Okay, seriously, who keeps making off with all this time? Feels like the year just got started and we’re already on the cusp of 2016! (And from what I’ve heard, this sense of time distortion only gets worse… ugh.)
I am definitely in a better place at the end of 2015 than I was last year. Many of my 2014 goals have been reached, and it feels like I’ve got a better handle on life in general, which is a massive relief! I want to give a huge thank-you to all of my friends, readers, subscribers, and followers. You make this all worth-while.
Successes in 2015:
1) I’ve made huge progress getting my depression under control. While I never took up meditation or yoga, I have been taking medication, which seems to be working, stopped stress-eating, and established a regular exercise routine. (I lost almost 40 lbs. in 10 months! Sweet!) As a result, I feel and look better than I have in years, which is a huge boost for my energy levels and self-esteem.
2) I wrote a short novel for NaNoWriMo, which is nearly complete! All’s Fair was a wonderful break in routine, and I’m very pleased with how it’s shaping up. I’m not being as anal about the editing and world-building as I am with many of my other projects, but I think it will still be a decent story. Right now I have almost 140 pages that I am putting in chronological order and filling in the gaps that remained after NaNoWriMo.
3) I’m learning to play the ocarina! Yes, slightly random, I know, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made after having it only a month. In addition to reading and writing, I’m also deeply fond of music and art, but have been forced to cut most of it out of my life due to time constraints. But then I rebelled and bought myself a Metallic Baby Dragontooth ocarina from Songbird and started teaching myself how to play. Due to a birth defect, I cannot play most musical instruments with any real proficiency. However, a 6-hole ocarina is versatile enough to play interesting music while staying within range of my physical limitations. It’s deeply satisfying to nurture at least one creative area of my life that doesn’t involve the written word.
4) I’m starting to generate, and more importantly feel excited about, other writing projects. Lord knows I have plenty on the back-burner, such as my long-neglected fantasy epic Rinamathair, a juvenile tale called DragonFriend, my fractured fairytale “Handsome and the Hag,” and a pair of urban-ish fantasy stories that might even be combined, or at least connected in some way. (I would love the chance to play around with some unusual characters like Karen Mohssey or Monochrome Blanche.) It’s nice to have the creative juices flowing again.
5) There are a bunch of funny and/or informative Youtube channels that I’ve subscribed to in the last year: THUNK, The Atheist Voice, Skallagrim, Veritasium, CGP Grey, Last Week Tonight, scholagladitoria, and Extra Credits, plus some of my old standbys CinemaSins and How It Should Have Ended. Some of them were recommended to me by friends, others I stumbled across on my own. I’m not encouraging folks to spend all of their time on Youtube, but there’s a lot of great content that is both entertaining and informative. I love watching a video or two while eating a meal. (Side note: Big Finish audio dramas are freakin’ amazing. And so is the Eighth Doctor. ^_^)
6) I went to see The Force Awakens… and it didn’t suck. Hooray!
Goals in 2016:
1) Continue editing Ravens and Roses. I have been taking a break, but really do want to get back to the Mariner Sequence as soon as possible.
2) Edit, revise, and submit All’s Fair. At last, a short project! I deliberately don’t want to sink years into this story, so January and possibly February will be edits, revisions, and beta readers, then I’ll start exploring the process of publishing. Wish me luck!
3) Catch up on the Cat’s Cradle Audio Editions. I know I’ve fallen off the schedule big time with this, but recording and editing those do take a lot of time that I don’t always possess, not if I want to get other more pressing things done. But I do want to work that back into the schedule and sloooowly get back on track.
4) Ditto with fanfiction. I feel horrible for promising to update regularly so people aren’t waiting years for me to finish one of those, but with so much original fiction demanding my attention, I haven’t been updating my Inuyasha fic “Nakishojo” at all. My deepest apologies. I don’t know exactly how that will be re-incorporated, but just keep an eye on my Twitter; I’ll post any updates and links to chapters there.
5) Write and submit more short stories. At the very least, I need to continue submitting the two that I do have done and keep a careful record of which online magazines I send them, to. There’s a bunch of stories that I promised to transcribe and submit on behalf of my dad, but that has also fallen by the wayside. I know it’s a lot, but I really want to get those rolling as well. I’m just… not sure exactly how yet.
6) Use October-December to generate and write side projects. In October I did all of the world-building for AFiLaW nd then wrote the bulk of it for NaNoWriMo and LeNoWriCha in November. December has been spent editing. I’d like to do this each year with my side projects, like the ones listed above, as a break from whatever my main project happens to be. This will not only help me keep my sanity, but might also allow some of my shorter work to actually see the light of day!
7) Hopefully add drawing to my routine alongside music. I do enjoy drawing, but I haven’t touched a sketchbook in years, which is a little sad. I want to improve, but I won’t get anywhere with that unless I practice. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever be really good, but I’ll settle for competent.
8) Continue all of the good habits I’ve managed to instill in 2015. I want to be a happy, healthy, well-informed individual. Let’s see if I can make that goal a reality.
As you can see, there’s a lot of writing I want to do in the New Year. I hope that you’ll enjoy the content that I generate and, as always, please like, share, and comment on what you found interesting! What are your goals for the upcoming Year of the Monkey?