That Tiny Website — Short Stories, Video Games, and Freelance Editing

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2019 Writing Goals Wrap-Up and 2020 Goals

Oh hi, 2020. How are you? Is bad shit happening in the world by the time this gets posted, even though I’m writing it on the afternoon of January 2nd1Spoiler: Just a few hours later, this happened.? I hope not, but let’s be real…probably.

That said, I’m going to try to be optimistic about 2020, at least the best I can be. That said, I also want to look back on 2019, as it was a pretty good year for me writing-wise, as well as with the writing goals I set for myself in 2019.

If you want to go back and read the original goal post, you can find it here. One thing I’m doing different in this post in comparison to previous posts is that I’ll also be sharing my 2020 goals — or more specifically, goal — as its own section later in the post.

2019 Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Back in my original post, I said how I wanted to average one hit per hour of the day every day. That would work out to 8,760 visitors if I kept up that pace throughout a whole year. Through the first four months of 2019, I was sitting just above that goal, averaging around 25.5 visitors per day. But then my blog saw a massive spike in traffic starting in early May. I finished May with over 1,300 page views in the month. I ended every month for the rest of the year with at least 1,000 page views, including a four month stretch from June through September where every month had at least 1,600 page views.

By the end of the year, I had reached 16,136 page views — nearly double what I set out to hit. While a lot of this was driven primarily by three posts, I had 18 different posts reach 100 views. That might be the most astounding part of the whole thing in my mind, as much of that traffic was driven by video game posts that I never thought would take off. While my traffic saw a bit of regression near the end of the year, it was still exciting to reach this goal so handily.

2019 Goal 2: Finish a Second Draft of the WIP by July (WIP Update Section)

I’m not going to give a ton in this section, as it does tie into my 2020 goal that’ll be at the bottom of this post. With that said, I did get my second draft done well before July, as draft number three actually went to my editor in mid-t0-late July. I’m currently on draft number four of the book. The good news here is that this is the first draft I’ve touched that hasn’t felt like an overwhelming amount of edits. There is the downside that there’s one character that I’m going to nearly completely re-write, though I think I knew that pretty well when submitting the third draft. Things are coming along nicely, though more on that in a moment.

2019 Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

I took on a couple of new freelance projects early in 2019 and had a few others lined up for later in 2019. Unfortunately, those got pushed back for various reasons. In every case, it’s a good reason. I think the books I’ll be working on editing will be better for waiting and spending more time with their authors. That said, I did fall short of my goal here. Those same projects that were originally projected to be late 2019 projects are now Q1/Q2 2020 projects hopefully. So I still get to work with some great writers — just a little later than I had originally planned.

2020 Goal

All that said, that leads me into my 2020 goal, which I actually tweeted out on January 1st.

I realize that goal is kind of, sort of three parts long, but I’m considering it to be one goal. I have a work in progress that I started writing in 2017. In getting my manuscript back from my editor in December, I said something along the following lines to her. I said that I finally felt like the book was improving in terms of edits left, which was great. But more importantly, I finally started to get the feeling that the book was Good. Capital G Good. And I was a bit overwhelmed for a few hours after having that discussion with her.

So I want to finish the book. I want to get it all the way to being good. And I want people — some more than others — to be proud both of me and the work itself. I recognize that the last one is going to be the biggest challenge. That said, I think this book might just be good enough for that.

How did you do on your 2019 goals? What are your 2020 goals? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or other creator, I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Sound off in the comments.


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Q4 2019 Podcast Is Up

Hi everyone.

You’re getting another off-schedule Monday blog post to announce that the Q4 podcast episode is up on my Patreon page. As a reminder for those of you who are regular readers — as well as an FYI to those who may be new to the blog — the podcasts I do each quarter on my Patreon are available to all readers of my blog as well as my Patreon supporters. Patrons do get additional perks, such as bonus blog posts, monthly podcasts, and other perks. If you’re interested in becoming one of my patrons, head over to my Patreon page and support me for as little as $1 per month.

You can find this quarter’s free podcast here. In this quarter’s podcast, I brought back author Evey Jacob for her second appearance. In the podcast, we talked about growth arcs we love in TV shows, writing in video games and TV that surprised us, and discussed our own works in progress. Typically these quarterly podcasts are in a Q&A format. That said, due to scheduling limitations on my end, I failed to get out a Q&A thread in a timely manner for this podcast, hence the format followed here.

