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!
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.
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.
2015 in Review
And just for fun, here are some cool stats about what I read!
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.
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.
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.
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.