Monday, January 4, 2016

The Year of Doing Better (The 2016 Edition)

Happy New Year, everyone!

This is my now-traditional post where I lay out my goals for the brand-new year. I have a lot planned for this year, partly because I like to set myself big and challenging goals, but it's mostly because I had a pretty terrible 2015, where goals were concerned.

I feel the need to make up for that.

So here we go...

The Writing Goals

1. Publish Second Nature.

If you follow me on other social media sites, you may have already seen this picture:



That's my manuscript—all 841 pages, and 325,000 words of it. I'm aiming to edit approximately 60 pages a day (Naturally, I'm already behind) with the hopes of getting it into the hands of the beta readers in February (Do you hear that, beta readers of mine? I'm coming for you...). After that I don't know. There's just darkness and some dragons (Name! That! Reference!) but should we get through the darkness and the dragons, we'll working toward publication.

2. Complete first draft of Full Circle.

Full Circle is book three in my fantasy series. There's currently no real plan for it because the events of Second Nature blew the original plan to smithereens. So this year will be about figuring out a new plan and getting the damn thing written. I honestly don't have a lot of faith that I can accomplish this goal this year, given the other writing goal that's in play, but I'm going to be working on it anyway, so why not make it a goal?

The Reading/Blogging Goals

1. Read 50 books this year.

I really dropped the ball on the reading goal last year. I had a goal of 60 books, and only managed about 32. My personal worst, by a long shot. This year. the number is set at 50 in order to accommodate that whole "publishing a book" goal I have. I will admit, though, it kind of makes me feel like a slacker.

2. Be better about reviewing the books I read.

For whatever reason, I fell out of the habit of writing actual reviews for the books I've read. I need to correct that. There's really nothing more to be said.

3. Be better about updating My Pet Blog.

My reading and reviewing were not the only things to be neglected last year. My Pet Blog was woefully ignored, so I'd like to get back to my old blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with Fridays being set aside for guest posts. So if you're an author out there with a book or two or twelve that you'd like to promote, please let me know! Otherwise, I might have to talk about all the TV I watch.

The Fitness Goals

1. Walk, run, or bike at least 750 miles this year.

Another goal I neglected last year. Don't want to do it again. I'm not off to a very good start, but I can totally catch up. Probably.

2. Eat healthier.

I add this goal to the list every damn year. I have yet to accomplish it. But perhaps 2016 will be my year. Probably won't because I have zero willpower where cake is concerned, but it makes me feel better if I at least say I'm going to attempt it. But stranger things have happened, so who knows?

I do. I know.

So on that happy note, I'm going to sign off. I still have a good 700 pages to read and edit. I wonder how many highlighters and red pens I'll go through. Place your bets below!!

38 comments:

  1. I was a way suckier reader than you last year so feel proud of those 32 books you read! I only managed a measly 15 :(

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    1. "Way suckier reader." I really love this. And that's probably 15 more books than a lot of people read last year...

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  2. I keep my lowering my Goodreads reading goal to accommodate more writing and also so I can do more re-reading of old favorites and series' starts. I can't figure out how to count books I've read again in the current goal.

    Good luck with everything!

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    1. Yeah, I couldn't figure out how to do that, either. If I had, I would have had, like, almost 40 books.

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  3. Exciting times! I have faith in you. Let me know when I can crit Second Nature for you. :-)

    Have an amazing 2016!

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  4. Good luck with your goals! I've decided not to make any actual resolutions this year since they never work out, but I will try to make some smaller, gradual changes which will hopefully lead to some long term goals.

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    1. I'll do the smaller goals after I've set the big ones. You know, goals for the month or the week. even the day. I've only had one piece of cake so far this year...maybe I'm on the path to healthy eating...healthier eating.

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  5. My goals are simple: write more, read more.
    Maybe sleep.

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    1. Sleep! I knew I forgot to add something to the list!

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  6. 60 pages a day is a doable goal. I didn't post them, but I did write out a list of goals for this year. Writing them down helps me to remember.

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    1. It's certainly doable. I just got off to a slow start, so I'm playing catch-up. I think I may be able to get back on track by the end of the day today, but we'll see how distracted by the internet I get...

