Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

Review of Goals: 2015

My 2015 Goals:

Many of the items on the checklist will overlap; things that will fulfill my art goals, for example, may also expand my personal career goals, etc. One thing to note is that none of my system items rely on anyone else... none of them include 'get a story published,' just 'submit a story for publication.'

Color codes: good progress, done!, not started (Last updated 12/30/15) (Also, formatting tags do not show in the LJ app, so I'm afraid it's a hot mess if you try to read it from there...)

Writing Goals:

More exciting/immediate writing
More consistent storytelling
Better plots

Overall results: I did improve. I didn't spend as much time here as I would have liked, but I've started to improve my efficiency, and I finished major (for me) projects.


At least 10 stories or serial installments that have really great 'hook.' I can't say I DID this. But I worked at it. If you counted character sheets and articles, I'd have made it.
At least 2 stories that are stand-alone. The Dazzling Finister, published in Once Upon a Time! and (name redacted), a novella, ready to publish in February, several flash fiction pieces.
At least one piece of finished non-fiction. I started something, but never finished.
Read 10 books. (Novellas count.) I haven't kept count, but I'm pretty sure I got here!
Revise the Upheaval novel. I haven't done this, but I have started building the character database, and I re-read the thing. It doesn't suck. In fact, I think it's got really solid bones.

Also: I wasn't afraid to tackle big (for me) projects. I looked seriously into the publishing end of the business. I actually GOT a story published.

Art Goals:

Less static portraiture
Bolder color use
Improved hands

Overall result: Yes, yes I did this. And more.


1 Master's study.
12 pages of hands.
No excuses! Just didn't do it!
6 pieces in color - at least 3 of them 8.5 x 11 or larger. I knocked this out of the PARK. I had tremendous fun with my copic markers, particularly towards the beginning of the year, and I did some new pieces from scratch and went back and colored a lot of older pieces, too.
1 major piece - large, color, complex. King of Swords, which was for a collaborative tarot deck and went to Seattle to show in a gallery!
At least 2 sketches per Sketch Fest. I'm saying I'm good on this, even though I DID miss one. I was MISERABLY ill, and there ought to be a little wiggle room for health on my list.

Also: Did a lot. A bucket and a half of artwork. I did animals, and portraits, and landscapes. I took a class. I drew people that weren't willowy white girls. I challenged myself. I won Inktober. I did a solo (mini) coloring book, and half a second one, and five INCREDIBLY complicated coloring pages in very short time.

Personal Career Goals:

Take my own art and career more seriously.

Overall: Boy, did I!


Submit at least 2 pieces of writing to a publisher. - published in Once Upon a Time. I could count (name redacted) here, too.
Submit at least 2 pieces of artwork to a publisher. Scigentasy, 3/6 (no reply?), published in Once Upon a Time, featured artist in Color On, November.
Complete four new coloring book pages towards a new personal collection. What color is past green? WAY past green?
Update my Etsy store at least once a month. Honestly, I'm not sure I hit this every single month, but I did update it, regularly, which was the goal. And it's starting (slowly!) to make me sales. I love the passive income of digital sales.
Apply for an award or fellowship. I had good intentions, but managed to confuse myself about deadlines. *facepalm*
Finish and release the Sketch Tarot. I've made baby steps, but nothing major.
Take a class or life drawing session. Watercolor painting!
Finish and release the first story segment for Shifting.
Compile something for release as an ebook. (Rails? A collection of shorts?)
At least 6 Portrait Adoption portraits. - 15 at least. +6 color versions of previously b&w pieces. 5 have been adopted.

Also: I got myself featured in the newspaper, which I judged a media failure by the immediate results, but people for MONTHS afterwards were recognizing me at shows and stores, so people were actually reading and remembering it. I got featured in a new coloring e-magazine, with an interview. I sold artwork. Many little originals went to happy homes this year! I did two shows the same weekend in November, which I will never do again, but monetarily, it was an amazing weekend. I grew my Patreon base.

Business Goals:

Expand the reach of my coloring books
Reinvigorate Portrait Adoption
Continue Torn World
Re-start Commission Control
Continue and improve Sketch Fest

Overall: Pretty good.


Make promotional material for the coloring books and get it out to retailers and customers. I'm not famous yet, but I am in five local stores and several other (nationwide) retailers, and I've explored Amazon fulfilled with great success.
Finish search improvements at Portrait Adoption. This was HUGE. I seriously brought the site up to modern standards, and it was a LOT of work.
Make promotional material for Portrait Adoption, get it out to the audience. I fear I made poor advertising choices, judging by the lack of results, but I certainly tried!
Continue writing/releasing stories in the main Torn World storyline. - Oof. Fell down here.
Maintain regular updates at Torn World. - Did GREAT until June.
Do something fun for Sea Monster month. Made a coloring book! It is AWESOME.
Get Commission-Control Beta 2.0 set up and opened for testing. I continue to eye this thoughtfully. It could be SO cool. And there is such a need for it. I just know what an enormous project it's going to be to get it up to speed... it's a bit scary.
Run at least 12 Sketch Fests. Continue to improve the site. haven't worked much on improvements, but have run fests! The funds I'm making are just a hum above operating needs, so we're very slowly accruing the budget for the things I really want to do. (Auctions! Search tools!)

Also: I really streamlined my ordering system. Between packaging, standardizing, and simplifying, my business life is MILES better than its ever been, and because of this, my (VAST) improvement in sales this year doesn't seem to have as much of an impact on my life as previous years sales. I really managed some nice upgrades - at Portrait Adoption in particular.

Personal Goals:

Mental health
Physical health
Household contribution

Overall: Held the line.


Maintain downtime and pamper myself once in a while. I get partial credit for this.
Treat myself to something. My toolchest! OMG!
Contribute financially to personal retirement.
Maintain freelance bookkeeping regularly, not randomly. I did better, but not awesome.
Take a strengthening class (dance counts!) or keep a reliable gym regimen. *hangs head*
Stay mindful of my posture, especially while working. I was a lot better about this!
Cut down on Facebook and time-wasting Internet during worktime. Up until the last week of December, I was awful at this. I have been taking a media break that really points out how easy it is to lose HOURS this way, and plan to do better next year.
Work on getting Guppy into some kind of periodic daycare or preschool for sanity-making and socialization. Summer childcare, winter preschool!
Keep the lists above from becoming overwhelming by cutting as is reasonable. I'm not letting the reds get to me. It's illuminating, but not anxiety-causing.

Some art and story totals:

Sketches for Sketch Fest: 42

Finished in Pencil: 7
Finished in Ink: 72 (!!!)
Finished in Color: 21

Torn World: 7 articles, 10 characters, Following the Melody (story), Finding the Harmony (story), 39 pieces of artwork

River Twine: Tender Skin and Calluses (story), 6 pieces of art, 4 collaborations.

Other stories: Mad as a Hatter, Dazzling Finister

Published: 8 coloring books (2 were reprints with new covers, 4 were mini coloring books, 1 was a solo (mini) and 1 was half me (mini))

Also: Painted 80+ ornaments. Sold about half of them, gifted some more.

Roundups by month: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December

See how I did last year: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1491192.html
Tags: goals, year in review

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