Monday, January 2, 2017

Maybe This Time

Happy New Year, everyone! May it somehow be better than that dumpster fire known as 2016.


This is my now-traditional start-of-the-year post in which I lay out my big goals for the coming year. (These are just the broad, ultimate goals. The breakdown as to how I might actually accomplish said goals does exist, but for brevity's sake, I don't share it in this post.)

Usually, this starts with a recap of how well I did with the goals from the year before, but we'll be skipping that portion this time around. Mostly because I have a lot of the exact same goals. Mostly because I failed to accomplish them the first time around.

But it's okay. I'm totally cool with it. Really.

Coincidentally, this is how I felt following last night's Sherlock premiere.

Well...maybe not.

Onto the goals! First up, as always, is...

The Writing Goal

Publish Second Nature.

As it was featured on this blog (and various other social media sites) multiple times over the last year, you may remember this picture:


It was taken on the first of January 2016, and marked the start of my editing process. Turns out, I can post it again today because I. Am. Still. Editing. Part of this is because of the amount of time I was forced to take off last year, but a larger part (and much more important part) is that I'm not happy with it. I can't put out a book I'm not happy with, so that's that.

As of this post, I have nine scenes across five chapters still awaiting my attention. Four of which I have absolutely no idea how to improve to my satisfaction. (There's a woman in my critique group who thinks I have some kind of manuscript dysmorphia. Which is probably a blog post in itself. Perhaps on IWSG day?) The others are, in theory anyway, easier fixes. Just time-consuming.

At any rate, finishing these freaking edits once and for all is priority #1.

Then I'll worry about the rest of it. (except that's kind of a lie. I worry about everything all the time.)

I'm aiming for a May 30th release. I know that's only five months from now. And I know I'm probably just going to end up watching it sail on by, but I have a big book fair I'm doing at the start of June, and I would really love to have Second Nature out and about for that event, so I'm going to try. Again, I don't know how realistic this goal is (It's not. At all.) but go big or go home, right?


The Reading Goal

Read 40 books this year.

This goal just keeps shrinking and shrinking. I used to set goals for 70, then 60. Last year it was 50. This year, it's 40. Last year, I only managed to read like thirty-something novels. Low thirties.

And yes, I was distracted by other things, but I don't like how much I'm not reading. Must improve in this area.

The Fitness Goal

A few years ago, I was in a good fitness routine. Regular work-outs, not overindulging on too many oversized baked goods, that kind of thing—and I was healthier and happier. (I think. It's been a while.) And then, something happened. I don't remember what the something was, but I fell out of the habit, and it's gotten worse since I've been living in this ridiculous, entirely-too-warm swamp state Florida. (I do not like to go outside in Florida. I like to sit in front of my air conditioner and weep.)

Hence, my goal is to get back into that fitness routine. Some way, some how. Probably not jogging, though...



The De-Cluttering Goal

This is probably pretty self-explanatory. There's way too much clutter in certain parts of the house (i.e., the rooms I happen to inhabit. I can't imagine why that is.) and I would like to change that. Or, at least improve on it. We've been in the Florida house for almost two years now, and I still have a bunch of stuff in boxes. Which means I could probably get rid of all of it. Most of it. Well, maybe just some of it.

Anyway, it's time to clean house and get organized and stuff like that. This goal, I like to think, will become Priority #1 once Second Nature actually makes it to the proofreader. (I'll need something else on which to focus...)

We'll see how it goes.

Except the books and weaponry, of course...


And on that note, I am outta here. Those edits will not complete themselves. I should know; I've waited long enough for that to happen.

Did you get any goals for 2017?



26 comments:

  1. I have a couple of goals and one of mine is to finish revising and be ready to submit by summer...which should be totally doable. Key words, should be. Happy New Year! And good luck with your goals!

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    1. Ah, yes...'Should Be'. Always the tricky part, isn't it? Best of luck to you!

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  2. I have a number of repeat goals, ones I didn't accomplish or just need to continue. The weight/fitness is one, and as much as I hate running, I'm starting that up again - outside when I can, on the treadmill otherwise - with some cross-training stuff in the mix.

    Good luck to you, MJ!

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    1. I think I only went running outside in Florida once (well, if you don't count all those times I ran away from the lizards camping out in my mailbox...). I believe I'll be sticking with other activities (translation: those that can be done in front of the air conditioning) from now on. :)

      Best of luck to you!

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  3. "Dumpster fire" is too nice of a nickname for 2016. LOL.

    Anyway, best of luck with all your goals! I've shared art/comics before that I wasn't all that happy with, and still regret it, so holding back on your book's release was probably the wisest choice. Hopefully 2017 will be kind enough to allow you to publish it this May, like you plan!

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    1. Yeah...I figured I shouldn't use the phrase I really wanted to use to describe the year. It was a tad rude...