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  7. I really need to do better reviewing books too. I read lots but I don't always write the reviews. Eating better is always on my list.

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    1. I used to be very good about writing reviews, and I would do them as soon as I finished the book. I don't know why I got off track on that.

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  8. I'm going to guess 2 highlighters, 3.5 red pens (you'll break one in frustration), and the equivalent of two dozen donuts.

    As for "darkness and some dragons," that reference is easy. (My! Disturbed! Mind!)

    Best of luck (and/or skill) with all your goals this year!

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    1. The last manuscript I did this for, I went through three highlighters and two red pens. This book is significantly longer, so I think you're on track.

      I was actually referencing Gilmore Girls, but that works, too. :)

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  9. With that many pages, you'll go through at least three of each.
    Setting a blog schedule will help. We did miss seeing you more last year.

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    1. I even signed up for IWSG again! See you Wednesday!

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  10. I've never printed out a full manuscript to edit before. I should. I think it would be quite the experience and make me feel like a real editor.

    I also dropped the ball with reading last year. I hope to read more this year.

    Good luck with your goals! :)

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    1. I always start off with a printed manuscript. I find it helps me to change the way I'm accustomed to looking at it.

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  11. Revising/editing and reading for pleasure are always on my list. So is exercising more, eating healthier, and procrastinating less. We'll see how all that goes :)

    Happy New Year MJ.

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    1. I think I generally have the same sorts of goals each year. Writing, Reading, and Fitness. I keep meaning to add procrastination to that list, but you know...

      Happy New Year to you, too!

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  12. You had kind of a busy 2015, what with moving and all. And 325K! I am awed. Start buying your highlighters in bulk.

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    1. Oh, I already do. I've been told that I have an insane number of highlighters.

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  13. Love your 2016 edition and I especially love that exercise goal and your writing (and publishing) goals! Way to go with your second book! I know how it is to have a second book change the plot of a third . . .tough business, but it's worthwhile when the characters make a good argument.

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    1. Yes, I'm always irritated with my characters when they alter my carefully-crafted plans. But it generally works out for the best, so I've always gotten over it. Here's hoping that streak continues!

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  14. I have all kinds of faith in you! It's okay when life gets in the way though. Don't beat yourself up about it.

    Good luck!

    Heather

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    1. Don't beat myself up over it? Hmmm. That doesn't sound like me at all. ;)

      Thanks, Heather!

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  15. Good luck on the editing. I'm sure it'll go smoothly...

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    1. From your comment to the Editing Gods' ears!

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  16. 841 pages? Wow! Best of luck editing Second Nature, and following through with all your other goals, too. I can relate a lot to being behind when it comes to reading and blogging. It's way too hard to juggle everything sometimes!

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    1. Thank you, Heather!

      It's true that it's hard to juggle everything at times, but I didn't really have a whole lot to juggle last year (post-move, anyway). I'm just disappointed in myself. With luck, that disappointment will spur me to succeed this year!

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  17. That's a lot of goals - good luck. I'll focus on my area of expertise... Eating healthier is very easy. Just make ONE small change at a time, rather than a full overhaul. And possibly, read some articles (or talk to me) because sometimes people's idea of what's healthy can be too severe.

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    1. Well, my goal is really just to cut down on my sugar intake. I really do eat a crazy amount of candy, cookies, cake, brownies, etc., day in and day out. So my goal is to eat less of that, and maybe throw an apple into my diet once in a while.

      I'm a loooooong way off from being a truly healthy eater.

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  18. That's quite a lot of goals.
    Last year, the one ball I kept up in the air was reading and posting book reviews...
    I pledged and completed 40 books in the GR challenge.

    I'm guessing 3 highlighters and 4 red pens?
    Good luck with the goals!
    Michelle@Writer In Transit January Co-host

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  19. Awesome goals. I like setting mine big and challenging too. Loom over me, goals, I dare you! ... I like the shade. Can't wait to read Second Nature when it's finally out. I started the Couch to 5k Challenge in November but I got so sick, I'm likely back where I started when i finally have the energy to breathe. As for red pens and highlighters, hmm, I'll guess 7 and 5.

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