At the start of each year I set goals for myself, then at the end of that year I look back at them and assess how well I’ve done at reaching those goals. In theory, throughout the year it helps me keep my magpie energy in check by showing me the things I ought to be focusing on and by sharing the goals publicly it gives me a sense of accountability as well.
Usually I mostly share my work related goals here, but in the spirit of ‘Work/life balance’ (what even IS that?) I’ve decided to put them all here. And make fewer of them, maybe? We’ll see… I’m going to start writing and you and I will find out together if I managed to cut back at all.
- Finish playing Divinity 2
- I love this game but I keep taking loooooong breaks from it because reasons. Well, mostly because work reasons. I’d like to finish it so I can finally begin playing Dragon Age: Inquision in earnest… ya know, so I can maybe finish it before the next one comes out LOL
- Get good at making chicken/chorizo gumbo
- Like really good. I want to like, craft a master recipe for my ultimate chicken/chorizo gumbo. I’m starting by mastering stock. I’m not even joking. See? I can over-complicate anything. It’s a skill, really.
- Have a successful ‘Depth Year’
- Jo and I decided to have a ‘depth year‘ this year, which basically means we aren’t buying anything that isn’t consumable. There are a few additional exceptions — for example I’d really like to fix our broken-ass back fence so home maintenance things don’t count — but mostly we aren’t buying things. The idea is it will eliminate impulse buying, stop adding clutter to our home, save us some money and help us appreciate the things we already have.
- Empty a box every month
- We’ve spent the last couple years on a serious de-clutter and purge mission, and it’s gone very well. There are still little piles here and there, though, so Jo and I have each got a banker box in our offices and the goal of filling it with things we can get rid of and then actually getting rid of them. Every month. We’re both really good at putting things in the box, it’s the moving them from there to out of our house part that is going to be the most challenging.
- Take a vacation
- Every year I book the month of July off to vacation with my family, and every year I end up working… just less. This year I want the only work I even think about doing in July to be occasionally reading Swashbuckling Cats submissions. That’s it and that’s all.
- Set up a Patreon
- Related — sit down and schedule which promo dice I’m going to commission and when.
- Establish and write down five and ten year goals
- Create, schedule and effectively host the anthology book club on my Facebook group.
- Take two walks a day
- They don’t need to be long, but I need to get up from my desk at least twice a day for at least twenty minutes and go for a walk. Inside on the treadmill, outside running errands or catching Pokemon, it doesn’t matter. I just need to do it. The idea is that it will break up my day and also get my blood moving a wee bit.
- Note to self: Don’t even begin to pretend these little jaunts can take the place of actual workouts. They are in addition to, not instead of.
- Read 40 books
- Books I begin in good faith but just can’t bring myself to finish totally count
- Host another Giftmas Tour to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank
- Release Grimm, Grit and Gasoline
- I would like this anthology to have my best launch yet–beating all my other WWP anthology launch numbers. To pull that off I am going to need to come up with a great promo plan, and figure out how to give it an awesome launch outside of a convention setting.
- Release F is for Fairy
- May 7th
- I want to feel good about this release, to feel as though I’ve given the book the time and attention that it deserves and not just sort of thrown it to the wolves. I will need to assess and set some concrete, measurable goals for this and record them in my records for the book.
- Release Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles
- The timeline for this anthology is a bit shorter than usual but I want to make it work and give it a great launch, matching the success that we found with Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns
- Release Shadows
- Date TBD
- Will be self-published and require production and promotion. This will need to be fitted in around other projects but I don’t want the results to feel like they’ve been fitted in around other projects.
- Have a successful submission period for Swashbuckling Cats
- Submissions for this one end July 31st. I would like to have a Table of Contents decided by the end of August.
- Have a successful submission period for Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles
- Submissions close on February 28th. I would like to have a Table of Contents by the end of March. This may be unreasonable, but that’s my goal.
- Hear Me Roar
- This anthology closes to submissions in September. I would like to have the Table of Contents decided by October.
Writing and Editing
- Finish writing Eerie Edmonton
- Complete edits on Hollow and hand those in to my publisher on time
- Complete edits on Shadows
- Edit the next book in E. C. Bell’s Marie Jenner series
- Copyedit and assist in the promotion of The Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul by K. Bird Lincoln
- Copyedit and assist in the promotion of Book #3 in the Place in Time series by Wendy Nikel
- Outline the urban fantasy series I already have covers for
- I don’t usually outline but for this project it just kinda feels right that I try it. So I’ll give it a whirl and we’ll see what happens.
- Finish the NovPad poem a day project I started and failed to finish last year
- Finish and begin querying Arcana
- Submit Eerie Edmonton on schedule
- The manuscript is due on April 15th. I want the first draft done by my birthday (March 15th) so there’s time for polish before I hand it in
- Submit Grimm, Grit and Gasoline on schedule
- The manuscript is due on April 15th. I would actually like to have it handed in by the end of February in order to free up space in my brain and on my desk for other projects. This means getting my butt in gear with regard to edits.
Okay… so I know it doesn’t look like I did very well at the ‘cutting back’ thing, but honestly a lot of these points are almost repetitions. For example, having a good submission period for Earth, handing in Earth and launching Earth are all individual points up there, but they all add up to one thing — make a great anthology and share it with as many people as you can. So perhaps the format I’ve chosen this year makes it look like there’s more up there than there is.
And also, Future Self, in my defense, there were lots of things I thought about adding and then decided not to… so it’s not as much as it could have been? And I love my job. Surely there are worse things than being so excited you set a lot of goals for yourself?
It’ll be fun to look back at the end of the year and see how many of these I got to check off 🙂