Taking stock of 2009

After working hard at my chosen career for the past six years I’ve reached the point where I have a surplus of time and money, so have to use both to achieve all the things I can while both at home and while traveling.

And so, after making a list of all I’ve accomplished in 2009, and seeing how long it is, I’m very proud of my productivity for the year.

In the Win Column.

Work and travel:
- Got a lot better at performing. I got some really good compliments from people who saw me perform my show on a cruise ship back in 2007, and now again in 2009, and they said I’d really improved. This makes me feel good.
- Earned more money than I’ve been able to spend.
- Visited about 45 countries and territories, including many countries I’ve never visited before 2009. For example, I’d never visited Africa before 2009, and now I’ve been to Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt.
- Had really good summer trip to France, Spain, and Portugal.
- Did some good shows at street show festivals in Germany and Austria.
- Made an awesome video of me juggling in all the above countries, a video I’ll be releasing in January. I’ll release this very soon.
- Attended TAMLondon.
- And of course, while it isn’t a “productivity” or “accomplishment” thing, I’ve met loads of people along the way and made many new friends.

Juggling:
- Playing lots of combat.
- Did no performing or hosting at the Berlin convention. This was the plan, and I managed it for the first time in five years.
- Organized the British Young Juggler of the Year competition for the fifth year in the row.
- Hosted a good show at the EJC.
- After wanting to go for the past three years, I finally got to the Sundance Turkish Juggling Festival. I performed my full show, exactly the same as I normally do it for non-jugglers, and it went down really well. This means a lot to me, as I never want to make juggling acts for anyone else but me, and if I enjoy it, I think both juggling and non-juggling audiences should like it too.
- Created four new juggling routines and acts. Most importantly, these acts use juggling equipment I already carry in my case. This means I’m progressively taking less equipment for more minutes of material.
- Released loads of videos on YouTube, including magnet juggling, air bounces, squeeze catches, act videos, and more. Also I released a few 10 minute workshop videos about juggling.

Writing:
- Started yet another blog, and kept posting without many breaks.
- Released my first novel “Minding Tomorrow” online for free, as an eBook. I got loads of great feedback about it.
- Completed two other novels, though I’m still editing both of them. I should release them both over the next few months.
- Started writing a third novel, and while I didn’t complete it, I did learn a lot.
- Wrote a load of articles and workshops for the Kaskade magazine.
- After a year of reading, thinking, and studying, wrote my first Higher Biblical Criticism essay.

Reading and podcasting:
- Read about 40 novels.
- Reviewed all but one or two of those novels for the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast.
- Joined other podcasts as a guest, including the Friday Night Party Line, The Sofanauts, and SFFaudio. This is always a lot of fun, and I’d like to do more in the future.

Photography:
- This has become much more of a hobby for me in the past year, and I’m becoming more and more impressed with the images I’m capturing.
- I kept a photo blog at the EJC and the Turkish Juggling Festival, both of which I really enjoyed.
- I’ve had quite a few images picked for the sosauce.com photo of the day.

Music:
- Wrote six or seven songs.
- Recorded four music tracks.
- Bought a new guitar.
- Performed my very first solo singing and guitar playing set.

In the Fail Column.

- Back injury put me out of action for two months at the start of the year.
- Getting dumped by my girlfriend in August.
- Only having gay men hit on me since I’ve been single.
- Spending too much time away from Berlin, which means I don’t see as much of my friends as I’d like, and the projects I work on at home suffer.
- Not improving much with my German speaking skills, even though I can carry off simple conversations.
- Not progressing very far with my Room Project, a new juggling theater show that has been in the works for two years now.
- Not winning the Fight Night 3 Club Combat Tournaments at either the Berlin or European juggling conventions. I lost to Jochen in the final both times.
- After winning the 3 club combat in the official EJC games in 2008, I only came third in 2009. Come to think of it, I might have won the BJC games combat, but can’t remember.
- New Years Resolution: learning to touch type. I didn’t do this. I find the hand position on my laptop too difficult, as I end up resting them on the mouse pad. And also there’s this really hot spot under the heel of my left hand…

Also, left over from mine and Pola’s “10 Personal Juggling Goals for 2009″ list that we did in the end of 2008 Juggling Podcast, here are some that we failed:
- 9 clubs, 18 passes each.
- Motion tracking routines. I worked on this a bit, but the return on investment probably isn’t very high.
- Host shows together.
- Perform on cruise ships together.
- More Juggling Podcasts.

Meanwhile, in 2009, I’ve been enjoying:
- The computer game Natural Selection.
- The TV show Dexter.
- Watching Tennis and American Football.
- The following podcasts (in alphabetical order): Astronomy Cast, The Bible Geek, The Bugle, Collings and Herrin, Fighting Talk, Filmspotting, gadget, GeekNights, The Good Atheist, In Our Time, Little Atoms, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo, More or Less, Norman Centuries, Point of Inquiry, Richard Herring’s As It Occurs to me, Science Fiction and Politics, SFFaudio, The Skeptic’s Guide, Skeptoid, The Sofanauts, This Week in Google, This Week in Photography, and Writing Excuses. I listened to other podcasts, but not every episode, and not regularly.

So that’s my showing for 2009! Tomorrow I’ll post my goals and plans for 2010 and the years ahead.


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