Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Goals

It’s the first of January, which means it’s time to outline my goals for the year in the desperate hope that making them public will shame me into actually achieving them.

I have some formal, some informal as I think it’s important to distinguish between those things that you’d like to do and those things that are necessary for moving your career forward. First, the critical few:

1. Finish two first drafts over 30k.

This one speaks for itself and hopefully will be pretty straight forward. I still have books contracted under my pen name for harlequin to get done, I haven’t written book 3 of Lifesphere and I have two half finished 80k-100k novels I’d like to see completed, so I have a lot to choose from.

2. Edit two novels over 30k.

Again, pretty self explanatory. I still have to do another edit of Lifesphere book 2 and edits for Harlequin will be happening early in the year, so I might get this one done by the end of January.

3. Get under 65kgs.

This has been a goal for a few years running and I haven’t made any progress. However I stopped taking one of my long term medications that can cause weight gain a few months ago and recently started an exercise and healthy eating pact with a friend and the weight is flying off.

On the medication previously I could run on the treadmill everyday and eat nothing but salad and lean meat and still be gaining weight. Just maintaining my weight was a constant nightmare struggle. Now I’m off it, I ate roast pork, potatoes and chocolate for three days straight over Christmas and still lost a kilogram.

Only three months after stopping the medication, I’m the lightest I’ve been in ten years.

4. Fully prepare Lifesphere 2 and 3 for publication.

Obviously I still need the numbers before I can publish the books, but we’re extremely close to the threshold for book 2 and I suspect it will boost the downloads for book 1 again. Remember, if you want to see book 2 and 3 this year, you need to keep sharing and recommending book 1 to your friends.

And informally:

1. Blog once a week.

I choose blogging as my interactive platform. I know twitter is all the rage, or even tumblr or facebook. However I like the idea of actually creating content, and as a writer, that means writing. I love being able to write articles on the writing process and having people tell me they’re helpful. I’m very keen to get back to that.

2. Be well enough to volunteer with the arts and library council.

It’s great to give back to the community, but really I just need to get out more. I’d like to find a volunteer position that allowed me to meet a broad range of people in the community, so I’ve love to volunteer at the library or gallery.

3. Make more time for friends.

My health makes it impossible to do all the awesome things I’d like to with friends, like going hiking and clubbing. However I truly know some of the most awesome people on the planet and I’d like to spend more time with them.

So there you have it. My goals for 2014. They hinge heavily on the two axis of my life, writing and illness, but so does my day to day. Writing is the best thing in my life and illness is the worst, but they both require a lot of sacrifices on my part. They also both require constant effort, research, networking and self control. They are both things to be constantly worked on and improved.

You make the most of what you have though. If I wasn’t ill, I wouldn’t be able to write full time.

If I wasn’t ill, writing wouldn’t be a struggle though and I would be a lot further in my career.

I am striving to make 2014 better—not because 2013 was bad, but because striving to be better is a worthwhile goal in itself.