On the one hand, I hate New Year posts and all that (which is part of why it’s about a week after the new year began when I’m posting this). There were so many Facebook updates at the crest of the year, friends posting how crazy, successful, disappointing their year was, and certainly it’s all cliche. At the same time, though, I understand it’s nice to reflect on the past year, ponder, and look forward to the next. And that’s why I’m succumbing to the blog popularity of the New Year post, if a little late–because it makes sense and it feels good.
Accomplishments + Discoveries of 2013:
Traveled alone to Chicago + got to meet my friend Emma in person. ◊ Read 46 books (still an accomplishment, even if less than my goal). ◊ Graduated college + got my first off-campus job. ◊ Moved to a new town and state. ◊ Vastly improved my knitting skills. ◊ Started a new prose poetry & mini story zine. ◊ Began as a young adult reviewer for the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club. ◊ Started a new blog (this one!). ◊ Met some inspirational zinesters. ◊ Went to my first punk show. ◊ Wrote multiple guest posts.
At times, last year felt like a total mess, and I wanted to just quit life, stay in bed all day, and escape in books, which I honestly want to do on any normal day to begin with. There was a lot of crying, especially after moving, and there was (and still is) a lot of resentment over my college experience. Overall, though, I’d say the year was successful, if only by survivingl. I made it through the year, and I can make it through the next.
Goals for 2014:
- Finish a novel draft (by the end of March). / I chose March because I think this would be a nice birthday present to myself, and it would also give me three solid months to work. Not to mention deadlines are usually helpful with this kind of thing, though I have a tendency to see them come and go without feeling as much remorse as most people would probably lecture me I should if I want to succeed at something. At the same time, though, I’ll be happy to finish a draft no matter when it occurs in the year, so I’m willing to be flexible.
- Read 75 books. / I disappointed myself by reading fewer books than I’d hoped in 2013, so I’m setting my sights high for 2014. I know I’m perfectly capable of reading (at least) seventy-five books; it’s just a matter of keeping my motivation high and my screen time low. Plans to accomplish this goal include reading all the unread books I have in my bookcases, continuing to write young adult reviews for IGGPPC, and making the most of the local library, even if its book selection is somewhat small.
- Publish some creative writing. / I really want to start submitting work to places for publication. However, this is going to require working on a lot more writing than I already do. (I kind of have an awful routine right now, which is to say, no routine at all.) Recently, a college friend had a (beyond amazing) piece published, and I’m both proud of her and motivated to submit my own work more. Of course, that’s going to require writing more, which I’m thinking of as its own little step in this process.
That’s it. I only want three goals. They each break down into smaller goals and steps, but these are my major aims for the year ahead. I don’t want to push myself too hard or stretch myself too thin. I don’t want to make goals that I don’t truly care about. Reading and writing are what make my heart beat and my blood pump, and that’s what I’m focusing on this year.