New Year Reflections

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Wow.

This is a year I never expected to have, that has challenged me in ways that I never could have predicted. For many others those changes have been even more drastic.

I usually post a sort of resolutions check in at this point: I think of it as a way to hold myself accountable for last year’s resolutions before I make this year’s.

But this year I’m not going to do that. This year I’ve had my mind on things other than whether or not I was keeping a resolution I made back in January when the world was a totally different place. Instead, I’m going to do a New Year’s Reflection: where I look back on the past year and think about where I am now and how I got here.

One thing I haven’t done as much as I’d want is writing. I’d wanted to have my second novel, Frost, finished and published by now. It’s getting there, but it’s happening slowly. I’m going to try not to be disappointed in myself for that. I’m going to try to accept the fact that this is the pace it’s going. I made the choice not to rush it and publish something I’m not proud of. I hope to finish this project in 2021, but we’ll see what next year brings.

Actually, as I look at my posts on this blog from the past year, I’m seeing a lot of Top Ten Tuesdays. That’s partially because I like making these lists. I also find it oddly relaxing . When I’m worrying about something, it helps to engage my mind in something else. The other reason I’ve done them so much, is that I like having something to post. Believe it or not, my life isn’t always glamourous and exiting! But I enjoy posting on here. I like reading other people’s blogs. I like the people who comment on my posts. So I continue to make them, and TTT gives me a way to do that, even when I don’t have any brilliant ideas!

Another thing I’m seeing is the read along I did of Kushiel’s Dart, hosted by Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More. I’d been meaning to read that book for years. It’s been sitting on my shelf, waiting for me. But I haven’t always been up for a 1000 pager. The read along gave me a way to read it that was supportive, and having the weekly check ins and schedule held me accountable. I’m still not quite sure if I liked the book, but I definitely liked the experience.

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But I am also seeing more “original” posts than I thought! Take a look:

Sitcoms in the Time of Covid (A look at something that’s helped.)

I’ve Been (2020 Hellscape Edition)

Novels That Would Be Great On Stage (not a TTT, but a list nonetheless!)

“Yet still I keep thinking that something wonderful is about to happen. Maybe tomorrow.” – A Patti Smith Reader (This pretty much what it says)!

“Need A Sitter” Why yes, I do (A look at the Babysitter’s Club; then and now)

I’ve Been

On Race, Justice, and Other Pressing Matters of the Day (and also books) (I’m glad I looked back at this one. It’s a reminder to myself. )

Favorite Non-Disney Fairy Tale Films (Again, exactly what it sounds like!)

Non-Disney Fairy Tale Movies: The Sequel (writing the first one was fun, so I did another!)

I’ve Been: Lockdown Edition

While You’re Isolated… (It was fun coming up with a list of events and resources during lockdown)

I’ve Been: Social Distancing Edition (This was only the beginning!)

Things That Make Me Happy (wow! I thought the first two months of 2020 were stressful. Little did I know… But I’m glad I read again. It’s always nice to have a reminder of the little things I love)

Why Self Publishing is Harder Than People Think (I had completely forgotten I wrote this! Most of what it says still stands)

What Does it Mean To Be A Successful Author? (I needed to reread this today. I’m glad I did)

On Relaxation (Back in January, when I thought I was stressed.)

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I didn’t include any posts that were part of TTTs or tags or readathons. But they are there. One thing that strikes me as I look back on them is how often I’d begin a post the same way I began this one: with some sort of mention of how hard this year has been. I think that’s partially because I still can’t believe it. But also a reminder to myself that this is something that everyone is going through together. Our experiences haven’t been the same by any means, but it’s affected all of us in some way.

So we’ll see how 2021 goes. Hopefully better. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I’m making a New Year’s wish: Better times. For all of us.

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2020 New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s time for my annual New Year’s Resolutions post! Take a look back here to see how I did with last year’s resolutions.

  • Publish Frozen Heart. I plan/hope to publish it in late 2020 due to a wintery theme.  Also publish a few other pieces.
  • Volunteer to support Democratic candidate for president. I try to keep politics off my blog when I can, but I feel very strongly about this. While I like some of the current contenders more than others, I would rest easily if any one of them were president as opposed to what we have right now. I don’t know what will happen with the next election. But regardless of the outcome, at this time next year I want to feel like I did everything that I could to bring about something better.
  • Continue to be vocal about issues of importance, and call my reps regularly.
  • Be more social. Make more friends, and continue to make an effort to speak/see friends.

