Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Review and Resolutions

First things first, happy new year to everyone. I hope 2012 is a happy and prosperous one. Thanks to everyone who stopped by in 2011 and for the comments and chat.

Review


On the home front, 2011 was a good one, with the exception of my Nan's death.

On the work front, 2011 was a real stinker. I took over a second head of department role and inherited a deputy director role and spent most of the year in crisis management mode trying to fire fight issues and raise the funds for everyone's salary. I imagine that 2012 will be much the same. I can't say I'm looking forward to the work year ahead; one job is bad enough, three roles has me run ragged.

On the fiction writing front, I wrote two novels and a few short stories. I'm halfway through drafting a novella. I now have four completed novels in the bottom drawer, one of which I hope might see the light of day in 2012 if things fall in to place. On the academic writing front, I managed to write a handful of articles and book chapters, some blog posts, and made some headway on the dictionary I'm writing. I was an editor for nine issues of two academic journals and shepherded two book series. Two of my books were published, The Map Reader (Blackwell Wiley) and Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life (MIT Press).

On the reading front, I managed to read 103 books during the year and a whole bunch of short stories. A pretty good year for reading, though I faired a lot better with fiction than non-fiction.

On the blogging front, I wrote 311 posts on this blog, and another 50+ on Ireland After NAMA.

Resolutions

On the home front: try and lose a bit of weight and get a little fitter. Nothing drastic, but it would be nice to fit into 2010's clothes again.

On the work front: Don't take on any more roles or responsibilities and try to get rid of some of the ones I have. Cut back on commitments - I gave 23 talks in 2011, plus dozens of media interviews; interesting to do, but they took up a lot of time. Keep the two institutes ticking over and source a decent chunk of money.

On the writing front: Finish off the novella, then concentrate on short stories. This will be the year of short story writing and I aim to do at least one a month, along with a weekly drabble. With respect to academic writing, finish off the dictionary entries by the end of summer deadline and get to work on some decent articles and a new monograph. Try to stay on top of the editing work. 2012 is the year for getting my academic writing back on track.

On the reading front: Last year my resolution was to cut back on reading to concentrate on writing. In the end I read more books in 2011 than 2010. This year I'm just to see how it unfolds. I might well read more non-fiction if I manage to make a start on a new monograph. We'll see. This is probably the year I invest in an e-reader, simply because there are things I want to read that are being released in e-format only (specifically short story collections). I'm going to have a think about what brand to buy. Suggestions welcome.

On the blogging front, I aim to just carry on as normal, and see how I get on.

I hope that you'll succeed with whatever resolutions you've set for yourself.

3 comments:

Bernadette said...

on the eReader issue I'd love to recommend the sony eReader - as a device I think it's terrific and far superior to the several kindles we have lying around the office - however it's a pain to buy stuff for, at least here in Oz (might be different for you) and I have never seen a book cheaper in ePub than in the Amazon store for kindle but ePub books are frequently more expensive by quite a bit. There are a few titles that I've bought that were not available through Amazon but there are far more for which the reverse is true (only available via Amazon). This feels like it is especially true for the short story anthologies (I just bought the Off the Record collection done for charity and it's only selling through Amazon as far as I know).

I do love my iPad as a second eReader and that is actually the device upon which most of my short story collections are ending up on - I tend not to read the anthologies strait through but I dip in and out when I have short blocks of time available. It's not a device that I particularly enjoy long reading stints on, especially at night because it's a bright screen and not the thing your eyes should be focusing on as you try to slip into sleep mode.

Margot Kinberg said...

Happy New Year, Rob, to you and your famil. I hope you're able to pull off that oh-so-delicate work/writing/blogging/reading balance. It's a tough one, innit?

Rob Kitchin said...

Bernadette, thanks. I'm torn by what reader to get. As you say, I think the titles I want are more likely to be available for Kindle and for cheaper. The basic Kindle machine is also a lot less expensive than the Sony. I still intend to read most books in paper format.