      I really hope the 2017 gods will look favorably upon my May goal...but by saying that I've probably just jinxed it. 2018, it is!

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  4. My daughter and I are still reeling from Sherlock last night. We weren't prepared for that. Good luck with your goals. I keep getting rid of more stuff and it feels so good. Don't miss anything.

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    1. I figured out what would happen probably about halfway through, but it definitely didn't make it any easier to watch. So naturally, I watched the episode twice more.

      I am surprisingly looking forward to that whole de-cluttering thing. Really didn't expect that to be the case.

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  5. I blogged my goals for the year today. I feel like some of them are pretty ambitious, but hopefully doable. Good luck to us both.

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    1. I know I'll definitely need all the luck I can get, but I also know that you'll do great.

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  6. Good luck meeting your goals! I'll be over here cheering for you. I'm in kind of a period of change right now, so I haven't finalized my goals for the year yet. I'm hoping to be able to when I get back from vacation.

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    1. Yeah, that's definitely a post-vacation thing. Hope you're having a great time!

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  7. It doesn't matter how long it takes, it's much better to put out a book you're happy with. Although, it sounds like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself for it to be perfect. Is it just that one woman who likes it, or have you had other positive feedback?

    YouTube have a lot of fitness videos posted, if you'd prefer to exercise inside - it's free and might help you get back into a regular routine.

    Happy New Year, and I wish you lots of success with all your goals :-)

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    1. No, it's not just that one woman. I've had a fair amount of positive feedback. My three beta readers, for example, absolutely loved it. I'm sure they don't find it annoying at all that I started tearing chapters apart as soon as they told me that.

      My fitness plan right now is to use my Nintendo Wii. I have the fitness game, or whatever, that does yoga, strength training, and cardio. Either that, or go walk on a beach somewhere.

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  8. I love your goals!

    I read your comment on my blog and thought - no, no, no - those are my "ideals," and by May I will have forgotten half of them.

    I'm always in awe of your epic fantasy writing and world-building.
    I write very cryptic descriptions that some readers enjoy and some just say - "you never even told us what color the sea serpent was." So true. I have to work on getting my word counts up above 70,000 for a novel. Some of the books I release are waaaaaay shorter for e-book.

    You are a rock star of prose! I am happily looking forward to reading Second Nature, and I know you're going to make it great!

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    1. I always feel as though I'm slacking on world-building and description. (But I kind of get bored when I hit big blocks of description in books, so I try to avoid putting too much in my own writing.) If there were sea serpents in my story, I probably wouldn't think to say what color they were, either. :)

      Thank you for such a kind comment! It's much appreciated.

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  9. 2016 was one big kick to the head, so you shouldn't feel bad for not reaching your goals. I'm sure you'll do great this year. Unless there's some sort of apocalypse. Which is entirely possible.

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    1. These days, I often find myself thinking of that quote from Buffy The Vampire Slayer: "I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of 'apocalypse.'

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  10. I have similar goals, what with the reading and decluttering and fitness. Hopefully you'll get through those edits soon!

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    1. I hope so, too, if for no other reason than I am so sick to death of these things. :)

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  11. Perhaps you need a teaser chapter to release in June. You know, just in case... Well, I bet you could do a large excerpt. At least, that would be something to have, so you don't have to worry if the book isn't finished by the end of May. Which is totally will be. This time. I'm sure.

    On another blog I read the perfect New Year's resolution, and I've adopted it. It's the only one I'll ever utter from now on: I resolve to wake up on January 1, 2018. That's all I need, really.

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    1. That really should have been my goal. Because I actually did. But only because I have pets who needed breakfast. Otherwise, I think I'd still be in bed.

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  12. Looks like you're finding a balance between beating yourself up and letting yourself off the hook too easily. That's a tricky line to walk. But these are great goals and I wish you the best in making them. My new ones this year are to try a new recipe every week and read a poem every day. Poetry used to be such a meaningful part of my life and I've let it slide away, so I'm dragging it back!

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Yeah, I'm normally firmly stuck on the beating myself up side of the line. But I've been trying to improve upon that.

      Love your poetry reading goal. It's been far too long for me, too. I should pick up a poetry book or two this year.

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  13. Happy New Year, M.J.! Wishing you a great 2017. You sound pretty sorted and ready for 2017, good for you. Good-luck with the edits. I know you will figure everything out. I think we as writers tend to be perfectionists when it comes to our writing:) But I agree. Rather put out a book you like. I didn't reach any of my 2016 goals, but I know 2017 will be better. You can do it, M.J. Good-luck.

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    1. The only goal I hit was my mileage goal. Which is nice because it probably helps balance out my never hitting my healthy eating goal, but I'd so much rather hit the writing goals. Maybe this time around... :)

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