 

What are your new year’s resolutions?

Regardless of your goals, I hope that 2020 brings joy and good fortune to all my readers.

Evaluating Last Year’s Resolutions

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Every year I write down my New Year’s Resolutions to stay accountable. I find I’m more likely to keep them that way. In the week before the new year, I look at them and reflect on how I did, and what I’d like to change in the new year. So how did 2019 go?

  • Finish writing, and publish Frozen Heart. Also publish 1-2 other pieces during the year. Keep getting my work out there.

Well I finished writing it, and it’s in the editing process. I plan to publish it in 2020. There was a point in 2019 when I realized that I could rush the publishing process for Frozen Heart and get it out before the end of the year, or I could take it slower and and take care and pride in my work. It went into some thought about the kind of author I want to be. Do I want to compromise quality for quantity? At this point the answer is no.

I did publish an essay about self publishing in Unread Magazine and a short story called Snow Sister in Enchanted Conversation.

So overall, I’ll give myself a check mark on this one and I’ll put the publication ofFrozen Heart on my 2020 list.

  • Continue to be vocal about things that I feel are important. This means calling representatives, writing letters, protesting, donating to causes I think make a difference and anything else I can do.

I think that I’ve continued to do this in 2019. I call my representatives regularly and try to share resources so that others can do that too. I’ve attended protests, though they often frustrate me because I feel like they’re more a way for people to feel like they’re doing something and less about actually getting things done. I still don’t have a lot of money to donate but I use Charity Miles to contribute to causes that I feel are important and I try to educate others who may be in a similar position about ways they might want to contribute.

  • Try to spread happiness and positivity when possible. I feel like so much of what we’re faced with on a daily basis is bleak and hopeless. But I also think “seek and you shall find.” So I’m going to seek things that make me (and others) happy. I think just exposure to more positive things can break down the hopeless feeling that we can get.

Again, this is a work in progress. When I encounter something that others may enjoy I try to share it, so they know about it, but I also think that pushing positivity can be just as toxic as negativity if it’s done in the wrong spirit. So it’s something I’m figuring out.

  • Figure out my career path. It’s in flux at the moment and is fairly confusing!

Another work in progress. But I’ve made some strides here. I have a better sense of what I want and I’ve gotten some more experience in 2019. So hopefully that’ll lead me somewhere good in 2020!

  • Be more social. Don’t just fall into the staying inside and reading/writing/watching trap. Stay in communication more with people.

I’ve done this but it’s something I’d like to continue to work on in 2020.  I love my friends, but I’d also like to get to know more people in the next year. That way if someone isn’t available to do something I can have other options.

  • Don’t feel guilty for reading/writing/watching and staying in sometimes. In fact, don’t feel guilty about what I like/enjoy. Don’t apologize for liking, wanting, or consuming things that make me happy.

I think that I’m doing better with this. I don’t feel guilty if the things I like aren’t highbrow. Life is too short to worry about that! But I do sometimes feel guilty if I’m enjoying something silly when there are important/serious things happening in the world. I know there’s a balance to be found between enjoyment and engagement. I just don’t know if I’ve found it yet.

Stay tuned for my 2020 resolutions post!

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions 2019

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Every year I write down my new year’s resolutions and post them somewhere. It helps me be accountable. I am better at keeping them when when I write them down and share them.

So, while all of my 2018 resolutions still apply, these are some new ones for 2019:

  • Finish writing, and publish Frozen Heart. Also publish 1-2 other pieces during the year. Keep getting my work out there.
  • Continue to be vocal about things that I feel are important. This means calling representatives, writing letters, protesting, donating to causes I think make a difference and anything else I can do.
  • Try to spread happiness and positivity when possible. I feel like so much of what we’re faced with on a daily basis is bleak and hopeless. But I also think “seek and you shall find.” So I’m going to seek things that make me (and others) happy. I think just exposure to more positive things can break down the hopeless feeling that we can get.
  • Figure out my career path. It’s in flux at the moment and is fairly confusing!
  • Be more social. Don’t just fall into the staying inside and reading/writing/watching trap. Stay in communication more with people.
  • Don’t feel guilty for reading/writing/watching and staying in sometimes. In fact, don’t feel guilty about what I like/enjoy. Don’t apologize for liking, wanting, or consuming things that make me happy.

