I’m not a great fan of writing goals and objectives – it all seems a bit too organised. I think I surprised Amanda recently when I suggested we create quarterly goals for We Teach Social and ?evaluate each three months – all duly done! ?I prefer to create a bucket list – things I’d like to achieve by the end of the year but it’s not the end of the world if they don’t happen. ?I wrote a bucket list / list of goals at the beginning of 2013. Some were aspirational, some were fun, some were merely hopeful. Looking back, I really only achieved one of the ten but I don’t think I realised how consuming that particular one would be. ?I wanted to write a book, I had 30,000 words of a novel and wanted to get it finished. Perhaps by putting those words in print it would happen. I also wanted to lose weight, get fitter, do more decorating, learn how to patchwork and more complicated crochet and go on a city break. Well, we got away to Cork for 5 days last January and away for 32 hours during the summer so no, the city break abroad didn’t happen either.
What I did learn is that when you write a book in less than six months, there isn’t much time to do anything else especially when you have another business going along too not to mention organising a blog awards. Losing weight and getting fitter might just have been that straw that broke the camel’s back!
I’m delighted to have written the book – it is a very different book to what I had planned. The idea struck me in March or April and I wrote about 10,000 words, albeit mostly formed from blog posts. On 7th June, I attended a talk on crowdfunding and the idea was formed – how about crowdfunding to test the market, see if people really wanted to buy this book and then it wouldn’t be such a financial or time risk. ?How I succeeded with the crowdfunding by assuring people that the book would be a cracker based on just one blog post, I’m really not sure but they believed in me. Then the real work started – to write the book, to edit it, to produce a book I would be proud of.
I’ve been tickled pink with the reaction from others as they tell me they are really enjoying it, many seem surprised and then I think to myself, well, yes, they only had a blog post to go on really. Having sold almost 700 books in 3 weeks, it has been a busy time and it’s lovely to sit and reflect on the year. ?I was delighted to be interviewed by Ryan Tubridy and have him comment on the quality of the book. Given his love of books, that was very high praise indeed. And no, I still haven’t listened to the podcast! I’m also trying to relax about the few typos and assure myself that they can be sorted for the reprint.
It’s been a busy year on the farm too – the accountant tells us we spent ?20,000 more on feed this year. This is partly due to the long winter continuing into April and early May and partly due to the poor quality of the silage made in 2012. Added to the fact that we haven’t sold any of our bulls to the factory yet (price isn’t great so waiting till the new year), we certainly aren’t feeling particularly rich in monetary terms at the moment.
All in all though, it has been a good year – it’s been one we have really enjoyed. The good weather during the summer was a bonus and the children really enjoyed the long hot days of summer.
Bucket List / Goals for 2014
1. We all stay healthy!
2. Finish the decorating I started in 2013 (ie the new bathroom and new bedroom)
3. Something else I’d intended for 2013 – getting fitter.
4. One book down – I’d like to write a second book (giving myself more time for this one). There are lots of decisions to be made in 2014 too – such as looking for an agent or continuing to self publish. ?I can do the social media to promote the book and secure a relative amount of press coverage – it’s the printing and distribution of the books that I’d love to hand over to a publisher. ?I still have to come up with a goal in terms of the number of copies of ‘Would You Marry A Farmer?’ I would like to sell! No idea at the moment.
5. Grow the We Teach Social business – we have lots of plans in place for this and apart from being good fun, it’s going to make for a very interesting year.
6. Have a family holiday – that is longer than four days.
That’s it! No plans to travel to New Zealand or climb a mountain. Makes me feel old to admit this but what makes me happy are things like relaxing and crocheting granny squares, reading a book, watching a film with the kids, going for a walk in wellies, bringing in the cows on a fine summer’s evening, writing and reading blog posts, going to a quiet beach, seeing a calf being born, going for a cycle…. so hopefully there will be plenty of scope to do all of these in 2014. I do need to become more organised with my own paperwork (a necessity if I am going to have various stockists for the book too) and I have promised Amanda I will do an excel course in preparation for the blog awards!! ?It would be great too to see more Irish farmers blogging and tweeting!
Plenty of relaxation for the next week and then it will be all systems go again. Hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas,
All the best, Lorna xx