So here are my goals for 2017. I'll check back in on them in June or July to see how I'm tracking, and again at the end of the year.
2017 feels like it is going to be a year of change. This early on, it’s difficult to know if those changes will be positive or negative, so I am heading into the new year with a certain amount of uncertainty hanging over my head. I’m trying to see this as a good thing. Change doesn’t have to be bad. Often it’s good to get kicked out of a rut or comfort zone and forced to challenge yourself. But it can be terrifying and uncertainty is always unnerving.
One thing I am certain about is my love for writing, and as my productivity is something I can control, I will focus my goals for the upcoming year in that direction rather than on the things I have little or no control over.
I am just over 50K into the novel I started during NaNo and my first goal is to finish that. It’s kind of a mess, so I know it will need a lot of work, but to do that work, I have to finish writing it. I hope to get this done by the end of February or early in March.
I have a lot of manuscripts hanging around my hard drive in various stages of finshed-ness. Once I have completed the ugly first draft of the NaNo book, I plan to dig out a couple of the best almost-finished or not-quite-there novels and get them polished up to where I feel they need to be. I know there are at least two I actually quite like, but got kind of lost in the chaos of editing and revising and writing new shiny things.
I imagine that will take me until about June.
I plan to do Camp NaNo in June and attempt to turn a series of short stories I have written about a single family and their beach house into a novel. This will be a real challenge because the narrator in these stories is both nameless and genderless. It’s challenging enough to deal with that in a 3000 word short story, so attempting a novel in that voice will be a real test for me. But I’m pretty excited about it. I just need to think more about how to structure the novel and whether to include the original short stories as part of the book, or to start from scratch, maybe referencing them in some way.
Once I’ve completed the draft of the beach house book, I will revise the NaNo book. By then I ought to have had enough time away that I can see it clearly and will be able to revise it effectively. And my awesome critique group will help.
Depending on what else happens throughout the year, I will also try to do NaNo in November. Some years the timing doesn’t work for me because of editing or revising, but it is such a great motivator. I have some other ideas creeping around the back of my head, none of which are ready to be put to paper, but by November hopefully one will be…
I will attempt, as I do every year, to be more active in my critique group. I tend to have bursts of activity, but I really am not as good as I ought to be when it comes to reviewing for them. I will aim to be much better this year!
And as always, I will aim to be fitter and healthier. I have had a great start to 2017 in that respect, but I know that once I’m back at work and the kids are clamouring for dinner as soon as I walk in the door, going to the gym will end up being a weekend-only thing again. I will try to go at least one time during the week as well, and will continue to go walking during my lunchbreak as well.
Both the boys have important years at school ahead of them, so I need to be more involved with both their schoolwork this year. It’s difficult because neither of them want me looking at their stuff, but I need to keep on top of what they are doing, so I will make sure I check in on their schoolwork at least once a week, if not more.
And that’s about it for 2017. I will pop back in June or early July to see how I’m tracking with these, and again at the end of the year…