Jan 4, 2016

Mascaron Monday

mascaron ~ grotesque face on a door-knocker

Another new year, another chance to start over. Does anyone else feel like that, that the new year is a chance for new opportunities?

I have to admit, I'm not sorry to see the last of 2015. In so many ways it was not a good year for me, December in particular. However, I don't want start my new year trashing the old one, so instead I'll focus on the good things that happened.

First is the birth of my granddaughter, my little Ellie Beans. Not so little any more, she's growing like a weed.

I lost some weight, and I got a big contract for transcribing audio interviews to text (which is turning out to be a mixed blessing).

As far as the goals I set at the beginning of last year, well ... To refresh your (and my) memory, these goals were:
30 minutes a day reading
500 words a day writing
10 pages a day editing
continue to de-clutter
work on and submit one short story/flash story a month
make better use of social media
spend 30 minutes a day on self promotion
journal on a regular basis
write more letters
give yoga a try
spend 1 hour a day on crafts
organize my books

Thirty minutes of reading a day was pretty easy. I started riding the stationary bike for at least half an hour a day and what better to entertain myself than to ride while I ride? According to Goodreads where I do the reading challenge each year, I read 59 books. It was probably more than that, but that was how many I actually kept track of.

I managed five hundred words a day writing every day, most days, some days. This was due in part to my good buddy Jamie. We started sending each other a daily writing nag to motivate each other, and we gave each other a time limit for when we had to reply with our daily word count. It worked for a while, but unfortunately, after a while it started having an adverse affect. For my part, I found myself padding my writing, sort of like NaNo where you take the long way around to say something just to get the words in. This resulted in some really bad writing on my part. And let's face it, no one likes to be nagged to do something. It's the surest way to make me not want to do it. So now we just send inspirational emails.

As for the rest . . . the editing was pretty sporadic, as was the de-cluttering. The story submitting, social media, and self promotion was pretty much non-existent. I did write a few more letters, especially if you count the long, letter-like emails my bestie and I exchange a couple of times a week, but my journaling was pretty pathetic.

But enough about that. As I said at the top of this post, this is a new year, so it calls for a new list of goals. And after much soul searching (while I was watching Rizzoli and Isles last night) here are my goals for this year:

1. Blog more often. I blog here once a week, but I also have another blog called My Writing Journal which I started in March and blogged to exactly 14 times. Let's try for at least once a week over there as well.

2. Write every day. This isn't changing. Still plan on 500 words, preferably on the final Elemental book and the next in the Moonstone Chronicles. For some reason, my ideas have started coming in batches, as in a series not just a single title. And I think having two series on the go at the same time is plenty.

3. Read every day. Nothing's really changed with this either, except I pledged 52 books (a book a week) on Goodreads instead of 50.

4. Spend more time on crafts. I dabbled in watercolour and acrylic painting last year, just enough to remind me why I became a writer instead of an artist. :-) Other than that I didn't really do any crafts last year, not even any Christmas crafts. The thing is, needlework especially can be very relaxing, which is why I want to find more time for needlework this year. It certainly beats playing mindless games when I'm watching TV at night. In fact, perhaps the last Friday of each month I could post a picture of whatever I'm working on.

5. Lose more weight. The twenty pounds I lost last year was good, although I got a late start to it. It was just enough that people started noticing but unfortunately not enough to bring down the A1C in my blood. This year I'm going for thirty pounds - by hook or by crook I'm going to bring that blood sugar down.

And there you have it. My goals for 2016. A short but significant list. I could add things like getting organized, or submitting my work, or even making better use of social media, but these are things that seem to make my list year after year and goals I never seem to accomplish. It's almost like I'm setting myself up for failure adding them. That's not to say I won't keep them in mind, but if they happen they happen. No pressure. I put enough pressure on myself as it is without adding to it.

Maybe that should be my motto for the year: No pressure.

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