Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve entered the time of year when everyone sits down to write out resolutions. While I dislike the term resolution, I prefer goal, I am not immune to the desire to reflect upon who I am currently and who I want to be as I go forward. As I ponder what kind of person I’d like to be, I have also been reflecting upon what kind of writer I’d like to be. A theme which emerged both in my personal and professional goals is a desire to heal myself and be kinder to myself. It is my hope that as I become more comfortable with myself I will become more comfortable as a writer.
Once again, I feel my goals are rather modest and achievable. I’m sure like last year’s goals priorities could change.
Finish rough draft of current manuscript and do at least one rewrite: I am hopeful I can finish a rough draft of my WIP either by the end of this month or early February. It’s been a struggle to get the words down. It always is and more so when my research wasn’t complete before I started the rough draft. But, that was a conscious decision because I wanted to focus more on the story rather than the historical background. Before I can tackle a rewrite, though, I will need to do more research. I’ve been writing notes to myself about specific things I’ll need to look up. Again, this is all in an effort to not overdo the research and torpedo myself in irrelevant details.
Rethinking my blog: In addition to changing the visual look of my blog, which I hope you are enjoying, I am looking to cut back on the number of blog posts. I started doing this about midway through last year and found it was something which freed up my time to concentrate more on novel writing. It can be taxing to come up with an idea for each week and while I do have a list of possible blog topics, some topics require research. I also want the flexibility to post when I have the time and inclination. At a minimum I think I’ll have at least 2 posts each month and they’ll still come out on Saturdays.
I am also officially eliminating my monthly book review. I don’t know how value added it was.
Another thing I’m hoping to do is experiment more with adding in pictures, probably a combination of stock photos and my own, that have some kind of connection with content.
New writers group: Very recently I discovered there is finally a writers group which meets at my local library. Before I used to attend a group located in the city I live next to which at times was a bit of a drive.
I haven’t attended any meetings yet as all December meetings were cancelled due to the holiday. I am interested to see how it goes. The biggest factor to me for how comfortable I am in a group is the combination of people. Is there a variety of skill level or is everyone about equal? What are the personality types? Do people give constructive feedback? Will the group prove to be useful for my development?
Letting myself go on the page: This goes back to my overall desire to be more comfortable with myself. I don’t want to be afraid anymore of having characters go to dark places or light places. I don’t want to worry about if what I’m writing fits a trend or will make people 100% comfortable and unoffended. Writing is an expression of thoughts and feelings. Honestly, I feel like when I was writing more for myself and writing something I wanted to personally read, the muse was present, and the writing was more relaxed. I’d like to get back to that.
Having an organized book reading list: This one is also a personal goal. In addition to having a target number of books I’d like to read, I decided to look at my bookshelves and pick out books I’ve had for years, but have never read. I also wrote down a few books I’ve being wanting to read, but keep forgetting to pick up.
Below is the list of books I absolutely want to read in 2018. I tried to give myself a mixture of classics in addition to genre books.
The Works of Oscar Wilde
1984 by George Orwell (this is a re-read)
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (this is a re-read)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dicks
House of Cards by Michael Dobson
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
The Tchaikovsky Finale by Darin Kennedy
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Winter World by Ken Follett
Column of Fire by Ken Follett
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Artemis by Andy Weir
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
The Works of H.P. Lovecraft
It’ll be interesting to see how many of these goals I’ll accomplish. Like everyone else who makes a list, I’m hopeful I can meet them. Good luck to every writer out there in achieving your goals this year!