Oh my gosh, it’s a new year already! I can’t believe how fast 2019 has gone!
Last year I did things a bit differently. My plan was to set smaller goals every month to give me the flexibility to accomplish more through the year (especially as plans inevitably change). But then that didn’t really work; the goal I set for January (finish the Make Your Way story I started writing) – took until May to finish the first draft, September to finish edits, and I finally submitted it in November. And by the time fall rolled around, a few other commitments popped up (ThunderCon and the book editing I’m still working on), which pretty much brought me to the end of the year.
In the beginning of 2019 I was also trying to balance working on Sustainably North with other writing goals. I even dedicated the entire month of March to working on the blog. But over the spring, I started to feel like I was spending far too much time on the blog to the detriment of everything else; by the end of July, I decided to stop working on Sustainably North. As much as I was sad to do this (and still am – I feel like Sustainably North was a good thing to be working on), stopping the blog freed me to work on other things; I’m pretty sure if I didn’t stop working on it, I’d still be trying to fit in finishing the Make Your Way story!
One thing that I did in 2019 that I was very proud of was I started setting weekly goals for myself. In a notebook I’d write down the things I wanted to accomplish in a week, then break them down into really small-pieces and check them off as I accomplished them, like so:
Here’s an example page from September 2019, where I broke down editing sections of the Make Your Way story.
This worked surprisingly well for me, keeping me on track and motivated, while allowing me to chip away at things and a very sustainable pace. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to use this method with the book editing project because I have no control on what I’m working on when. But as soon as that is finished, I’ll definitely be going back to this!
I also did accomplish the year-long reading goal I set in 2019. I actually blew past my goal of 25 books in June, finishing with 40 (well, Goodreads says 40, but it was a bit less because I added a few short stories on at the end – my goal for the year was 25 novel-length books, which doesn’t count those or graphic novels like Die, which I added because I loved it so much).
Based off of what happened in 2019, for this year I’m going to go back to having only one or two major goals I’d like to accomplish for the year, rather than trying to break things down by month. I’m also going to just list personal projects and goals, rather than the book editing project which I have been contracted for (even though that is a big project I will be working on, at least for the next few months!) So with that in mind, here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2020:
- Read 25 novel-length books. 25 books continues to work really well for me so I’m going to keep the same goal. This number takes the pressure off of me and makes reading more fun.
- Finish Memories. The RPG I’ve been calling Memories is close to being done. The game is pretty much built, but I need to fix up a few points and figure out how to end it. I really want to finish it this year!
- Edit two of the short stories I’ve already written so they’re ready for submissions. I’ve got several stories on my computer right now (including “A Friend from the Deep”) which definitely need to be edited. I may not have places to submit them to, but having some of them ready to submit would be fantastic!
So what about you? How was your 2019? Do you have any goals for the new year? 🙂