story: How Your Info@ Inbox Is Costing You Leads and Sales
This is one of the most fun craft beer stories I’ve gotten to work on. I love how beer has become something that is bringing new life to downtown Eugene: Urban Rebrewal
Full story: Urban Rebrewal: Eugene Breweries Find a Central Home on Willamette Street
As a native Virginia, I’ve been acquainted with various North/South Carolina barbecue styles. So it was exciting to work on a piece about different BBQ styles from around the country. I’m ready to tuck in to some vinegar ‘Q now… what’s your favorite?
Full story: Get to Know These Regional Barbecue Sauce Styles
Food is one of the most fundamental ways that we connect as people. When we constructively use food to build bonds in the workplace, we can have better teams who perform more effectively to build business. How can you use food to build a better workplace?
Full story: Create a Better Workplace with Food
FAQ are underappreciated heavy lifters of any good website: answering questions, removing uncertainty, and building trust. Here are ways your organization’s FAQ can better help customers—and grow business:
Full story: Build Your Website’s FAQs to Respond Better to Customer Questions
We’ve all been there—the email screwup. But here’s how to avoid that mess altogether.
Full story: 8 Ways to Avoid Email Embarrassment
Getting better at looking ahead
Ah, December. Month of holidays. Last month of the calendar year for many countries. For my family, the beginning of Winter Break—and lots of birthdays.
And for me wearing my snazzy business hat, a time to look ahead.
Planning ahead has not been the easiest thing these last few years. I have this vision of December being primarily a time of reflection and planning, the regular course of business suspended for a few weeks.
That has yet to happen. Surprise, surprise—I’m only running my wee business while also helping school my kiddos. But what is happening is that I am getting better at carving out that time. And at looking ahead.
Right now I’m planning out fiction projects for 2019 and 2020. But not just fiction—and not just the Rucksack Universe. I’m making headway on some other ideas I’ve been wanting to make space for. I’m able to put more energy into my creative work. After seven years, it’s also just flat-out time to raise my game.
Here are things I’m doing:
- Listing out stories and projects I have in progress or have some defined concepts for
- Setting story goals (not schedules at this point, just production goals)
- Examining the overall business: What is my course, and am I going the way I want to go?
- Reviewing my ongoing efforts to do better outreach and build community
It’s a time of reflection. Of rest and preparation for renewal. And I’m embracing that as much as I can in the time I have.
What do you do for planning out the new year? How do you figure out how to prioritize your projects?
Changing expectations, my friend. Dealing with email in a timely manner can be a challenge—but it really is doable. Even to reply to an email in an hour or less.
Full story: How to Reduce Customer Service Email Response Times to One Hour or Less
I’m a fan of snacks, and I bet you are too. However, “snack” doesn’t have to equal junk food. I got some great ideas for snacks to have at ole St. Clair HQ, and I hope this article rings your snack time bell too.
Full story: Great Whole Food Snacks to Stock in Your Office