2017 is over. And, like… phew! I feel like that’s all I can say about it when it’s been a bad year for me but so much worse for so much of the world. So instead, let’s talk about 2018!
As the regular reader of this blog knows, I like goals. I find them helpful both in visualizing my future, and in knowing how to prioritize my time between my (many) projects. I especially like goals that build on top of each other to make sure that larger, more long-term goals are not neglected in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I wrote about the 101 Things in 1001 Days list a while back and how that’s a good way (for me, personally) to think about long-term goals.
I’ve never been a big fan of New Years Resolutions. I find them, generally, to be very guilt-fueled in a way that isn’t healthy or sustainable. However, for the last few years (since getting more serious about trying to build a career as a writer) I’ve used the New Year as an opportunity to collect my thoughts for the coming year. Last year, my life was in a sort of flux and while I did try to pin down some “focus areas” in my bullet journal, I ended up never really referring back to them as they were all either vague or quickly made irrelevant by changed plans. Like 2017, 2018 is in flux when it comes to both my studies, my day job and my freelancing. It’s a good, “go with the flow and adapt to what comes” kind of flux, but it doesn’t make for fertile goal-setting grounds.
With writing, though, things are different… I actually feel in control of my writing life. Little by little, I’m moving forward, hitting new milestones (tiny as they may be) and learning new things all the time. I’m making my writing a top priority in 2018 (it always is, really, but not always consciously) and I want to be mindful of what my goals for the year are. After all, I set writing-related goals for myself every week in my bullet journal, and I want to make sure they all point in an appropriate direction and I don’t spread my energy over too many projects. It’s so easy for me to get distracted with my writing. I love all my writing projects really, so in order to not get too sprawling in my division of time and energy I feel a need for focusing in on some specific goals
But enough meta-talk! Let’s get to my actual writing-goals for 2018:
- I want to get one of my currently finished drafts into a state where I can start looking for an agent to try to sell it to a publisher. A scary step for sure, but exciting too! I have several finished drafts (about seven, I think, from various NaNoWriMos), but after weighing a range of factors I’ve decided to work on the polyamorous romance novel I drafted in NaNoWriMo 2016. I’d like to try to get it finished in the first half of the year, and spend the second half beginning to look for agents, but I honestly don’t know if that’s realistic. We will see…
- I want to publish the third Orryn Novella. I’ve got a solid draft of it, minus a scene or two. Parts of it are really messy and will need a lot of rewriting, but overall I suspect it’ll be a fairly easy job. I’m looking at a pre-Christmas release, maybe November or so (since I will spend the first half of the year on the polyamorous romance). I’m very excited to work the third part of the series!
- I want to participate in National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo), as is my habit. I may end up drafting the fourth Orryn novella for it, but since it’ll likely be just around the time of polishing the third one that may make it harder to focus than drafting something completely unrelated. I also want to do Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and for that I’m likely to set a page, line or hour goal for the first time and work on the Nth rewrite/edit of the polyamorous romance novel. It’ll be interesting to see how the different way of measuring progress will work for me. I will probably do Camp NaNoWriMo in July as well because… well, know myself well enough to know I’ll struggle to resist. However, I don’t know what I’ll work on for that, yet.
- I want to start sending out a newsletter again! Sending monthly letters didn’t work for me, but 3-4 newsletters per year might do. (Psst, by the way, you can sign up for my newsletter here).
- I want to get properly into Patreon! I set up a page last year, but there were too many decisions around how to run the page that I never got around to making. I have now, though! In fact, the first Patreon-exclusive short story is already up on my Patreon for all patrons $1 and up! Yay! Apart from a monthly short story, patrons will also get to offer prompts for me to use for Flash Fiction Friday and other things. I want to add more content later on, too, and I think the ideal thing would be if developing those rewards was something that happened in collaboration with patrons. So yeah, go Patron me now!
- I want to get my streaming and YouTubing up and rolling properly. I’m trying not to have my goals for this be too concrete or too… numerical. This is mainly because I really don’t know how to set reasonable goals for those things yes and I don’t want to risk aiming too high or too low out of inexperience. When it comes to Twitch, my aim is to find a regular schedule that works for me and do some fun writing-stuff on stream, and to play some old favorites (like Pharaoh, which I’m playing at the moment) and fun puzzle games. For YouTube, my goal is to become more adept at recording and editing, and at getting a good but intentionally unspecified number of videos up touching on the topics I plan to have the channel focus on. In terms of follower counts and that sort of thing, I’d obviously like to see them grow but again I have no numerical goals. This whole thing is so new to me! Maybe next year I’ll know enough to have more concrete goals in the area, but for now I’m good with just pressing onward at a casual pace.
And that’s it! Man, looking at all that… it feels like a lot, but at the same time it doesn’t, you know? I’ve had a lovely time over the last two weeks, relaxing, playing a lot of board games and making decisions (the ones above and other not writing-related ones) for the year… I feel rested, like my batteries have been recharged, after having felt quite frazzled at the end of last term. I’m feeling good about what I have the chance of accomplishing this year. And like every year, 2018 starts with a first week. And I’ve got goals for that first week:
- Spending 16 hours writing! Honestly, I wanted to go for 20 because I have basically nothing else going on (no school, marginal amounts of work, only very chill socializing) but since this week is kinda-sorta still vacation time for me I don’t wanna overdo it.
- Doing Thursday Morning Tea Time, with conlanging and flash fiction.
- Posting for Flash Fiction Friday!
- Picking a story to finish for my February Patreon story. I have a few contenders but am not sure which way I’ll lean…
- Working on my polyamorous romance novel! I want to start by making a bit of an overview of what needs work, what scenes are missing etc. Maybe an outline. Really, just generally have a look at it and wrap my head around what all needs doing.
- Making a YouTube video about my Patreon. I’m not sure if it’ll be the official video on my Patreon presentation or not (I may wanna wait until my recording skills are more solid) but I figure I should have something up on YT mentioning it.
- Sending out a newsletter for the first time in forever!
A few weeks ago this list of to-dos would’ve felt like a very busy week but with how chill the rest of my life is right now I am not feeling stressed out at all, just excited to get started on my new writing year. Hope you all have an excellent first week of 2018, my lovelies, whether you’re busy bees or just resting!