|January 6, 2014||Posted by Jess under Adventures in Real Life|
What I do are goals. They’re not concrete items on a To Do list, they’re just…areas of my life I want to focus on, projects I want to tackle, things in my world I’d like to improve. Places to be mindful. So, okay, they’re basically resolutions, but for me there’s an important semantic difference. A resolution is “I will write three days a week all year” and if I don’t, I’m a failure. A goal is “I will make progressing in writing important to me this year,” and however that target winds up intersecting with real life is okay.
So, goals for 2014:
1. I already mentioned writing as a goal, so let’s go with that. I haven’t written much about my fiction writing on this blog, but like the vast majority of Ye Olde Internets, I’m writing a novel. I wrote the first draft in the spring and summer of 2012 and then my seasonal affective disorder pretty much sent my writing into hibernation until March of 2013. But! Then I wrote a second draft, sent it out for critique, and squeezed in a revision of that just under the wire of 2013 (literally, I finished Draft 3 on December 31st). So far I haven’t let the onset of fall and now winter stop me from working. I also started a writing group, which has proven immensely helpful (and fun!).
This isn’t the first novel I’ve written, but it is the first novel I’ve successfully revised. I’ve had “get a novel ready to query” among my New Year’s Resolutions/goals since I was but a wee thing, but now that I know more about the industry and my own writing, it actually seems doable. “Get a novel ready to query” is too close to a resolution for my personal comfort, because who knows how life will intervene and how many more revisions I’ll need, but I’d like to continue to apply the same discipline I’ve shown towards writing and researching the industry in 2014 that I had in 2013. Next steps: send this draft out for critique again, make necessary logic/worldbuilding/character motivation changes, polish the prose until it shines, and start putting all the information I’ve been amassing about agents into a tidy little spreadsheet.
2. I’d also like to keep up momentum here. I really enjoy blogging and missed it a lot this fall during Wristgate 2013. I try to be organized about my blogging and keep myself to a schedule, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Starting the new year with a clean slate schedule-wise and a positive attitude should help.
3. Of course, if I’m writing and blogging that much, I need to be really careful about my wrists. The Saga of All the Doctors I Continue to See is super boring and annoying, but basically I’m going to try to be really conscious of sitting properly, taking a lot of breaks, stretching frequently, and not overtaxing myself. No more 6,000 word recaps in bed!
4. Speaking of my physical well-being – I took up running this year. I’ve never had much endurance and never thought I could stick to something like running, where there’s nothing to focus on but the road/treadmill ahead of you, but I surprised myself by keeping up with it, and actually ran my first 5K this fall. (It was the Cupcake Run, where you eat a cupcake every mile you finish. I’m not exactly Ms. Health and Wellness over here.) I really want to keep up my running in 2014, and really focus on improving my speed and distance, because I kind of feel like I’m plateauing right now. And I’d like to run another race! Maybe even one without cupcakes.
5. Last January I decided to finally put some decorating effort into my apartment (where I’ve lived since the previous March). With the help of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure I cleaned, purged, and organized much of my apartment, hung my artwork,2 and painted my old IKEA desk green. I’d like to continue making my apartment pretty and functional and above all O R G A N I Z E D, because man oh man do I love it when things are tidy. First project for 2014: sort through 10 years’ worth of half-finished knitting projects and, you know, finish them.
Anyway, those are my goals for 2014. What are yours?