Part of my annual process involves setting goals for myself at the start of the year and then looking back at the end of the year to see how I’ve done at achieving them. Last year was a slippery tricksy thing and I had difficulty even sitting down to do set my goals.
I’m in a much better place, overall, this year than I was last year, but now it’s time to look back and see how well I did accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. Italics are my updates today, the other bits are copy/pasted from the goals I set last year.
My #1 focus for this year is to just get through it.
That means working when I can work and forgiving myself when I can’t. It means cutting myself some slack. Naps are okay and careful prioritizing is encouraged.
I did it! I mean, more or less LOL I got through the year and I am definitely in a better space mentally and creatively than I was twelve months ago. I was not super awesome at the whole ‘self forgiveness’ thing but I definitely leaned hard into the idea of working less. Largely I did that by playing an absolutely ridiculous amount of Dungeons and Dragons. My theory there was that it was a creative outlet which I really enjoy and so it would allow me to keep creating and telling stories but in a different format, hopefully to refill the well. And it absolutely worked.
Moderation is not a skill which I have so I definitely went from ‘working too much’ to ‘playing too much D&D’ for a bit — but I feel like I’m in a more balanced place now.
Setting Monthly Goals
Because trying to look ahead at twelve months and set goals for all of them feels impossible given how quickly everything can change I’ve decided to set a goal for myself each month. Ideally they will build on each other but in the spirit of goal #1 it’s okay if they don’t.
- January: Only order food delivery once a week (and on condo board meeting day)
- February: TBD
Funny story. Back in about June I was like, “Okay, time to look at the goals I set for this year and see how I’m progressing with them…” and when I looked at the blog post I was like, “Setting monthly goals. Oh yeah! I was totally going to do that, wasn’t I?”
Because I’d totally forgotten.
And then, even after reminding myself about it? Totally forgot about it again. So. LOL Yeah. Totally failed at hitting this goal. Wewps.
It’s hard to be even a tiny bit upset about not achieving something when I kept forgetting I was supposed to be. Really that just tells me that it was the wrong goal to set.
I’ve got some books coming out this year. I’m not going to try and set sales goals for them because my numbers have been so variable and unpredictable the last two years I honestly wouldn’t even know where to start. However, I do have a sort of ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ that I use for each book launch and I want to be sure each one of these books goes through that process and is given as good a chance for success as I am able to give it.
- January — Trenchcoats, Towers and Trolls
- March — Untethered
- May — Blindspots
- August — Pirating Pups
- October — Prairie Spirit(s)
- December — Forgotten Lore
This could have gone better. But it also could have gone worse.
I’m pretty sure that my SOP is completely out of date and I figured that out pretty quickly in the new year. Unfortunately, I didn’t also figure out how to update or correct it.
I tried my best for these books but some of them really deserved better.
I have an open submission window for Women and the Sea which I’m super excited about. Again, I’m not setting any numerical goals for the number of submissions I’d like to see or that sort of thing. However, the submission window is open for September and I am aiming to have the Table of Contents sorted by the end of October and the edits done by the end of November.
LOL Well. So. About this.
I got a lot of submissions to that anthology. Like, a lot a lot. I think it was about 400 in the end?
The point is, I didn’t have the Table of Contents sorted until mid-December and I haven’t started the edits yet. The good news, though, is that the manuscript isn’t due to the publisher until February so I can still meet my deadlines.
Reading outside of work stuff is difficult right now — I can’t focus on it for some reason. However, I have been able to read audiobooks, so that’s where my main leisure fiction consumption comes from. The only problem with that is that I can read a book faster than I can listen to it LOL Still, I’m hoping to read 40 books this year.
I don’t actually know how much I read this year? Goodreads says only 17 books but I stopped telling Goodreads what I was reading pretty early on in the year (because I was pretty depressed and even that felt like too much work) and then tried to catch up later and… I dunno. My Goodreads is just not to be trusted, is what I’m saying LOL
I almost definitely did not read 40 books though.
And I definitely started but did not finish more books this year than in years past. I think that’s a reflection of where my mental state was more than of the books themselves, but it’s hard to say.
So as to if this goal was reached or not I’m going to say… I don’t think so?
Focus #1 of this year is to get through it. Focus #2 is Patreon. This is where most of my writing attention will be going for the next twelve months, I expect. I will be writing two Patreon exclusive works each month and also doing a year long project built around tarot cards.
The details are here –> https://www.patreon.com/posts/2022-tarot-card-60732898 but, in short, each month I will be writing something for my patrons based on a randomly drawn tarot card. That ‘thing’ may be one of the exclusive works I mentioned in the previous paragraph or may be in addition to it. Depends on how things go and how my spoons balance out.
I 100% focused on my Patreon last year and I did, in fact, write and share two Patreon exclusive works each month. I did not, however, manage to pull off the year long project around tarot cards. In fact, that tarot project tripped at the starting line and never really got its feet under it again.
Of the twelve tarot works I wanted to do I only actually wrote two but I really like them both. I still have all the tarot cards I drew for this project separated from their deck and I’m optimistic that I will, eventually, write something for each of them. I was just overly ambitious about my timeline.
I’d like to finish the first draft of In a Gilded Cage which is the sequel to One in the Hand. Bonus points if I actually ever come up with a real series name for it LOL
Well, I wrote another bunch of words on this… I don’t even know how many. In November it was my NaNoWriMo project and I wrote about 59,000 words on it… but I didn’t keep a lot of them.
Right now the draft is at about 71k words (which when you know that I’ve written at least a 100k words for it over the past two years stings a little bit LoL) and I think I have another couple thousand to add to it before it’s done.
But it’s almost done.
So, while I didn’t actually finish the first draft when I wanted to, and though I am definitely changing the title of the novel to something else… I’m still pretty pleased with it. It was a real struggle in November but I eventually found the story I wanted to tell and a way to tell it. I will be even happier when I can type ‘The End’ at the bottom of the file but… still.
Everything else is completely optional. Everything.
Yes, Rhonda, everything.
I did a fair bit of optional stuff. I wrote and wrote and wrote for my D&D characters (one in particular). I took a job writing content for Archvillain Games. I wrote a bunch of poems and did NaNoWriMo and ran the Giftmas blog tour and…
According to the stats I tracked using Writer-Bot in my Discord server I wrote 296,000 words and edited another 612,000. And that feels pretty epic to me.
Overall? I am really pleased with what I accomplished in 2022.
…that being said, I think I’m going to set the bar a little higher for myself for 2023 now that I can feel myself slowly beginning to climb out of the valley I was in.