New Year’s Goals!
Because honestly, why not? I’m one of many people who likes to time starting afresh on goals and ideas with a new turnover — a week, a month, a year. And this is definitely something that’s been on my mind for the whole month. The end of 2017 feels disjointed in a lot of ways: the world is still in terrible shape and the people in charge remain greedy and obstinate, but people are pushing back. There has been some positive change even in the wider world. My own mood has bounced back, even if my energy is still trying to recover. There’s still a lot I want to do, and things that I want to do to achieve them. (And there are elections in 2018 in the US, so hopefully we’ll see some change. Hopefully 2018 will be better.)
So that being said…
1. I hope to continue writing one short 1000-word story a week. I will definitely allow myself some time off, especially if life circumstances get in the way, but overall I think it’d be nice if I could come to the end of 2018 with 52 individual short pieces. I don’t expect them to be fantastic, but I would like them to be entertaining. I hope to learn from them, and expand my range. I want to get better at being able to write shortform as well as long form! And honestly, I want the freedom to dabble.
1a. Relatedly, I’d like to be better about actually posting those short stories on this blog. I fell off the wagon with that in 2017 in a hard way. My guess is because the Hawaii trip happened right when I started out and trying to juggle between the two on my Chromebook was a pain. But this year! This year, I want to do better about that.
2. Submit at least three novel(la)-length pieces. While it sounds ambitious, I do in fact have one piece pretty much ready to send, and another that I am in the process of editing and rewriting. I have yet another that is finished, though I haven’t done my readthrough edit pass. And that’s not counting any open calls that come along to catch my attention. I know I’m capable of steady productivity, and though I lost a lot of that in 2017, I want to get back on that horse.
3. Get back into some self-pub stuff. I’ve got a long list of things I’d want to write that aren’t exactly a great fit for my usual market. And honestly, I do enjoy just writing, and I think it’d be a lot of fun to have some more consistent bigger releases available. One a month is probably too ambitious for me when I’m out of practice, but maybe one every two months? Right now, though, I think my goal will be three self-pub stories, possibly also of novella length. That’s plenty.
4. The faintest of pipe dreams is starting some kind of ongoing serial. Right now, though, this is pretty much just a puff of smoke in the wind. Maybe 2018 will be the best year for it!
5. In order to make all this happen, I have to go back to the writing schedule I initially had, which was to write for about 30-45 minutes after my dayjob is over. If I just take my Chromebook to the couch, versus working at my desktop computer (where I do most of my casual internet surfing), I think this should work out just fine. Especially because of some thoughts in the money section.
1. Open an etsy shop! I have a name picked out, and I’ve commissioned a very talented artist friend to help me with the header. I’ve been working steadily on making things, and at least among my social media group, the response remains pretty positive. I don’t know how successful this will be, but it won’t hurt me to try. I can save a little extra money from the dayjob to fund the start, and my ambitions remain fairly gentle. Mostly what I make are bracelets and hair pins, with the occasional pendant for a necklace; my theme is half split between pride colors and fandom colors. (Hogwarts Houses are always quite popular, it seems.)
2. Actually use up some of what I’ve got! Like a lot of crafters, when it comes to beads, I have some (thankfully very minor) hoarding tendencies. Mostly, I need to make myself use the colors that I bought and haven’t actually pushed myself to try, because sometimes those come together in very interesting combinations. I will buy new findings and chains as I need them, and I will replenish beads that I am running out of, or if a specific project calls for something — but overall, I want to buy far less beads this year than I did last year.
(Though to be fair, my favorite beading store closed its physical location this year, and the clearance was 50% off…)
1. Stick to my revised budget. I revamped it earlier this month to be a little more flexible, but honestly as it stands, I should be sticking to it. It gives me a fairly generous allowance out of my dayjob, plus the rent. I know I can stick to it, so I just need to be more diligent. I’ve even built in a way to splurge every couple of months, so there’s really no excuse for me wandering off the course.
2. Get my mortgage down to 30%. At this moment, going into 2018, I have it down to about 37%! Based on math from previous years, 30% should be doable. 25% is the big dream, but for now, I’ll continue to pay down extra and apply gift money to that total. The sooner I can get this done and off my plate, the sooner I’ll have more freedom to both play and save!
3. Which means I want to save more in my investment accounts, because I have laughable dreams of early parttime retirement. At least as it stands, I’m doing pretty well to be on track for a “traditional” retirement from the dayjob, but more and more I think I’d like to be able to work at home with my writing and my crafts rather than office positions. But I also like having money and being able to pay my bills, so we’ll have to see how this year goes.
1. I want to be a better friend to people. Both to the friends I already have — a lot of whom had far worse years than I did — and to new people I meet along the way. I’m in a good position in a lot of ways, and I want to be able to be better support to the people around me, who’ve made my life better. My friends deserve it! People deserve it! So hopefully I can manage it, to the extent that they deserve.
2. Be better about my sleeping schedule. It’s been a bit over six months since I switched to an 8-4:30 schedule (after 10 years of a 9-5:30 schedule) and I still don’t quite feel like I’ve adjusted. I’ve heard that you need less sleep as you get older, but I haven’t quite hit that stage yet. So if I can be in bed with my phone down and off by even 11:45 (versus the midnight-ish I’ve been doing), I think that will help me. Maybe 11:30! I’m an old lady now.
here’s to a good 2018 for all of us. I hope that you all out there have a safe and happy new year.