Blogging, Random, Reading, Writing

New Year, New Goals: 2016

2015 is dead! Long live 2016!

…unless of course it sucks as much as 2015 did. But let’s try to stay positive, shall we? 😉

A new year is upon us and it’s time to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and prepare for the year to come! This is going to be a little bit like my monthly review posts, with sections for Writing, Reading, and my Personal Life goals. So let’s get started!

Writing

2015 in Review

Goals were: Finish Changing History, Finish one original novel, publish something new every 4 months.

At first glance, these goals don’t seem like much. But they turned out to be far more complicated than I could have imagined. As a result, I did not actually finish a single one of them. This might be depressing, if I hadn’t carefully recorded the things that I actually did do this year. Here is that list.

  • I almost completely rewrote my Changing History trilogy this year. This is the major feat that I’m really congratulating myself for. I finished all three parts except for the last five/six chapters of Second Chances. This means that I reread, rewrote, and reposted 281,557 words this year. That’s a LOT of work! And the sad part is, as part of a reviewer’s journey, I’ve recently found myself rereading Choices again and discovering even more grammatical errors that need correcting! I’m ignoring them for now, but it’s just proof that I will need to go through this story at least one more time before I am truly done. There is still so much left for me to do, but the bulk of the work is finished and that is something to celebrate.
  • I finished the first draft of my Loki/OC fanfic, Clarity. This is also a big accomplishment for me, as I’ve been planning this story for over a year, possibly longer. I’m very pleased with it, I think after some major revision and editing it will be just as good, if not better than Worth Living For. As much as I love the Changing History saga, I feel like I have poured more of my soul into these Marvel fics than I have into any other pieces of writing I’ve done thus far. They are extremely close to my heart and finishing even one more part feels like something worth recognizing.
  • I overcame The Great Disaster of 2015 and managed to finish Part Two of what I hope will be my first published original novel, currently titled Wonderland Reclaimed. Those who know me personally will know how much I struggled with this, how hard it was for me to open that project knowing how much work there was to be done. But I did it. And I’m fairly happy with the progress I have made, enough to feel even a little bit of eagerness to jump into rewriting the missing pieces of Part One in the near future.
  • I started blogging regularly! Granted, it’s not that often, but once a month for six months is far more than I’ve blogged before on a regular basis. I have a long way to go, but I’m determined to at least keep plugging along on what I’ve started.
  • Lastly (and what I feel to be most importantly), I learned more about myself as a writer this year than I think I have in any year previous. I kept records of what I accomplished and didn’t accomplish, I focused my writing efforts into chunks that seemed reasonable, and when I did not reach my goals, rather than falling into depression and giving up, I took a step back, reevaluated, and modified. I feel as if I have a better understanding of what works for me as a person and as a writer, I have a better understanding of how much I can reasonably expect of myself, and I have a better understanding of how much WORK I am actually putting in to these projects. I am able to celebrate my accomplishments, rather than just berating myself for my failures, and that is in itself an accomplishment.

2016 Goals

Overall goals for the year are: Finish Changing History rewrites, Finish first draft of Changing History: Entwives, Write the Worth Living For short that I’ve been planning for ages, Edit and begin posting Clarity, Finish the first draft of all three parts of Wonderland Reclaimed.

Reward Project: If I finish Wonderland Reclaimed, I can write my Avengers: Age of Ultron fic for NaNoWriMo in November.

The following is how I am planning to break up my week and what I plan to accomplish on each day:

  • Catch-up Monday- Spend this day working social media, responding to reviews, and generally playing catch up from the weekend. Writing Group meets on this day, so work on anything related to that.
  • Blogging Tuesday- This does not mean I will be blogging every week (that would be crazypants), but I will do at least one thing blog related on this day every week. Whether that be updating the draft of my Monthly Wrap-Up post, or working on something completely new, well, we’ll just have to see.
  • Whatever Wednesday- This is a day I can do what I want. I can write, I can watch TV, I can read, I can lounge around and do nothing at all, WHATEVER!
  • Writing Thursday- This is my writing day. I dedicate this day to nothing but writing related shenanigans, whether that be new words or editing.
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday- Are usually pretty packed with social interactions, so I’m leaving those open.

After some consideration (and talking with my writing group!) I have decided to do Quarterly Goal updates this year. That means that ever three months, I will reevaluate my goals and re-prioritize, based on what I’ve accomplished thus far. As such, here is the break down of the first three months of my writing life in 2016!

January: First month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months, focusing on revising and editing. My goals are to finish editing and posting Changing History: Second Chances, and to finish the first draft of Entwives.

February: Second month of NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” months. I’ll be setting aside Changing History this month and shifting my focus onto my intense editing of Clarity (Loki fic). I will also add new words to the rewriting of Part One of Wonderland Reclaimed.

March: Prep Month for Camp NaNo #1. Prepare to edit Entwives, write out an outline of what I have so far and make note of any plot holes that need filling. I’ll also continue to add words to Wonderland Part One.

Reading

2015 in Review

ReadingChallenge2015aReadingChallenge2015bReadingChallenge2015c

And just for fun, here are some cool stats about what I read!

2015ReadingStatsPages2015ReadingStatsRatings

My original Reading Challenge this year was to finish 60 books, but as I began to take my writing more seriously it became apparent that something was going to have to be done to make time for that. So I lowered my goal to 50 books rather than 60, and I stand by that decision. 50 books is a great goal, I feel like it pushed me to continue reading, but didn’t overwhelm or depress me. I also had a personal goal to reread the Harry Potter novels this year and I accomplished that! It was so rewarding to return to a series I had enjoyed so much and read them again with fresh eyes.

2016 Goals

ReadingChallenge2016

I’m going to repeat my goal of 50 books for the year. As I said before I felt like it was a perfectly reasonable goal that gave me a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming me and I see no reason to fix something that isn’t broken 😉 The series I would like to try to finish this year is The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

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I started to read these books several years ago, and I devoured the first three, but I stalled on book four. I’ve heard so many good things about the series, and I think I’m ready to try tackling it one more time. If you’d like a list of the other books I’m planning to read this year, here is a link to my To-Read list on Goodreads.

Personal Life

I didn’t really have any goals for my personal life this past year, other than the usual. Get in shape, lose weight, be the best you can be. And really, that’s all I ever want, so that’s what 2016 is going to be about too. I plan to get back into the gym, starting this month. I want to eat in more than I eat out, and try to find some way to keep my (sometimes damn near crippling) anxiety at bay. I don’t know how yet, but I’ll be exploring some options to see what I can squeeze in to a schedule that already feels full to bursting. That’s the best I can do.

On that note, Welcome to 2016! I’ll be seeing you around.

4 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals: 2016”

  1. Congratulations on getting closer to your long term goals, and learning not to beat yourself up so hard when you don’t quite get as far as you had planned. I think that’s something a lot of writers — a lot of PEOPLE — struggle with, so it’s a great accomplishment.

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