Last year I wrote a post outlining my goals for the year. These were the things that I had on my list:
- Submit my second novel to publishers
- Finish adapting the second novel into a screenplay and send it to some local film companies
- Plan my next big trip (this one is just going to stay on the list every year)
- Write something for young adults
- Submit something for Lot’s Wife (this is the student publication for the university I attend)
- Perform my work at spoken word events (I’ve already signed up for something in February, and I look forward to more)
- Finish the mural for my house
- Win NaNoWriMo 2014
- Talk to strangers
- Exercise (I’m pretty good with this generally but it doesn’t hurt to put it on the list right?)
- Read (all the things, I joined a book club to help with this, but so far it’s just added more books to the ‘to read’ pile)
- and most importantly just keep writing; anything, all the time!
For the most part, I did pretty well at achieving the goals I set for myself.
One was fairly straight forward, I sent off my manuscript to any and every publisher that I thought would be even vaguely interested and I had no response. That’s about what I was expecting, it’s a super competitive market and I think I would probably need to be pretty lucky to get picked up, but it was a bit disappointing none the less.
On to number two. I rewrote Adventures in Mediocrity as a film script, which turned out to be much harder than it sounded (requiring quite a different skill set if I’m honest), and I ended up with something that was way too long and boring. I haven’t made time to go in and slash it up in the way it needs to be. I’m counting that one as done, but it’s still a work in progress. I also didn’t send it out to anyone, because as I say it’s still super long and boring and will need some very serious attention in order for it to be worth sending to anyone.
Three, plan a trip, was meant to be just that, plan something. But in mid May (or sometime near there), I decided I needed a holiday sooner rather than later and I very quickly organised a three week trip to India. The trip was a real eye opener in so many ways. I’m very glad I did it, I learned a lot about myself and about life but it was often extremely challenging. Tick for that one!
Number four was a carry over from 2013, and again I didn’t do it. I wonder if maybe young adult is something that doesn’t come naturally to me, and it might be better to put this one on a bucket list for something I want to do at some point rather than trying to force it to come out in a particular year. I think young adult could be really fun to write, but I also have loads of other project ideas so I’ll get to it one day.
Five was submit for the university magazine. This one is a bit dissatisfying because I did submit two items, one was a satirical quiz, in the vein of the Cosmo/Dolly quizzes that many women will remember having done in high-school, and the other was a response to the Ilsa Vista killings in May. Both of these items were rejected and I wonder whether as a mature aged student I don’t have quite the right perspective for what the editors want. I dunno, maybe they just suck at diversity.
Number six was amazing. I would like to thank Little Raven Publishing for providing the avenue for my to perform my work to a beautiful and receptive audience. I performed at Velvet Tongue events a couple of times, and at the launch of Little Raven 3, an erotic anthology in which one of my stories was published (woot!).
Speaking of published, I also had two of my works, one story and one poem, published in my writing group anthology, and another story in a different local anthology. It’s been fantastic to be able to work with my writing group, a group of people who are both critical and encouraging, and to have that bear fruit. My writing group also had a workshop day in October, one session of which was a panel on poetry that I was invited to moderate. I really appreciated the faith in my ability, and the opportunity to try a new skills, and the positive feedback that I received for the session. I would certainly be keen to do something like that again. That one wasn’t on the list, but it was certainly an achievement worthy of being recorded.
Seven was finish the mural for my house. This one was an utter failure and the main reason for that is that the relationship between myself and the housemates in that particular place disintegrated completely and I moved out. I’m not going to count that against myself, because sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s ok.
The next one was to win NaNoWriMo again, which I did, so yay! But as was discussed in my last post, I haven’t finished the story, so that’s a bit annoying. I will finish it though – that’s going on the list of 2015 goals.
The last four are slightly less measurable, but I’ll attempt to review them. Talk to strangers has been going really well for me, it has resulted in meeting Seth, who invited me to join his band/jamming buds, and also meeting Alex, who is now also part of the band/jamming buds. It’s resulted in meeting the boys from Destrends, who I’m totally obsessed with and love a lot, and it’s meant that I’ve had some awesome, sometimes challenging, conversations with people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Exercise has been consistent in my life generally over the year, I’m still working out at the gym two or three times per week, and I occasionally venture into other types of exercise too. My housemate and I are hoping to get into a routine using some free weights and some boxing pads, so that will be a good addition to my regimen.
The ‘To Read’ pile hasn’t really changed; I’ve read a bunch of books this year, but I’ve also added a bunch to the pile, so the pile is just as big, if not bigger than it was at the start of the year. The book club went well for the first half of the year, but when I went to full time study, with three literature subjects, I didn’t have the time to read another book a month. I finish my degree mid next year, so perhaps I’ll venture back to the book club in the latter half of the year.
Finally, keep writing. I have written a lot this year – I’ve written poetry, and short stories, most of third novel, and erotica and horror and lots of things in between. I’ve blogged, I experimented with reviews, and challenges, and I would like to blog a bit more regularly in 2015. My skills in editing will probably need some work in future, it’s really not my strong point and I feel like it might help with getting a publisher’s attention if I were more willing to kill my darlings, as they say.
2014 has been a really busy year for me. I’ve done a lot I didn’t think I would do, I’ve done a lot of things I wanted to do, and I haven’t done a few things I thought I wanted to do. I’m happier, healthier and more settled now that I was a year ago. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, but that’s ok for now. Maybe at the end of 2015 I’ll be able to report that I know what I want to be when I grow up. But if I don’t then that’s ok too.
I’m going to be following this post up with a new list of goals for 2015, so be on the look out for that, but for now, I want to wish you the very best for the New Year. I hope you’re able to set yourself some goals and achieve them. I wish you happiness and growth, to be surrounded by people who love you, and the courage to love yourself.