Each year I like to set goals for myself and post them on my blog. Writing them out helps me organise my thoughts and plan for what I’d like to accomplish during the year. It also gives me a handy, dandy place to check-in over the course of the year to remind myself what Past Me wanted Present Me to be working on — which was probably not whatever the brand new shiny thing that has appeared is. It gives me some bit of focus and helps me to manage my magpie energy, is what I’m saying. And by sharing them publicly I get a sense of accountability that helps as well.
Goals for 2021
My #1 focus for this year is going to be to increase the amount of writing I do.
…or at least be conscious of the fact when I chose editing over writing.
I’ve spoken about this a lot — the fact I’d like to make writing more of a priority in my professional life (I want to be a writer/editor more than an editor/writer) but up until now I haven’t done much to actually take action on that desire. I’m going to try and act on this more this year by asking myself, “Would I rather take on this editing project or use that time to write something new?” each time I hear the siren song of a new editing project.
That is not to say I’m going to stop editing, of course not, and I’m already committed to several editing projects already. But I want to be making a conscious decision each time I take on something new that acknowledges that every hour I spend editing is an hour I’m not writing. And then I’ll see what the end result of that is. Will it mean more writing, or will it mostly mean just taking a bit more time to think about things before taking on the new editing project? I’d say the odds are about 50/50 but we’ll find out together LOL
Revising Depth Year & The Year of Finishing Things
A couple years ago my husband and I challenged ourselves with a sort of revised ‘Depth Year’ where, with very few exceptions, we didn’t buy anything new. The idea was to spend less money, bring fewer things into our home and use the things we already had. It went very well. This year, along with Krista D. Ball, I took on a sort of a craft depth year — trying not to buy new crafty things (after going a bit overboard buying yarn when the lockdowns started in the spring) and using up the things I already had.
My husband and I declared last year ‘The Year of Finishing Things’ and tried to finish something every month.
This year I want to combine all of those things.
I am going to make a good faith effort to buy things which are unnecessary, especially when it comes to crafting. No buying things to start new projects until at least two of my old or previously started projects are completed (and hopefully re-homed). Also, for every thing I bring into the house two things of similar volume need to leave the house. If I buy a new book, for example, I need to give two others away.*
Related, at least in the spirit of saving money and wasting less, I am going to dramatically decrease the frequency at which I order-in food. The goal is twice a week — dinner on Saturdays, because that’s tradition, and lunch one day during the workweek because I always used to go out to the local Mexican place on Tuesdays but I can’t do that anymore.
I have the following books coming out this year:
- Clockwork, Curses and Coal (Mar)
- [Secret #1] (May)
- Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters (Aug)
- [Secret #2] (Sep)
- Alphabet Anthology (Oct)
- The Dog Book (tbd)
- The Wing Thing (tbd)
Despite the fact this is a lot of releases to fit into one year without burning either myself or my readers out, I want to give each one of these books the attention it deserves leading up to and in the days following its launch. That includes going through my usual systems for book releases for all of them. In order to pull that off I’m definitely going to need to plan ahead better than usual and schedule some things when I’m in the less intense parts of the year to go live during the months I’m going to be working my butt off.
This will probably be the biggest challenge of the year, but I think I’m up to it. I hope I’m up to it LOL
I will keep on top of my responsibilities to my Patrons, including providing them with exclusive fiction every month. I would love to actually build up a bit of a buffer where I have content written ahead of time and scheduled to post on the same day every month, but I’m not going to be disappointed if I don’t pull that off. As long as I continue to keep up with everything else.
I would like to write 100k words of new fiction this year. By ‘new fiction’ I mean first drafts of something. Ideally I would also like to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year, but if I get to 100k without NaNo that’s great too.
Projects that are currently front of mind for this include book two for both The Wing Thing and The Dog Book, and book one in a new mystery series. And also short stories, of course.
My goal is to read 45 books this year. As with previous years if I start a book with truly good intentions but find that I just can’t finish it, it still counts. Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy.
I’d like to get this set up and running by the end of the year. Some of this is out of my hands, that’s true, but even if I can’t have everything go live I have no excuse not to have it set up on my website ready to go live as soon as the other party is finished with their part.
How To Anthology
I will finish this series of blog posts. Then, if there is interest, I can consider expanding it to different mediums or venues but I really just need to get the first step done first and take it from there.
There’s an anthology I would like to edit, but I’d also like to be able to pay higher rates than I usually can. This year I would like to get organised enough to look into governmental funding for it and actually put in an application.
Clean up Twitter
My Twitter is a bit of a mess. I will block off a whole week to go through it, cleaning out idle accounts I follow, or just those I’m no longer interested in. Then I will add new people to follow from among those who interact with me on the platform but who I haven’t followed back yet.
I’ve got open submissions periods scheduled for Trenchcoats, Towers and Trolls and Untethered**. I would like to send initial responses out for both of those anthologies within a month of their submissions windows closing.
Prepping for the future
I will set up the timeline for the next Alphabet Anthology’s submissions and such (H).
I will prepare for the release of Untethered for early 2022
I will engage in a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity a day. What that activity consists of will depend on what I am capable of on any given day, but I will remind myself of how far I’ve come from the beginning of 2020 when I could barely walk or stand at all, and revel in the fact I am able to do what I am. Because it’s not nothing and every little bit builds on what came before.
I will not be attending any physical conventions until after I’ve received the COVID vaccine and its unlikely to be my turn until autumn or winter. So I’m not putting any pressure or expectation on myself for conventions or in-person events.
Successfully run another Giftmas fundraiser for the Edmonton Food Bank.
Write up the Aphanasian 5e campaign idea and playtest it with The Desecration Squad. These words can, of course, count toward the writing goal.
That seems like a shorter list than in some years past, but I feel like it’s got more than enough packed into it. And it leaves enough wiggle room for me to be able to accommodate some of the curveballs that will inevitably get tossed my way this year.
* Yes, I give books away. I never used to, they were sort of my security blanket. But the thing is, our house isn’t that big so first we ran out of space on our bookshelves so we bought more bookshelves… and then we ran out of space for bookshelves. And, oddly enough, buying a bigger house just to hold my books isn’t an option LOL So, when I’m done with books I re-home them directly by giving them to people I think will like them, or putting them in Little Free Libraries. There are, of course, books I will never be done with, and those ones I’ll keep forever 🙂
** Announced on my Patreon already, but details coming soon… ish.