Hello 2023!

Hey everyone, Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were good! Mine, unfortunately, were not this year – I was sick. 😦 We’re hoping to have some of the missed gatherings later in January though, so hopefully that will be good. 🙂

With a new year, it’s time to reflect on the goals I set last year, and set some new ones for 2023. Last year I set four goals: read 25 novel-length books I already own, continue working on my story from Script Frenzy, work on a new story, and accomplish seven language learning tasks I set for myself. I know that overall things didn’t go very well…

picture of my book list

Book-wise, I managed to read 13 novel-length books that I own (the picture on the left shows 15 titles, but two of them were graphic novels, not novel-length). Of those 13, 9 were older books, 4 were new. Overall I did read 24 novel-length books, but fell far short of the hoped for 25 that I already own. But I did manage to read Dune, which is the size of 2-3 books, so that made me happy. 🙂

Regarding the Script Frenzy story, I unfortunately didn’t do much work on it during the year. I do not have a draft at this time.

I did, however, do some work on a new story over the summer. I didn’t get terribly far with it, but I am happy that I did manage to do some writing this year. 🙂

The language learning goals were a complete failure. I was progressing really well on the French tree in Duolingo, but then Duolingo changed their interface for me in October, and that goal was no longer reachable (they took all of my progress and plunked me on the new tree, so I could no longer work my way back to where I’d unlocked before). I didn’t finish reading any books in either language, and I also failed to finish Ukrainian Lessons Podcast seasons 2 and 3 (I’m still on season 2). I also stopped learning sign language (after a few months, the family member I was learning it for admitted they were not really interested in learning after all; being language #3 for me, it made sense for me to drop it so I had more time for French and Ukrainian).

All in all, 2022 wasn’t the most productive year for me. It was a somewhat difficult year in many ways (chief of which was dealing with some health issues on and off throughout the year), but was a good year in other ways (I started seeing someone). 🙂

So for 2023, I’d like to get myself back on track, creatively speaking. Time has always been an issue for me (I always try to fit too much in), so I need to be mindful that I don’t overwhelm myself. So with that in mind, here’s what I’d like to accomplish this year:

  1. Read 25 novel-length books this year, 15 of which are books I already own. I think this is a fair trade-off: I have room in case something new catches my eye at a bookstore or at the library, but I will try to read more of the books that I already own.
  2. Write (creatively) for one hour a week. Yes, I’d like to bring back #WriteMonday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday (it’s changed days over the years). I don’t have a specific day in mind at the moment (and it will probably change from week to week). But I am going to commit to working on some kind of creative writing, be it writing or editing, for one hour every week. I’m going to change the tag to #WritingDay and use that every week (as of this writing the tag is #WriteTuesday, since that was the last day I was able to devote to writing every week).
  3. Finish First Ukrainian Reader for Beginners. I’m about halfway through the book. It’s getting a bit harder (and more intimidating because the texts are getting longer). But I am positive I can make my way through the rest of it this year!
  4. Read a book in French. I’ve started 101 Conversations in Intermediate French several times and never get beyond the first few conversations, so I think it’s safe to say I should try something else. I have a number of French readers and short story collections, so I need to find one that appeals to me and finish it. 🙂
  5. Finish Ukrainian Lessons Podcast season 2. I have about 10 episodes left to go, but they’re more difficult: these last episodes are a short history course on Ukraine. I will need more time to digest them, and need to listen to each one several times before I feel confident moving onto the next one (I’ve already been struggling with the first of these episodes on and off for a month now).

There are a few other things I was considering adding as well (such as committing to writing small pieces in Ukrainian or French every week or month), but I don’t want to overwhelm myself, especially since I am also fitting in my two hours of French every week and other language lessons on iTalki as time permits. If I manage to accomplish those last three goals quicker than I anticipate, I will add some new goals (such as reading another book in either language, or making my way through Ukrainian Lessons Podcast season 3).

So how about you? Have you set any goals for yourself this year?

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