New Year, New Goals

Everyone posts New Year’s resolutions. I don’t so much do resolutions as goals. And I would like to try and make them realistic goals, so I don’t frustrate myself. The uber-healthy diet and sculpted beach-body? Not gonna happen. I’m going to try something more amenable to my couch-potato self.

I have talked about being in the midst of a great burnout. No creativity at all. 2018 was horrific, writing-wise. I totaled 89,672 words—and 73,218 of them were blog or other non-fiction writing words. Compare that to 2017, when my total words were 405,116, with 326,542 of those being fiction, and you can see how badly I fell off the workhorse.

So what am I aiming for this year? I have no specific word count in mind, but I do have two goals I want to reach:

  1. Finish revising Veritas.
  2. Re-release The Witch of Zal with new cover and illustrations.

Both are doable. I intend to do them.

Over this holiday, I have been trying to sleep more, to get out of the spiral of exhaustion and anxiety that I’ve been in for months. I think it is helping. I have an interest in getting back to revising Veritas, which I have been avoiding for quite some time. There’s a new angle I want to lay into the existing framework that intrigues me–and scares me, as I am not certain I can pull it off. But I want to try, which is  huge step forward.

So that’s my master plan for 2019. Not Earth-shattering, for sure. But within my reach. The burnout took a long time to set in fully, it make take some time to climb my way out of it. But I pledge to be kind to myself, to try and focus on taking better care of myself, and hopefully get back on that writing workhorse again.

What goals have you set for yourself this year?

2012: A Year in Review

I really don’t do the whole New Year’s Resolution thing. I find that “resolutions” tend to be things I wish would happen, but not things I can realistically expect to accomplish. And I think, for me, there’s psychological pressure in the idea that a resolution means I have to accomplish it or I’m a failure.

I don’t like failure.

So I decided last year that I would have goals, not resolutions. Measurable goals, so I could at least see how much headway I made if I didn’t actually reach them. So I sat down and looked at my time, my schedule, and my enthusiasm levels. Because as we all know, if you’re not internally motivated to do something, it’s not going to happen—willpower is not enough to carry something for the long term.

I focused on my writing goals for the year. I had 3 goals:

1) To post on my blog every Thursday without fail.
2) To have at least one novel ready to query agents by the fall.
3) To write at least one short story and send it to several markets.

So how’d I do?

1) I haven’t missed a week blogging. That makes 2 years in a row I’ve maintained the pace!
2) I sent my middle grade fantasy Ozcillation out to agents this fall. Hurricane Sandy kind of got in the way, but I’ll resume the queries after the holidays.
3) I have written 3 short stories and sent one of them to multiple markets. The other two should be ready after the holidays.

So you can see that I’ve accomplished what I set out to do this year—even did a little better in some places. Yay, me! It’s nice to feel like you’ve made positive progress in your life.

Next year’s goals? I haven’t thought them all through, but they currently look like this:

1) Keep up the pace with the blog, and start to use the blog to more effectively connect with my potential readers.
2) Continue to query Ozcillation.
3) Send out at least one more novel by mid-year.
4) Continue to write short stories and send them out.

Those are the writing ones. I really need to add some personal ones like exercise more, eat better, and get more sleep. But I’m wary of them because I rarely have the stamina to maintain those for long periods. Usually after a couple of weeks, I’m back to my old habits. Which doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make them goals. It just means I need to think more about how to turn them into achievable goals, instead of fantasies.

So here’s to reaching our goals in 2013! What goals do you have for the coming year?

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