2016 in Review

2016 in Review

New Year’s Eve is a fitting day to look back evaluate your progress. Have you accomplished what you wanted to do this year?

Creative Goals for 2016:

I overdid it. Everything I’ve read about goal-setting since mid-year says don’t set too many goals. I guess 14 are too ambitious.

Here’s what I did and didn’t achieve:

  1. Continue work on my three major works-in-progress, The Unicornologist, The God of Paradox, and The Night Runner, and begin the submission process with at least one of them. I decided to focus on The Unicornologist. If it ever gets done, it’ll be my first novel to be published. I’ve been working on it on and off for about twenty years, and several times I thought I was I was on the verge of completion, but I just started my second major revision of the year. So, nothing is about to be submitted. However, ­The Unicornologist is a much better story than it was at the beginning of the year, so progress has been made.
  2. Write a poem a day. Take Writing 201: A Poem a Day. WordPress revamped its Blogging U, and Writing 201 wasn’t offered this year. I did not write a poem a day, but I did write a bunch of poems.
  3. Oil_painting_palette wikipediaMake visual art. Finish the online drawing class on Craftsy.com and integrate creating art into my week, maybe even take a class at the local community college. I did not finish the Craftsy course, or go back to college. But I did some zentangle, and I participated in the Index Card a Day challenge.
  4. Practice calligraphy. Fail.
  5. “Win” NaNoWriMo in November. Since I have so many unfinished works, I decided not to start a new one, and sat out National Novel Writing Month this year.
  6. Work humor into my writing. I’ve been reading How to Write Funny by John B. Kachuba, and I’ve tried a couple of humor pieces.
  7. File the papers stacked in my office so I can move in my sewing machine from the laundry room and start quilting again. Honest to goodness, I have spent hours on this goal every month, but my paper keeps multiplying. I still have two boxes of stuff to file. However, I joined the quilting ministry at my church, and so far I’ve made one comfort quilt, and three baby quilts for the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
  8. Practice zentangle. I did, a little.
  9. Write for the devotional markets. Fail.
  10. Write a piece for Huffington Post. Never got around to it.
  11. Color. No, though I did buy a cool Van Gogh coloring book.
  12. Practice guitar. Fail.
  13. Practice recorder. Fail. But I did practice piano for an hour almost every day.
  14. Rewrite and submit some of the unsold pieces in my files to new markets. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but this will be on my list for next year.




I didn’t specify any goals for my blog, though I intended to continue it and improve it. I posted every day in 2016.

These were the top ten posts of 2016 in terms of views:

  1. Ballet Feet
  2. Go Mobile
  3. All Things Unicorn
  4. The Yarn Creations of Jan Furtado
  5. Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum
  6. Collision of Science and Art
  7. In Praise of the Humble Recorder
  8. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee
  9. If I had my Life to Live Over
  10. ArtLifting

Have you read all of them?

The one I’m most proud of is the Art of Quilting Show, because of the sheer number of hours it took to take all the pictures (and then sort through about 200 of them), write the article, and design the post.

The one that surprises me the most didn’t make the list; it’s Arizona Fine Arts Expo, which only earned ten views. I actually reposted it from another blog I contribute to, Doing Life Together, which is not an arts blog, yet it netted me 135 views there. The post I authored that got the most views on Doing Life Together in 2016 was a memoir actually posted in 2015, Easters of my Childhood, which garnered 281 views in 2016, many more than any of my posts on ARHtistic License.

My readership is currently 206 as of this writing, which I know is substantially up from last year, but I don’t know by how much, since I didn’t record my number last year, and WordPress only gives me current follower statistics, not a growth graph. (Are you listening, WordPress?) Are you a subscriber to ARHtistic License? If not, please follow me. You can sign up on the sidebar on the right.

How about you? Did you meet your goals for 2016? Do you have goals for 2017? Have you written about your goals? Comment or share a link below.

Tomorrow I will post my creative goals for 2017 and issue a challenge to all my artistic readers and friends. See you then! And happy New Year!

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

7 responses »

  1. Andrea, I think you are probably the most prolific writer in our group right now, so even though that may not have been on your goals list, you certainly did LOTS of writing. And along with that, I know you also did lots of researching and photographing. Not to mention all the INSPIRING you did, at least for this fellow journeyer, and for that I thank you! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on the goals you did meet. It sounds like you had a productive year. I think I met half of my goals for 2016. I have the same number of goals for 2017, but have decided not to post them on social media or my blog. I think I put too much pressure on myself to get them done. So much that I ended up scrapping a few of them. A couple of the goals from this year will carry over to the next year. Hopefully, I will see them through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You didn’t do bad at all! Most people forget their New Year’s goals with in a week. Mine are always house related – keep it cleaner, organize the closet, paint the walls. Some we did, some we didn’t but will carry over to this year’s list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yeah–house goals. We’re trying to get started on a remodel. We’ve been decluttering for a few years now… We raised five kids in this house, so I know it’s big enough for the two of us, but it seems so full of stuff…


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