So, I just realized that, in 20 days, give or take a few hours, 2015 will be over. Roughly three hundred and sixty five days have passed, and many of you have posted at least fifty two updates and a few have seen anywhere from dozens to even thousands of views. I would bet that the vast majority of you have, on average, have increased your readership and improved your quality and quantity. If you have some stories or lessons from this year, please feel free to share.
I'll go first. I first posted NIU on February 18th, 2015. It's probably much more shocking to me than to any of you, but that wasn't even a year ago. I had just dropped out of my Junior year of college a few months before, and was looking for something to do with my life that didn't involve just blindly going back to school. Little did I know what was to come.
The time between that first post and now was kind of a rollercoaster. A few nights I'd go to bed sometime past eleven, worrying about all sorts of things. Was my writing good enough? Was I as a person coming across badly? Why are my views not as good this week? Would I be able to make enough money to satisfy my parents. Less often were the nights I'd go to bed happy with my work and my situation, but most nights I'd crawl into my bed. Because, y'know, I go to bed at eleven at night now.
During this time, I learned a lot. Like, I should have waited until I had written ten chapters to start posting. I also should have not expected to become some kind of sensation, and I'm kind of worried that my worrying about it in public got annoying.
That being said, I'm also surprised with how good my stats have been. People who actually know about these things have consistently told me not to worry, I'm actually doing pretty well, and it's easy to believe them. I mean, over 26,000 views spread out over 4,900 visitors for my Wordpress site is, even to my over-ambitious eyes, kind of a miracle. This is not counting all the various comments I've received on my Wordpress site, Reddit, and Spacebattles, all of which have been positive so far.
That's somewhat gratifying, due to the amount I have written. I just did a quick wordcount. Including regular story posts, post mortems and side-stories, I have written 216,178 words. That's 2 post mortems (because I finished two books,) four side stories and 43 regular updates. To put that in other words, remember how I said I should have started with a backlog of ten chapters? Well I fucking have a backlog of ten chapters now!
Now, I'll admit, quality-wise, it is quite a mixed bag. For instance, I have to admit, I feel that book 2 can be way too slow at times. That being said, there are things I've done that I really like. For instance, the final tracks of both books have, in my opinion, been some of the best stuff I've ever written. I've also rapidly improved my writing in every way, from a spelling and grammar perspective (thanks, sis!) to a stylistic perspective (thanks, Billy and Tartra!)
And last but not least, you guys. You guys have been amazing. You have taken time out of your busy lives to encourage and critique me. I know I have mentioned BillyHiggins and Tartra previously, but again, you guys are awesome. Your reviews have really helped me a lot. King and Commoner, you've been one of the biggest sources of traffic for NIU. Seriously, thank you. Wildbow, not only were you the guy who proved that this was possible, you also agreed to do an interview with me which was incredibly, unbelievably cool of you. And also to Chris Poirier. Not only did you grant me an interview as well, but you've also managed to build this whole entire site. Everyone author who will see this, not just me, owes you a lot.
Anyway, that's my New Year's reflection/Thanksgiving thanks. If you are reading this, tell us how your year went. I really don't want to be the only one doing this.