So. As promised, time to look at my goals and resolutions for 2016, in order that my failure to meet them can be public. Yay! (I’m kidding… sort of. I always set very unrealistic goals, and life always gets in the way of sticking with the same plans for a whole year, but I do plan to try.)
Observation #1: if I want to have a decent work ethic this year, I probably should have written more than 484 words of this essay before taking a break to blog.
Observation #2: I also shouldn’t have napped this afternoon, but man, it was so necessary.
#goals (for 2016)
I’ve given up on making concrete plans with my writing. Whatever book or series I commit to working on will undoubtedly not be the one I actually write that year, because I don’t feel like it or because I decide something else is more worthwhile or because it isn’t working for me right then. There’s no point saying I’m going to write a certain number of drafts of a particular novel, or plan to finish editing another, because it just makes it harder to actually achieve the goal and then I end up neglecting my actual achievements.
I want to finish something. Whether that’s to finally query The Knight Shift without chickening out and deciding to edit it yet again, or rewriting Butterfly of Night and working towards querying that instead, I want to commit to wrapping up a project instead of staying in my spiral of constant editing and flitting from one book to another.
I also want to make progress with Death and Fairies. I haven’t written anything new for this series in a while, for one very good reason: the series has fundamental conceptual flaws, which I need to fix before any of the worldbuilding or plot can actually hold together. This is proving more difficult than I’d hoped, and it may cause a more major restructuring of the plot than I’d like, but hopefully I can figure out how to sort it without resorting to that. Ideally, I’ll figure this out early in the year and be able to do some actual writing, but I’m forcing myself not to write any more until I’ve fixed these underlying issues.
Of course, I’d like to sell some of my writing. Whether that’s a few more copies of my collections (I sold one book in the last six months, so I’m not overly hopeful) or getting a few pieces into magazines that pay for contributions, I would like to make progress with this whole ‘writing as a career’ thing. This is less within my control than the others, because it requires people other than me to be involved, but my part is to actually submit things, and to work on honing my craft, whether it’s poetry or short stories or novels.
There is no point committing to a specific schedule the way some bloggers do: I’ll never follow it. I’ve tried too many times. However, I’ve got a few goals.
I intend to be more consistent. Not saying I’ll post on a certain day each week because I won’t. But I’d like my posts to be more evenly spaced — I’ve got a tendency towards being very sporadic, and posting a lot before disappearing for ten days. This extends to my book blog, where I do follow a schedule by virtue of scheduling all my posts, but often run out of reviews to post during term time. The plan is to build up a surplus of reviews during less busy periods so that I can post those when I don’t have time to read and review more books.
I want to write for more platforms. I wrote a couple of articles for The Cambridge Student last term, which was fun; I’d like to do more of that, and perhaps to guest post on a few people’s blogs to get a sense of writing for a different audience. You guys are great, but I’m sure you must have heard everything I’ve got to say a dozen times already!
I want to get into book photography to accompany my reviews and blog posts. I greatly admire Cait @ Paper Fury for the way she takes arty photos of the books she reviews, and while I read a lot of stuff on Kindle or scuzzy library books, I’d like to do this some more. I usually just include an image of the cover, but I’d like to test my skills and creativity, as well as get better at photo editing. I made a start today by taking a picture of the first two books I read this year:
It would be good to get fit and do more exercise. To eat a healthier and more varied diet, to sort out my sleep patterns so that I’m no longer quite so nocturnal, and to have more of a social life. But my health isn’t something I can control, and I don’t like making promises (even to myself) that I don’t know I’ll be able to keep. I’ll attempt these things, sure. Will I manage it? Who knows.
I want to be happier. That’s it, really. I’ll do whatever’s within my power to get there, whether that’s different meds or a change in diet or a daylight lamp or counselling or a new hobby or more friends. I want to get to the end of the year feeling like things have improved in terms of my mood.
I want to read at least a hundred books this year. I read 233 last year, some of them over 700 pages, so that shouldn’t be too difficult.
I plan to keep writing a journal, which I’ve been doing since September 2013. I have a row of identical notebooks on my shelf.
I want to review enough books, and consistently enough, that publishers start sending me physical books to review instead of just e-ARCs from NetGalley. I can dream, right? ;)
I’d love to find an agent, but again, not within my power, so I’ll just have to take the steps that I can control and see what happens.
I really would like to have a more normal sleep pattern, if at all possible.
What are your goals, resolutions or plans for 2016? Any of them the same as mine — or any tips on achieving these things? I’d better get back to my essay, because if I fail my second year of university I very much doubt I’ll get very far on my ‘happy’ goal… Knights fighting lions. Lions fighting for knights. Let’s go, Medieval French essay. You don’t own me. I’m gonna win this particular fight.