What are your 2019 resolutions?

 

Evaluating Last Year’s Resolutions

accuracy afternoon alarm clock analogue

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Every year I write down my resolutions. It keeps me accountable.  So how did I do in 2018? Let’s see:

  • Continue to write on a regular basis and finish my second novel. Also, I will think of a title for my second novel.

I’ve finished the first draft of my second novel. Does that count? I probably should have specified if “finish” mean a draft or the whole thing! The working title is “Frozen Heart” but that may change because I’m not sure if I like it.

  • Publish Beautiful this summer.

  • Make more of an effort to submit my writing to publications and to publish my work in general.

I’m combining these two because publishing Beautiful was a Big Deal. It was a lot of work! I did submit my writing to a few other publications and I had a story published in Z Publishing’s New York’s Emerging Writers anthology, and I’ll have an essay about indie publishing in an upcoming magazine, but a lot of my time and focus was devoted to publishing Beautiful.

  • Continue to bother my elected officials on regular basis about issues that I feel are important. Also look for other ways to make a positive impact on the world.  Fight for what I believe in.

I certainly bother my elected officials regularly and I encourage others to do so as well. More information about that is available here. I encouraged people to register and vote this past November, and I have tried to put more positive energy out there in different ways. Sometimes in something as small as a blog post even. One thing that has frustrated me in the past is that I don’t have enough disposable income to give to causes that I find important, so the discovery of the Charity Miles app was really great for me. It uses corporate sponsors to contribute to charity for every mile I log running, walking, biking etc.  This has allowed me to work toward fitness goals and help several organizations including She’s The First, Save The Children, World Food Programme, Operation Smile and Charity: Water.  The app is free and I recommend it highly. Remember that with both exercise and charity, doing anything at all is better than doing nothing.

  • Get out and be more social. I tend to be a homebody, which is fine sometimes, but I do value my relationships with my friends and my family and I want to do more with them in 2018.

This is something I need to continue to work on in 2019! Not that I was antisocial this year, but when you’ve had a long week sometimes it’s tempting to just stay in over the weekend with a good book, some take out, and Netflix. But I feel like investing in relationships is worth the effort it sometimes takes.

  • Don’t be afraid of leaving my comfort zone (or rather, be afraid but do it anyway!) Try new things. Be open to new adventures.

My first instinct is to say that I didn’t do this, but then I realized that I’m going through a career transition that’s scary but will hopefully lead me to somewhere positive and productive. So I guess I’ve been braver than I thought this year!

  • Try to relax and enjoy things more. Don’t analyse every detail of everything and try to plan for all possible outcomes. Go with the flow more, and enjoy the present.

OK now this is something that I need to work on! I did relax and enjoy at times in 2018 but I am still very much a worrier at heart. So this is a resolution that I’ll need to renew!

I’ll post my 2019 resolutions in a few days.

How did you do on last year’s resolutions?

2018 New Years Resolutions

In my last post I evaluated how I did on my resolutions from last year. While doing I also realized that most of my resolutions from last year apply to this year as well. For the most part they’re things that are difficult to measure. But in 2018 I will:

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  • Continue to write on a regular basis and finish my second novel. Also, I will think of a title for my second novel.
  • Publish Beautiful this summer.
  • Make more of an effort to submit my writing to publications and to publish my work in general.
  • Continue to bother my elected officials on regular basis about issues that I feel are important. Also look for other ways to make a positive impact on the world.  Fight for what I believe in.
  • Get out and be more social. I tend to be a homebody, which is fine sometimes, but I do value my relationships with my friends and my family and I want to do more with them in 2018.
  • Don’t be afraid of leaving my comfort zone (or rather, be afraid but do it anyway!) Try new things. Be open to new adventures.
  • Try to relax and enjoy things more. Don’t analyse every detail of everything and try to plan for all possible outcomes. Go with the flow more, and enjoy the present.