Aaaaaaand at last, I feel like 2017 is finally starting. Kicked off the first few days with Bug getting sick, and then I got one hell of a cold (probably from him!) that pretty much laid me out. The weekend was unpleasant in all, though there were some good sledding and train-track play highlights, and as I crossed into the New Year, there was definitely a feeling of: Here comes the New Year, same as the Old Year.
Last year, I made some aggressive goals that I honestly thought I had a shot at completing, but time availability, life, and changing priorities pretty much annihilated all of them. Some things just didn’t work like I had hoped they would. Some things were far more messy than I’d realized and would have required a lot more concentrated time to fix–time which I just didn’t end up having available. And some things, as I looked seriously at where I want to be and what I hope a future writing career might look like, just didn’t fit into the plan anymore. I also *hated* the split year (six month goals for JAN-JUNE, and JULY-DEC). I’m too naturally distractible, and instead of working with that tendency, the dual goal groups just flustered and overwhelmed me. So this year, forget it!
The one thing that really stuck, though, was reading more. I NAILED it. While I didn’t hit the 55 I was originally hoping for, I did get 52, which is a book a week. I’m thrilled by that. And I’ve really benefitted from reading more and more broadly. Sometime soon (maybe next week), I’ll do my Best Reads of 2016, because boy, there were a number of them: books that have seriously changed the way I understand what fiction can do, books that have changed the way I see the world, and books that were just too fun not to hold a special place in my heart.
In 2017, I’m looking to double down on reading more, and more widely, with a focus on POC/non-US authors, middle grade and YA fantasy, classics, non-fiction/biographies, and a little space opera. Undoubtedly, I’ll read books that don’t fit those categories, but that’s my bingo list for the year. My one goal beyond reading a little more than I managed last year (I’m aiming for 60 books this year) is to keep a regular reading log to actively think about what I’m reading, because I’ve found that incredibly helpful in the past.
Additionally, I’m bringing the focus back from short fiction to novel-length work. I’ve loved working in short fiction, but as I look forward to where I want to be and what I truly long to write, it’s books. For the last ten years, I feel like I’ve been holding off on longer work, dabbling in it but not committing to it (and when I have committed to it, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of it, but still switched back at the end to focusing solely on short fiction). And it’s going to require focus. So this year, I’m writing a new novel. It’s all ready to go, come February 1st, after I wrap up one last long-ish short story for submission. And I’m going to try to do NANO come November, too.
And that’s it for 2017. Streamlined, one-task at a time focused, writing the kinds of things I’ve longed to write but have been too afraid I’d fail.
(And eventually, I’ll update the Goals page with 2017’s… XD)