January 5, 2020

Hindsight is 20-20

You know I had to make the 20-20 hindsight joke right now, and you can bet I'll do it again at the end of the year.

Anyway, what a crazy year it’s been! I went from a fresh MLIS graduate to head librarian of my own library, and on top of that moved to a new town and bought a house! 

Year in Review

But enough about non-writerly things. How did I finally do on my weekly goals? By the end of 2019, I:

·      Took and /or made 67 pictures for social media. This includes artsy book photos and cute pictures of book quotes. I haven't posted most of them yet, so I have a nice, fat buffer for this year.
·      Researched 40 topics for my Alternate-History/Fantasy Mystery. Topics included the Salem Witch Trials, psychic detectives, Vietnam War nurses, the ravens of the Tower ofLondon, the effects of LSD, the Japanese-British experience in England before and during WWII, and lots and lots of stuff about crime. That should give you some idea of what my book is going to be about.
·      Edited, prepped, or organized 15 pieces of writing and/or notebooks for writing.
·      Outlined 39 scenes, chapters, or worldbuilding elements for my novella-in-verse and the AHFM. I am nowhere near finished.
·      Wrote 42 blogs posts, poems, or (shockingly!) scenes from a short story.

Thus, I did a total of 203 writing-related activities, falling just short of my 208 goal (and far short of my insane 260 activity goal).

Goals for Next Year (and Beyond?)

I really liked the weekly goal format, because it keeps me honest and is just doable enough, but five activities a week (which I had originally wanted to do as of last January) is pushing it, especially with my new job and house, so I'm going to keep it to four a week.

A larger goal, however, is to start writing—like, actually writing—the AHFM. I've been putting off the first draft for various reasons, but it's been seeping more and more into my brain and my heart. Just from outlining and researching, and then sort of setting my mind on autoplay for these past couple of months, I’ve gotten to know my characters better and understand their motivations and feelings. I want to publish it in 2023, and I know from writing Styx that it takes me about three years from drafting to editing to finally finishing a book. This one is likely to be a fatty, if not a multi-book series, so I had better start sooner rather than later. Not too soon, as I still need to hammer out the details, but I’m shooting to actually start typing the thing by fall at the latest.

Thus, my goal this year is to do four writerly activities a week, whether that’s writing, outlining, or research, or organizing and transferring random notes from my phone into my AHFM notebook, or finally publishing Love & Chaos &Other Stories. By 2021, I’ll have 208 more accomplished goals under my belt.

And Introducing...

I want to try something new this year, in terms of blogging. First, as you can tell, I'm going to post on Sundays instead of Wednesdays, as this is easier, given my work schedule.

Secondly, while I will still write blog posts (and recycle some of my material from when I was a writer-in-residence), I also want to once again try my hand at Youtube. I have some... interesting... sketches planned for once I'm properly settled into my new home, but in the meantime, I want to do simple, point-a-camera-at-my-face reviews. Well, more of rants than reviews...

See, the only feelings are strong ones. Generally, I either love a story or despise it; otherwise, it's not worth talking about. People enjoy ragging on media they hate, and I am no different. As writers, I think it's especially worthwhile to analyze why we hate something, as it helps us avoid the same pitfalls in our own work (perverse pleasure in ripping a bad story to shreds aside). Reviews of this nature will be dubbed "Rants". 

On the other hand, it's fun to gush about what I love, while still considering how it achieved this greatness. Thus, I will "Rave" about my favorite books, movies, and games. I plan on doing these "Rant/Rave Reviews" every other week—basically, the weeks where I'm not doing a more structured blog or video. Look for the first one on January 12th, and have yourself a happy and productive new year!

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