Welcome, friends, followers, and all-around awesome people! Despite all odds, it looks like we’ve made it to 2021! Let us hope – firmly and enthusiastically – that it will be a better year that 2020 was. And, just in case, I’ll ask you all to knock on some wood right now so that we don’t jinx ourselves. :O
If you follow my blog you may have noticed that there hasn’t been much of anything happening on here for the past two-ish months. Part of the reason is that I’ve been rather busy in many aspects of my life, especially as it got closer and closer to the holidays. Part of it was that I’d gotten frustrated with reporting my goals each week, as the overwhelming majority of them were simply not progressing.
That said, those thoughts are rooted in a 2020 mentality, which is something I would like to banish from my life, thank you very much. It’s time for 2021! I’ve got myself a new attitude, a new super-personalized daily planner, and new plans and goals to work toward for the next twelve months. Those plans and goals, in a general sense, have an over-arching theme:
Now, the thing is, I’m not the kind of person who believes that positive thinking is all it takes, or that determination necessarily equals success. But I’m also self-aware enough to know that most of my issues are of my own making. I’m my own worst enemy. So this year, for my overall goal of 2021, I just want to BE BETTER, whatever that so entails. Because I CAN do it if I’m willing to dedicate myself to never stop fighting. Yeah, it sounds a bit lame, and yeah, I’m going to have hiccups and very bad days, but every day is a new day, right? Right.
So with that in mind, let’s look at a few more specific items.
At this time last year I made a few plans concerning my health. I said that I would start eating better, that I would drink lots of water and get a good bit of exercise, and I said that I wanted to lose an average of 2 lbs per month throughout the year. The extent to which I failed in these plans is truly astounding, even to myself. Rather than getting healthier and losing weight, I somehow managed to go in the exact opposite direction. As of the measurements I took today I have officially surpassed my previous highest-ever weight, a disgusting amount of my clothing doesn’t fit anymore, and I’ve hit a new low in which my knees feel like they’re broken every time I get up from sitting for a while.
So what’s going to be different this year? Well, it really all comes down to the fact that I’m horribly disappointed in myself and want to BE BETTER. If nothing else, I want to lose enough weight and build enough strength so that my knees don’t hurt for no bloody reason every time I stand up. This will require a lot of changes, including diet and exercise of course, but I won’t sabotage myself by trying to go from zero to sixty on day one. Baby steps will be taken bit by bit, and hopefully I will start to see some results in a reasonable time frame.
One goal from 2020 that I did actually manage to accomplish was the one to write half a million words throughout the year. In the end, with the help of Pacemaker.press, I managed to write a grand total of 518,277 words, by far my most in a single year yet. I’m incredibly proud of myself for this one, not to mentioned pleased by some of the work I’ve turned out.
My only concern is that so much of what I wrote in 2020 was fanfiction. That’s not a bad thing, especially considering that I’ve begun to amass a small Patreon/Ko-Fi following, but it does mean that I’ve spent significantly less time these past months working on my actual original works. Since I’ve got more than a few people glaring at me and demanding Book Three of “The Other World”, this is something I definitely want to rectify. I am, by no means, going to stop writing fanfiction, but I am going to attempt to split my time more equally between fanfiction and original fiction. I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to try to set some kind of schedule for myself, or if I’ll just wing it and hope for the best, but I’m sure I’ll have more information at my first check-in next week.
On a more specific note, I’ve set myself up with another Pacemaker.press, this time for 550k words. That might not seem like much of an increase from last year, but it is technically a full extra novel! Plus I don’t want to go too overboard and end up sabotaging myself by expecting enormous gains. 550k is definitely totally doable.
And on a final, related note, I’m hoping to do more art in 2021 as well. I don’t play to go crazy and spend hours upon hours on drawings or anything (art is not my speediest skill), but I do enjoy it, and I like the idea of illustrating some of my stories with stuff I’ve done myself. That is, however, going to require practice, as I’ve got a lot of blind spots when it comes to visual art.
Health and Creativity obviously both fall under this category as well, but when I talk about Productivity, I mostly mean getting the work sides of things done. In other words, taking care of the social media, promoting my books and the YouTube channel, filming, editing…all the stuff that is required in order to see growth.
At the moment I don’t really have a hard-and-fast plan for this topic. I’m basically just dedicating myself to using all of the social media daily, promoting as much as I can stand, and putting on my big girl pants to do the annoying bits. 2020 was a weird year during which I developed a particularly bad sloth habit. I want 2021 to be better. I want to teach myself to do what needs to be done in order to succeed, and not just sit back and try to coast on the fun bits.
If there’s one thing my husband and daughter both get on my case for on a regular basis, it’s the fact that I don’t spend nearly enough of my spare time doing actual fun, relaxing things. For example, playing video games or reading – two things that I’ve spent so little time doing in recent years that I have a backlog longer than the English Channel.
You wouldn’t think that this one would be all that difficult to accomplish, but you underestimate my ability to convince myself that I haven’t got time for down-time. In 2021 I want to make the time, because I deserve to enjoy myself and I need to be able to relax from time to time.
On this vein, I’ve joined in this year’s Goodreads Challenge, setting my goal at 50 books. That might seem like a lot to some people, but some of those books are going to be from my huge backlog of graphic novels and trade paperback comics, which will be quicker reads than the novels. I also have no intention of cutting fanfiction out of my reading schedule, but I definitely want to focus more on actual books this year. Lord knows I’ve got enough as-yet-unread ones sitting upstairs waiting for me.
On a similar, but entirely different token, I do definitely want to start playing more games again. Jason got me “Jedi: Fallen Order” for Christmas, and it seems pretty awesome so far so I’ll start with that one. Heck, the beautiful graphics and interesting story line might even help get my creative juices flowing for when I’m not relaxing!
And that’s pretty much that for me for 2021 plans! You’ll notice that I didn’t really give any super specific goals, beyond the 550k words written and 50 books read, but I think that this might be a better set-up for me this year. I need for my goals to be more broad and overarching so that I don’t get too held up in individual details. At least, I hope that it’ll work out that way! Fingers crossed, my darlings.
I will continue my previous system of writing updates on Mondays, and I will skip this first coming Monday since it will only be the fourth day of the month. So until then, thank you for reading my foolishness, and please feel free to share your own goals for 2021 in the comment section below!
We made it through 2020, y’all. I think we might actually be capable of anything.