If there are questions you’d like to hear answered on next quarter’s podcast — as well as any topics you’d like to hear me discuss with my guest hosts — leave them in the comments of this post. While patrons will get their questions answered first, I do try to make an effort to get to all questions submitted in each podcast, regardless of source.

2019 Charity Drive – Final Totals

Note: This post was updated on December 18, 2019 with a few late addition donations that rolled in, but hadn’t processed by the time this post was written. The original donation listed below was $57.66, but the new total listed below has been changed to reflect these donations.

This past Saturday marked the final day of our 2019 charity drive for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is an endeavor I’ve been doing on my own for four years now, as well as the second straight year that there was a group of us working together to raise money for charity. Donations were down this year, partly because we didn’t have as many people participating and partly because sales of our various wares didn’t go quite as well as last year’s drive did.

In total, we raised $88.22 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I say this with the caveat that these are the donations that I can account for a hard total for. For the first time across ANY of the charity drives ever, there were multiple people that used this site to go directly to the AFSP’s donate page. If you were one of the folks who used this site to get to that page and make a donation, thank you so much. If you let me know (be it on here or via Twitter), I’ll add it to our total.

Donations will be submitted to the AFSP by those participating in the next couple of days. I want to take the time to thank Eve Jacob, Rebecca MacCeile, and Stephanie from Haus of Clover for all their help in getting this charity drive going, especially on short notice. If you’d still like to support them even though the event is over, I would definitely encourage you to do so. If you’re still interested in picking up the patron-exclusive character preview for a character in my coming novel, I’m always accepting new patrons at my Patreon page.

There were also several people who shared the info for the charity drive across their social media platforms. I don’t have a fully comprehensive list of everyone who did share — as even on Twitter, the sharing was fragmented across several threads. That said, I’m going to try to compile one over the course of the day today.

Finally, if you’d like to give to the AFSP directly, awesome! Go do it. Click the link in this sentence to be taken directly to the AFSP’s donation page.

2019 Charity Drive

Happy surprise, second Monday blog post everyone!

For the last three years, I’ve been using my book and other work to raise money for charity. Because this is something I care about a lot, I wanted to make sure to do it again this year. And like last year, there’s a whole group of us that’ll be using our creative work(s) to raise money for charity. We’ve been doing this because not only does this matter to each of us involved, but also because it’s a nice reminder that the impact your work can make spreads far beyond you. Hell, if the bulk of my book sales each year come during this drive, I’m okay with that.

I’ll keep my leadup short, as I want anyone reading this to scroll down and support one of the creators below to help us raise money. That said, here are the pertinent things you need to know.

  • When is it happening: December 8th-14th
  • What charity are you supporting: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • How can I help: There are a few things you can do —
  • How much are you donating: Each creator will be making their own donation. We’ll be totaling as a group and I’ll announce final results at the end of the event.

The Creators

If you want to support this drive and get some cool stuff, take a look at one of the creators below.

Eve Jacob

One half of the duo Jacob Crawford will be donating all proceeds from her first book, The Shadows, during the charity period, as well as all pledges from her Patreon for the month of December.

Haus of Clover

Pin shop Haus of Clover will be donating $2 per purchase of every pin of a new design that’ll be launched on December 8th. The Keep Going design is live now on the Haus of Clover Etsy page. For a close of view of the pin…well, here’s a picture.

Rebecca MacCeile

Author Rebecca MacCeile will be donating $1 per each copy of any of her books sold from her website, RebeccasBookshop. Additionally, each person to download a copy of her newest book, Eleanor’s Library, on Booksprout will generate a $5 donation.

Me! (Tim Baughman)

Like previous years, I’ll be donating all proceeds from my book, An Epilogue to Innocence, during the charity drive. Additionally, all proceeds from my Patreon for the month of December will also be donated. As a bonus, all new and existing patrons who make a paid pledge in December1Note that you won’t be charged until January, but you must either be an existing patron, or be a new/renewal pledge during the charity period to receive the reward. will receive a special reward — a character preview post for a character in my coming book — sometime in January 2020.

Four Nightmare Scenarios for an NFL Playoffs

I have a confession to make that will come as a surprise to far more of you who read this blog than those of you who know me in real life. I love ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine. A lot. Ever since I discovered it1I honestly couldn’t tell you what year I discovered Playoff Machine. It feels like it’s been around as long as I’ve been using the internet., I’ve spent hours on it each year, trying to play out how the playoff picture would shake out after each week of play. While I would spend a good bit of time trying to create scenarios that benefit teams I like or harm teams I dislike, the most fun came from building out the weirdest possible outcomes possible. Whether that be finding a way to sneak in a team that has a 1% chance of making the playoffs2Five Thirty Eight is a great resource for seeing this type of thing when the season is going on. or seeing if I can make all of the teams with first round byes as of week 12 miss the playoffs, I find the entire exercise to be calming.

