In 2018 I discovered the value of writing monthly project reports. Even if no one reads these posts, I like keeping a monthly log of what I’ve been working on and the lessons I have learned. This month I want take an honest look at my time on projects and how well those projects align with my goals.
My 2019 Goals
My One Word: Together
77% / Double the number of members of The Religion Teacher (December 2017 to present)
3,162/5,000 copies sold of Christ in the Classroom
82,416/465,00 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal)
0/4 new published works of fiction on Amazon.com
3/7 paid speaking gigs
5/100 books read
7% / Read the entire Bible from beginning to end.
3/100 30-minute workouts
Incomplete / Play Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” on the harmonica.
How I Spent My Time in January 2019
- 34:11 – Speaking (Omaha, Syracuse, Montana)
- 17:53 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 13:43 – The Religion Teacher January 2019 Membership Launch
- 10:52 – The Magic Moneybag Book
- 5:36 – Weekly Review
- 5:29 – Morning Preview
- 6:29 – Daily Review
- 3:15 – Beatitales Fables
- 3:15 – Monthly and Annual Project Reports
- 2:52 – The Religion Teacher Blog
Total Time: 127:39
January 2019 Highlights & Lesson Learned
I Quit My Job
This was my first official month as a full-time author. I’m now 100% self-employed. I can’t thank Ave Maria Press enough for the formation and training I received over the last nine years. It was bittersweet cleaning out my office. I’m happy to continue to have them as the publisher of my books and to be able to help out with a few side projects when they need me.
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Today was my last day as an employee at @avemariapress. I will still be helping with a couple of projects and they remain the amazing publisher of the books I've written. I can't express how grateful I am to have spent the last nine years working here. When I arrived in January 2010, I considered it my dream job. I never thought I would need to leave. I learned so much about publishing, editing, marketing, and leadership here. The people I got to work with here … well I don’t know how to say thank you enough. I'm looking forward to what is ahead as a full-time author, speaker, husband, and dad.
A Lot of Speaking
I spent a lot of time preparing for and delivering keynote talks in Nebraska, Montana, and (via computer) New York. I enjoyed every one of the events and getting to know the people in these communities. I love speaking, but it is hard to be away from home and hard to get a rhythm of work finished. It takes a lot of time to prepare talks not to mention the travel time and presentation time. I love it and look forward to some more this year.
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It’s hard to be away from my girls this long, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak in such beautiful places. Montana you are incredible. These pictures could not capture the beauty of the mountains in the distance. Thanks to the Diocese of Helena for having me out to speak to their catechists and especially the parishes in Choteau and Anaconda. There are some amazing, faith-filled people here that were an inspiration for me. #choteau #anaconda #montana #montanagram #speakersofinstagram #travelling
I think people assume that speaking is my primary source of income. It is a big help, but I’m able to be a full-time author because of the work I put into TheReligionTeacher.com and the resources for premium members. Re-launching in January and September of every year is a big part of the reason my site has reached as many people as it has in the last few years.
My Fiction Journey Continues
I spent time on two fiction projects last month: The Magic Moneybag and a collection of fables I titled Beatitales.
I expect the latter to be the first work of published fiction I have available on Amazon this year. I liked writing The Magic Moneybag story, which is about faith and money and how to be a good steward of God’s gifts. When I finished it, though, I knew I needed to set it aside for awhile before coming back with fresh eyes and a heavy pen. It has a lot of good personal finance principles that kids need to know, but I don’t know how well it sets “stewardship” aside from just smart finances.
I’m hoping that next month I will be able to get into a better rhythm and finish a few projects that I’ve been wanting to get to for awhile.