It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this. As this last week of the year dawned, I found myself in a pensive mood, thinking about the new year ahead, and things I wanted to accomplish.
But there’s also this year to think about, the one that has just passed. This year, I:
- Participated in three NaNo challenges (and won two).
- Attended Realm Makers for the first time.
- Took a ton of worldbuilding notes for my Walden universe.
- Made big headway on my novel Nukata, working on it almost nonstop from August to October.
- Met a lot of new people at Realm Makers who write the same stuff as me.
- Compiled notes for Music Land Maestress.
- Wrote a one-shot fanfic in one day for a Tumblr Secret Santa event.
- Won an award from my NaNoWriMo regional group for attending the most write-ins.
- Found out a coworker of mine also writes.
These are small things, and there might be other things I did that I forgot about, but I am proud that I accomplished these things. The second NaNo win was particularly memorable, because I was super behind all month, and in the last week or so I managed to come from behind and win. Working on Nukata was pretty fun, too, and only the advent of the main NaNoWriMo made me stop working on it. I learned a fair amount about Walden doing those notes (and also learned that the SFWA Worldbuilding Questions are long and brutal and that I never intend on putting myself through that again).
The one-shot fanfic and finding out a coworker of mine also writes happened most recently. I had signed up for a Secret Santa event on this one Pretty Cure confessions blog, where you are assigned a giftee, who provides the admin with a wishlist of favorite characters and such from Pretty Cure. You are then supposed to create a gift for your assigned person — fanart is the most common, but you can do fanfics, fanmixes, etc. I decided to go for a fanfic because I enjoy writing, and I haven’t written a fanfic in a while. Because of work and the time it took to watch the Pretty Cure series the characters I’d decided to feature were from up to the appropriate point (one of the characters only appears in 8 episodes), I barely had time to write the fic before the initial deadline of December 23rd. (We had till Christmas Day at the latest, but I figured I’d be busy that day). But I made the effort to sit down, figure out a plot, and then write the thing. If I had given myself more time, I could have refined it more, but I was pleased with the end result. I tend to tinker too much with stuff anyway.
I found out about the coworker who writes (whose name I will not reveal for privacy reasons) because I actually dared to be open about my writing to her and to this one other coworker who works in my actual department. (The one who writes works in a neighboring department). It was a huge step for me, cause I’m still pretty timid about admitting I’m a writer. I never know if people will even care. But she thought it was really cool, and while sadly we haven’t been able to talk much about it (since we don’t work in the same department), it is cool to have someone I know outside my NaNoWriMo regional group who writes. She writes short stories, so maybe she can help me with mine. (Writing short stories is a skill I’m still working on). I even asked if she’d be interested in receiving a subscription to Writer’s Digest, since my own subscription was up for renewal, and I had the opportunity to gift one free subscription to someone else. She was overjoyed and said that was the best Christmas present ever. I was glad.
It is with these accomplishments in mind, as well as my ongoing to-do list for writing, that I go into 2018.
While there are things in my personal life that I would also like to work on in 2018, as far as my writing goes, what do I want to accomplish? Let’s see…
- I want to finish at least 1-2 of my current novel WIPs. Obviously, I’d love to finish more than that, but with my usual writing pace and my unpredictable work schedule, more than 1-2 might not be realistic. Not sure if this count will include my current WIP, The CYA Files, which was my NaNo novel this year and which I decided to continue working on after a short break.
- Re-evaluate my writing platform (which I haven’t worked on since I took a class on it in 2014) and get some work done on that.
- Actually read the massive amount of writing books I own, or give them away if I’m not going to read them, cause I’m running out of space on that bookshelf.
- Conquer my massive stack of unread back issues of Writer’s Digest.
- Work on my stubbornness, impatience, and desire to please people, since I think these might be holding me back as a writer.
- Actually watch/read the references I have down for my various WIPs, so I can learn from the work of others, since I’m still a beginner at all this. As Philip Pullman writes in his acknowledgments for The Amber Spyglass: “My principle in researching for a novel is ‘Read like a butterfly, write like a bee,’ and if this story contains any honey, it is entirely because of the quality of the nectar I found in the work of better writers.”
- Get a better desk chair, since that might actually motivate me to work on my writing at home.
- Try to build a writing discipline, so I don’t go weeks or months without writing.
I am putting these goals out there not only so I myself will remember them, but that those who are reading these will see them and can maybe hold me accountable, or at the very least pray for and support me. I am better at coming up with ideas than following through on them, so I’m not great with goals.
I wish all of you a safe and happy New Year’s, and best of luck for the year ahead. May God be with us all.