Jan 10, 2010

Goals for 2010

This post is appearing both on Random Thoughts and Random Writings. I'll tell you why further down.

Seeing as I was able to do my serial chapter without the use of my lap top, I guess there's no excuse for not doing my promised post about this year's goals, is there?

I'm going to remind myself that the temporary loss of my lap top isn't all bad. It gave me time to get the Christmas stuff put away and the house back in order, I got some more reading done, and I got a lot of editing done. Well, maybe not a lot of editing, but more than I would have otherwise.

I've improved, over the last year, in setting goals for myself. Starting out Mondays with a set of goals for the week certainly helps to keep me focused, and accountable because the following Monday I fess up as to whether or not I've met my goals.

Herein lies my problem setting goals for the whole year. December 31 is a long way away, at least it seems that way right now. So how can I make sure I'm staying on track when I've got a whole year to work on this list?

Hence, the reason this is getting posted on both my writing blogs. I'm going to add a monthly feature to my Random Writings to show how I'm doing when it comes to achieving my goals for the year. At the first of every month I'll do a post about my Long Term Goals and how they're coming.

Okay, now on with the list (in no particular order):

Design a book database
Yeah, I know there's a lot of pre-designed databases out there, but I like Microsoft Access and if you don't use a program, you lose it. And I don't want to lose it. Once the database is done I want to spend part of every Saturday catalgouing my books. There's a lot of them and it would be nice to be able to keep track of them.

Organize my poetry
At first I was thinking of a database for this as well, but a lot of my shorter poems aren't named, so I'm not sure how that would work. I just realized the other day that by doing a new form of poetry every week, that gives me 52 new poems each year. I've also been doing at least one poem a month for my poetry group. Add to that the poems I've written over the years before this and it adds up to a lot of poetry. I need to get these poems organized and maybe even submit some of them. I'm thinking they need to be printed off and put in a binder and then I can make notations on them as to where (and when) they've been sent.

Lose 30 pounds by August
Okay, truthfully, I'd like to lose a lot more than 30 pounds, but thirty seems like a nice, round number. Why by August? 'Cause I will be reading my poetry, in public, on August 18. Being thirty pounds lighter will be a nice boost to my confidence.

Actually finish one of my novels
I have three full drafts finished. Time to fish or cut bait. I'm starting with my first NaNo novel, Driving Into Forever. I've been pretty unfocused when it comes to my fiction writing in the past, letting myself get distracted too easily, working on multiple projects and getting nothing done on any of them. I'd like to say that I'll have my edits done on DIF by the summer so I can start submitting by the fall, but it's a real mess, so I won't know for sure until I get further into it. But yeah, the goal is to get this sucker finished and out there this year.

Read 52 Books
Lost Wanderer did a post HERE challenging all comers to keep a record of what they're reading for the year. The idea is to set a goal of the number of books you'll read for the year and then keep track of them. My ongoing list is in the sidebar, with links to my book blog where I'll tell you a little bit more about them.

Find a job
This might seem counter-productive in the realm of writing, but I need a job. I need to be able to eat and pay my bills. VISA and Mastercard would really like me to get my cards back under their limits. The town would really like us to be able to start paying off our back taxes so they don't have to take our house (we'd really like this too!). And the truth of the matter is, I'm more productive when I don't have a lot of time on my hands. Does that make sense? I was off work for a year before I started back to school and looking back I find it down right embarrassing, the amount of time I wasted. I started back to school in May and by April I was doing the PAD challenge with my poetry, joined a poetry group, started taking my writing more seriously. I won the NaNo challenge in November, despite my heavy course-load. The draft I ended up with was the cleanest one yet. I can only hope that a job will allow me to relax (financially) and enjoy my writing even more.

Little Goals
Figure out Twitter - yes, I'm a bona fide Twit now. My screen name is MysteMaker - I tried many variations of my real name but they were all taken. So were all the cool writing related names. I settled on MysteMaker because the Myste is an important part of my first, finished, draft novel and, well, I made it up so I'm the Maker. :-) I've been on Twitter a couple of times since I joined and I'm still very confused. This is one of the things I need to work on.

Figure out my iPod - my wonderful husband gave me an iPod for Christmas two years ago and I have yet to use it. Right now it's still got all the music on it from the daughter's wedding (we used it instead of a DJ). What I'd like to do is get her music off of it, and load music from my CD collection onto it. The reason I'd asked for an iPod in the first place was to use it on the midnight shift where I was working. Only just after I got it, they got rid of the midnight shift. D'oh! When I'm in the living room with my lap top, I have the T.V. on; when I'm in my office I have a CD player. Hence, the reason I've never really sat down to figure my iPod out. I'm hoping that having something to listen to might inspire me to get out walking more.

Journal on a regular basis - it's really feast or famine when it comes to my journaling. I recently tried amalgamately my writing journal into my daily journal to inspire me, but the experiment has not gone as well as I'd hope. This is something I'd like to work on in the new year. Maybe not daily entries, but try to update it at least once a week.

So there you have it. My plan for 2010.

I might mention here that I've been crying moaning whining mentioning the streak of bad luck I've had lately. I declare the streak ended and that today officially starts the new year. What better day to start than the anniversary of my birth? :-)

4 comments:

Jamie D. said...

Many happy returns, Carol!! Hooray for goals, and hooray for birthdays! :-)

Your goals sound great, and that's a wonderful idea to revisit them once monthly. I might have to steal that...

Best of luck to you - and good for you, declaring your bad luck streak over. I look forward to seeing all the great progress I know you'll make this year. :-)

I'll dig up those twitter links for you tomorrow...promise!

Lost Wanderer said...

Good list of goals. I do the monthly review thing, though not necessarily publicly.

I had book database in Access once. Now I find my trusted Excel spreadsheet easier to keep as well as enjoyable.

Looking forward to seeing what you read. And good luck with poetry.

C R Ward said...

Jamie: Thank you! If you send me the year you were born in, I'll do up a Celtic horoscope for you for your birthday. :-)

L.W. I've already got 4 out of 52 books under my belt. I may have underestimated my reading speed. :-)

Natalie said...

Excellent goals! "Actually finish one of my novels" is one of my goals too. It's easy to start--hard to finish.