Well…this year’s writing plans went askew rather quickly I’m afraid. I originally had two goals for 2019, and they were to read more books and focus on writing short stories with the hope of getting five accepted for publication by the end of the year. I can happily say I accomplished one of these two goals.
I read more this year than the past five years combined (I think). This was in part because I read the entirety of The Wheel of Time, which accounted for nearly half of the books I read this year and approximately 75% of the “pages” read in total. The other part is that I decided to try audiobooks for the first time. I now listen to books on my commute and while doing yard-work. I completed an additional ten books by using the audiobook format.
I, unfortunately, did not get much writing done this year. I started off strong and wrote a few short stories, but then my writing tapered off. I was no longer writing on certain nights of the week, which I had done to create weekly posts for this blog in 2018. I think this was a big part of it. It just goes to show how discipline is more important than motivation. Another reason was likely because I was reading so much (not really and excuse though). I would sit down with a book instead of sitting down to write. This is also a discipline thing. I intend to write every day this next year, even just a little bit, to restore that discipline and ensure progress toward my writing goals. The last reason my writing halted involved something I learned about myself. Apparently, when I get stuck on a story, I tend to halt writing altogether. This is a terrible thing to do and I will need to overcome this issue. However, I now know it is a problem and can recognize when I am falling into this trap. I already have ways to prevent this from hindering my progress.
Aside from accomplishing only one of my 2018 goals, I did manage to maintain a fairly consistent presence on this blog. I averaged about one post a week even though nearly all the posts were book recommendations or part of my “reactions” to The Wheel of Time.
My goals for the upcoming year (and new decade) are to:
- Write every day (even if it is just one sentence)
- Read even more
- Use my local library more (I haven’t used my libraries much since I was a kid)
I don’t want to place specific writing goals on myself because I have several in mind and my writing can often take me in directions I had not previously intended. Such as a short story turning into a longer work or vice-versa. I do hope to finish the first draft of my first novel before I am 30, which means I will need to write the majority of it this next year as I am turning 29 in a few months. Writing every day should help me complete a draft. Should I get ambitious, I could write a few first drafts. I have plenty of stories that are nearly fully planned-out so it’s not impossible.
Another goal I hope to achieve is to begin a PhD program. I am currently working on the application materials for a specific program. Should I be accepted, I will begin the program in August. This will of course put more strains on my time, but I know I am capable of accomplishing all of my goals. I just need to be persistent.
My last, somewhat-writing-related goal is more a change in my interaction with the community. It seems like a lot of negative things are put out into the world these days. I’m not terribly active on social media, but I hope I can become more of a positive force and focus on lifting others as they pursue their dreams. I know how little things can make big differences and I know that lifting others can have a positive impact on the one doing the lifting. It may be a bit selfish, but I want to surround myself with more positivity and I want to reciprocate that positivity. The world is a better place when we support each other.
With that, I would like to thank you for reading my blog, and I hope you aspire to your own creative endeavors this next year. Feel free to give me updates on your projects as I’d love to support you. And, as always…