Happy New Year! To those of you reading this in the year 2015, on January 1st, in a world that hasn’t devolved into some sort of post-apocalyptic Hellscape, I bid you good tidings. To those of you who are in such situations: best of luck, and embrace your new robotic/insectoid/alien overlords in hopes that good behavior will be rewarded.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day mean a number of different things to a number of different people, of course. That’s a fairly obvious statement, I should think. There’s the easy way of viewing New Year’s Day as the start of a new calendar year. Another day that will, in all probability, be followed by three-hundred-sixty-four similar days. It’s a series of weeks in which the previous year sneaks into dates on virtually every document until, damn it, those guilty of such forgetfulness finally move forward and accept not being time-travelers. Some people view this as a time to enact change, small or large in their lives via resolutions while others view it as a time to continue with more of the same. Neither of those options is particularly bad on its own. It’s all a matter of how the resolutions or staying the same (which, in itself, is a resolution of sorts) are carried out. I’ve established I prefer to set goals that feel more achievable and moving forward from there. Such behaviors, I feel, were instrumental in the completion of my first novel, achieving my first paid publication (upcoming at a presently-unknown date), and surviving one hundred consecutive days of blogging, among other victories. However, I did allow myself a fair few more naps than I care to admit, more cheat-days with my writing, and other grievous creative and personal sins. However, I aim to make gradual, and hopefully very productive, changes this year. My goals for the year, as of now, will follow. Before that, I’d like to encourage the sharing of goals in the comments as well as the sharing of encouragement.
More Writing, More Often.
This is a continuation of sorts from last year. I’d gotten back to writing in short bursts here and there towards the final months of 2014. I had even started a notebook of ideas for the next novel I’m working on, and I may have written a few pages of it (that I will not reveal, though, because secrets). Building on this: more making actual use of my notebooks, as having a ton of Moleskine pocket-sized notebooks isn’t doing me any good if I leave all of them completely blank. My ultimate goal is to continue finding joys in writing. I’ve been told in the past I will grow tired of writing, and that I could even become jaded, but so far I’ve continued to be cheerful and enthusiastic. It’s not about making money or finding fame anymore so much as continuing to create; anything additional just constitutes bonus points. I have some projects planned out that will be seeing attention as the year goes on, but there’s more to talk about there.
Reading More Books (and this time I mean it).
2014 was meant to be a year involving much reading, but the reading fell by the wayside when I really got into writing and it never really returned to prominence. I’m ignoring things I read on the internet for this goal. 2015 needs to provide a far greater role for the books I have accumulated over however long. I’ve started with Proof: The Science of Booze, and its prose style is quite enjoyable so far. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’d recommend it just yet, but I strongly suspect such a recommendation is in order down the road. So many books and, with the start of a new year, so much time to read them. Challenge accepted, naturally.
Posts, Posts, and More Posts.
I’m not talking along the lines of One Hundred Days of Blogging again, as that was an exhausting and difficult challenge that I’m not sure I can survive again. That said, I may very well revisit One Hundred Days of Blogging later in the year (against, of course, my better judgment). The goal is to create more substantial, higher-quality posts on here and tie them in more effectively with my writing (and focus more on writing and creativity-related posts), but this will still likely meander about as I see fit because I intend to continue having fun here. Not everything will be serious or involved, of course. I can’t very well compromise my voice for the sake of making more posts.
Those Damn Vidya Games.
Video games are notorious devourers of time. I’ve not exactly hidden the joy I take in playing World of Warcraft, but I’ve also made it clear that I find frustration in how much of my time and focus it seems to consume. The same goes for console and handheld games, but that doesn’t exactly stop me from buying them, asking for them as gifts, and receiving them as gifts I’d forgotten asking for (the last one being a particularly excellent Christmas present and surprise). Try as I might, I can’t cut video games out of my life completely. They’re just too much fun, damn it. Alternatively, I know I shouldn’t dedicate nearly so much time to them. 2015 is as good a year as any to find a happy middle-ground between no video games and too much time playing them, even if it means the occasional cancellation of my WoW subscription.
Embrace My Critics.
I say this with a very particular focus in mind, but I’ll first dance around that in my typical fashion. Having a book out that is getting reviews has me anxious of the inevitable unhappy, low-star response it may receive. I joke about having a stash of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for the impending, certain-to-happen one-star, but there is a very real fear there that motivated such jokes. Far worse, however, is the criticism I sling at myself. It’s a bit difficult to admit, but most of my self-critiquing is less constructive than it is destructive (a statement quite a few people have been making to me for longer than I care to admit). Given this new year has started, I think I should start finding better ways of handling my own self-criticism whether that means by channeling it into bettering myself or realizing that some of my self-critiques aren’t really that so much as it is thinly-veiled self-loathing. I also need to work harder at accepting critiques as exactly that and not worrying there are personal agendas in play.
There are so many new things I want to experience that I don’t even know where to start. I’d eventually like to get a tattoo, for instance. No idea of what or where on my body I’d get it, but I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for a while now. I’m just being particular about the details. The short of this one is that I’ve only just turned twenty-seven a bit over a month ago and there are loads of things for me to see and do, many of which could be accomplished in 2015. So long as I keep moving and challenge myself, I imagine the sky is still the proverbial limit (unless I go on some exploratory space expedition, in which case I guess I’ll have ruined that old adage).
In closing, there is plenty to be said and done in this new year, and I hope all of you have many exciting plans and fantastic adventures ahead as well. Instead of settling for stagnation, find something to change and make it happen. It may very well lead to some surprises. Once again: happy new year.