Happy New Year! Let’s make this year a good one.
To start: if you happen to be nominating for awards right now, my short story, “All Profound and Logical Minds,” is eligible as a short story published in 2018.
Last year was a particularly long one, and not just because it was the hell year that was 2018. No, last year was 15 months long because I started it in October of 2017, since 2017 had been such a hell year itself that I wanted to cut that one short.
On a personal front, the extra-long 2018 was marginally better than 2017. I bought a house, which I’m still happy about despite the traditional breaking-of-all-the-things that happens when you become a homeowner. In fact as we speak I’m waiting on some plumbers to come and fix my steam heat, which another plumber broke a year ago and which has been banging and howling ever since. Yes, it’s been a literal year of banging and howling pipes (save the months when it was warm enough not to turn on the heat), but the plumber who broke it insisted that “that’s just what steam heat sounds like” and that I was overreacting. Folks, if you can’t sleep on the second floor because it sounds like someone is standing in the basement banging on pipes with a wrench and blowing a whistle, that means there’s something wrong. But other than that, the house is wonderful and I’ve enjoyed every second of my time here.
In October, I was diagnosed with ADHD and started taking Adderall, which had the immediate and unexpected side effect of causing me to start reading books again. Up through high school, I read nonstop, but that changed in college and my reading has been slow and sporadic since then. I read, but mostly I would abandon books partway through. Most of my fiction consumption came through podcasts like Escape Pod and Pseudopod, which I could listen to on my commute.
I started Adderall on October 10th. Starting that day and going through December 31, I read 22 books. That works out to a book roughly every three and a half days, but actually I know that I took a week or two off of reading in November while I was doing Nanowrimo. This has been so refreshing. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to read again.
So without further ado, let’s look at last year’s goals and see how we did:
- Write a novel during at least one of the two Nanowrimos that 2018 is projected to have, assuming 2018 doesn’t go poorly and there’s another schedule change—Sort of! I wrote the first half of a novel this past Nanowrimo. It’s a good start and I’m excited about it, so I’ll count this as a win.
- Finish 5 short stories—Not quite. I finished three short stories and got halfway through two more. Close but no cigar. Though I’m happy with the three I finished.
- Compose more music. Say 5 more songs, just to quantify it.—I started to say that I hadn’t composed anything in the last 15 months, but actually it looks like I uploaded 2 songs to my Soundcloud back in February.
- Get a Y membership and start taking classes again—I did get a Y membership and I even took a 5am spin class for a while. Then I stopped. But that still counts.
- Start rock climbing again, once I start getting active.—I did for a few weeks. Then I stopped. But that also counts.
- Start jogging again.—Nope.
- A SINGLE PULL UP.—Nope.
- Make sure to have at least one story out on submission at all times—I believe I did accomplish this. I don’t think there was any length of time in 2018 that I didn’t have at least one story out on sub. I did sell a reprint to Glittership in February.
I’m pretty happy with what I achieved. Sure, I didn’t get all of them, and some of them only passed on a technicality, but I did make an effort towards most of them, so I’ll take it.
This year’s goals:
- Read 50 books. I just set this as my Goodreads goal. I’ve already read two books this year. (Technically I started one of them on Dec 31 but I finished it Jan 1 so that counts).
- Finish 5 short stories. This can include the two that I started in 2018.
- At least one short story on submission at all times. Might as well keep up with this.
- Finish a novel. Whether this means the one I started in 2018 or a new one, I want a finished first draft.
- Start one regular physical activity (such as jogging, rock climbing, an exercise class, or something new) that I stick with at least once per week for at least six months. No more winning on a technicality for this one.
- A SINGLE PULL UP. Maybe this year is the year.