Hello y’all. It’s been a while.
The first month of 2017 came and went like a hurricane. You saw it coming on the radar and you prepared by hunkering down in your home after boarding your windows and buying extra milk and bread and yet the storm still raged. Yikes.
I spent my last week of December making a list of 2017 goals (not resolutions) and filling in my newly purchased blank bullet journal with naive excitement. This was going to be the year! I was going to get *everything* done! I was going to be the star student of my own life!
If there’s one thing I’m really good at is setting loads and loads of unrealistic goals for myself. 😅
A month into the year and I’ve grasped a better handle on reality and I’m ready to re-evaluate my goals and set some better ones.
- Write a short story every month. This was something I tried to do in 2016 and failed miserably. I wrote one “complete” short story, and two incomplete, messy, first draft type short stories. Did I manage to write a short story in January? Nope. This may be an unrealistic goal but it’s also something I need to really commit to so I didn’t switch it up.
- Finish my WIP novel by June. Friends. I have been writing this story since 2013. 2013!!! It needs to be done. Last year I buckled down and wrote a 40 chapter outline, minus the hot mess of an ending because like I know what I want to happen but also do I want that to happen? Idk. That’s why it’s called a work in progress. I only need to write 4 chapters a month to finish by June. That’s one chapter a week. I can do that. I need to do that. This needs to be in words in front of me even if it’s terrible. It just needs to be done.
- Find 3 websites to write articles for. Look at that nice concrete number 3. Just 3. Just 3 websites that will take some of my work and get my name out there. I can do that.
- Send creative writing out for publication in April and October. Last year I spent an entire month obsessing over lit mags and making a spreadsheet of one’s I’d like to submit to *eventually* *someday*. Well guess what that magical *someday* will be soon! In two months to be exact. Am I ready? No. Do I need to be ready? Yes. I have two pieces I’d love to send out so I just need to choose one of them to really polish up for April.
- Participate in (and win!) NaNoWriMo. This will be my third attempt in three years. The first two years I crashed and burned, probably because I wasn’t as committed as I needed to be. Also probably because I wasn’t honest with myself about how much free time I had to do that! Who gets a second job in October and decides to write a novel in a month?? I guess that would be me.
- Read 4 books a month. Do you want to know how many books I read in January? A disgrace solid 1. Just one. I started a literal brick of a book that’s around 500 pages and have another 200 left so that’s something. I’m standing by my 4 books a month however because my TBR pile keeps growing and if I don’t read more I’m literally going to drown in it.
- Read more diverse books. How many white men do I have sitting on my bookshelf? I haven’t counted but it’s probably a lot. This year I’m making an effort to read books written by women, POC, LGBT authors, etc. I’m also making an effort to reach out of my comfort zone (aka realistic fiction) and read more fantasy/science fiction, essays, historical accounts, poetry, etc. If you have any recommendations hit me up please.
What are your writing and reading goals? Do you have a habit of setting unrealistic expectations?