The best resource I’ve found for giving me this feeling during the NFL offseason is PlayoffPredictors.com. While they do far more than just NFL playoff prediction scenarios, the NFL predictor is an amazing tool for me playing out possible sources of weirdness when the Playoff Machine is down for the year3ESPN typically only has the Playoff Machine running during weeks 13-17 of the NFL season. This year, we got it week 12, which was amazing.. This led me to wonder — what’s the weirdest possible playoff scenarios that COULD happen in a given NFL season?

Allow me to be clear, these scenarios will likely never occur. They require a ton of absurdity to happen and likely will never even be remotely possible. But I want them to be. I’ve used the 2018 NFL schedule for each of these scenarios for sake of convenience more than anything else. I’ve also made an active effort to not have tie games unless I absolutely have to, as that’s just silly.

Scenario 1: Eleven 10-win Teams Miss The Playoffs

Link to the full scenario

We begin with the scenario that inspired this post — how many teams with 10 wins can miss the playoffs in the same season? The most teams that have finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs in the same season is two, which has happened on several occasions. There have also been three 11-5 teams miss the playoffs, (though only one in each season it’s happened) but we’ll talk more about that scenario a bit later on. In this scenario, not only do two teams total miss the playoffs despite winning 10 games, eleven of them do. Granted, in order for this scenario to happen, we have to have a plethora of putrid teams at the bottom of each conference. In fact, the bottom four teams in the AFC and NFC combined for 11 wins in this season, including a winless season from the Panthers.

Scenario 2: Six Teams with Losing Records Make the Playoffs

Link to the full scenario

Similar to the first scenario, we need a lot of extremes for our second scenario to be a reality. There have been four teams in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record, though two of those teams come with a giant asterisk. Both the 1982 Browns and Lions made the playoffs at 4-5 thanks to a strike-shortened season and were promptly routed. The two teams to make the playoffs with losing records since then — the 2010 Seahawks and 2015 Panthers — both won their first playoff game, so seeing a 7 win team win in the playoffs wouldn’t be unprecedented. In this situation, we’d be guaranteed at least two 7-9 teams picking up playoff wins, as both 4 vs. 5 matchups feature losing teams against each other. In a bit of unintentional symmetry, the AFC’s 4 vs. 5 matchup (Browns vs. Raiders) is the same matchup that occurred in the aforementioned 1982 playoffs.

Scenario 3: The Call to Kill Auto Bids for Division Winners

Link to the full scenario

Let’s talk about this scenario in two phases, beginning with the NFC. A scenario like this has happened on a couple of occasions, including the aforementioned 2010 playoffs where the 7-9 Seahawks played the 11-5 Saints in the first round. Even in seasons where there’s an 8-8 division winner, sports talking heads loudly wonder whether or not division winners deserve home field advantage in the first round if they have a worse record — particularly because it (surprisingly) matters.

And then there’s the AFC, where this idea is taken to its most extreme conclusion. For this scenario, I had every team in the AFC North lose every game they played (except intradivisional games) and every team in the AFC South win every game they played (again, except intradivisional games). This creates a situation where a 13-3 Jacksonville team is getting left out of the playoffs in favor of a 3-13 Baltimore team. No team better than 11-5 has ever missed the playoffs.

Unlikely? Incredibly. Hilarious? Yes. In retrospect, I should have done this in such a way to cause the Browns to be the 13-3 team to miss the playoffs, but that’s too much effort.

Scenario 4 – 83% of the Teams In the Playoffs After Week 11 2018 Miss The Playoffs

Okay. So a little background on this. First off, here were the standings following week 11 of the 2018 season.

And now we have our results. Link to the full scenario.

I tried my hardest to get all 12 teams that were in the playoffs as of week 11 to miss the playoffs at the same time. That said, when you have four teams with two or fewer losses after week 11, that’s REALLY hard to do. Especially when one of those team has a tie and there’s a division where you have to knock both a two loss and a three loss team out of the playoffs. In most other seasons I’ve found, this would be possible. In this season, however, we get this beautiful scenario where the only crimes against our rule are New Orleans and Pittsburgh making the playoffs as wildcard teams.


What other scenarios would you like to see me do? Was this even remotely interesting? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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