Well, look at that; the calendars have changed, a New Year has rolled over, and some of us were out WAY past our bedtimes last night…
So it’s 2016, which means that it’s time to sit back, relax, reflect on the past year, and re-evaluate for the coming one.
Last year at this time I made three very broadly-termed goals:
1. Take care of myself more.
2. Continue to build my readership/viewership.
3. Write. Write a lot.
If I were to put a label on my success or failure of those three goals for the year of 2015, I would say, “moderately acceptable”.
Let’s start with the first goal: Take care of myself more. I think that, when looked at as individual moments, this goal could be considered something of a success. I did a lot of different things in an attempt to take better care of myself…I ate better, went for runs, took long, relaxing baths, learned how to meditate, and unashamedly enjoyed quiet nights of nothing but Doctor Who, among other things. The problem is that each of these steps forward often stood alone and was accompanied by several steps back. For instance, during the times when I was eating better I wasn’t exercising, and when I was exercising I wasn’t finding time to enjoy my shows, and when I was enjoying my shows I was getting less sleep, and so on and so on.
For that reason, this year I want to continue on with the idea of this goal, but be a little more specific. I’m going to continue to take care of myself in general, but specifically I’m going to do so via two mini-goals: I’m going to walk 10,000 steps per day (counted by my FitBit) even if that means I have to run on the spot at the end of the day in order to hit that number, and I’m going to take at least 15 minutes every day to do something fun and relaxing, whether that’s coloring, or a video game, or listening to music with a face mask on, or whatever.
Those two things, every day, that’s goal number one.
Moving on to the second goal from last year: Continue to build my readership/viewership. That was a very broad goal, based on gaining YouTube followers, blog readers, novel readers, and so on, and I have to say that in general this goal was something of a failure. I definitely gained a lot of YouTube followers this year, but that seems to have been by virtue of my videos themselves, because I did little to nothing to actually advertise them. Marketing myself as a novelist is something I basically didn’t do at all because of a combination of both laziness and the fact that marketing yourself is more difficult and time consuming than it sounds. And the blog…well I hardly even need to talk about the blog because you can just look at WordPress’s end of year review of it. According to those stats, my five most popular posts of 2015 were ones that I wrote in 2014, 2013, and even 2012. That’s a bit ridiculous, if you ask me; it means that no one was coming to my blog this past year for blog posts that I wrote this past year.
I’m not really entirely sure how I should go about fixing these problems, but I have a few ideas, including continuing on with ideas that I came up with at the end of the year concerning the blog. I share a lot of subscription box reviews on this blog these days, but what I need to be doing is more actual writing, so I’m definitely going to continue on with Memoir Mondays and Flash Fiction Fridays, and I’m going to try to spend more time talking about fun stuff on my blog, like the shows, games, and books I’m into, what’s going on in life as the parent of a toddler, any fun stuff I’ve been doing lately, and so on. Finally, I’m going to try to share more of what I’m actually working with on the writing front, rather than simply talking about it all the time. Similarly, I’m hoping to do some more fun, different stuff on the YouTube channel in the future, and if I’ve got any energy left at all I’ll try my very hardest to continue to promote my poor book (pst…there’s a link right there in the sidebar!).
So, more fun and various stuff on the blog, new and different videos on YouTube, and more self-promotion boils down goal number two.
And finally we have the last goal from last year: Write. Write a lot. Last year I decided to be very, very vague with my writing goal because in previous years I’d set numerical goals and spectacularly failed to get anywhere near them. In 2015 I finished up the year with approximately 226,000 words, which is significantly less than I wrote in 2013 and only about 1000 more words than I wrote in 2014. I was vague specifically so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed in whatever the results were to be, but I have to admit that I’m still pretty disappointed because when I look at my projects folders it doesn’t seem like I’ve really got anything to show for the words that I did write, especially considering that most of those words were blog posts, not fiction. So this year I’m not going back to a numerical goal, but I am going to be a bit more specific. I’m going to write. I’m going to write a lot. And somewhere amid all that writing, I am going to write an entire novel. Not necessarily within National Novel Writing Month (although it would certainly be nice to win again for a change), but sometime over the next twelve months. A little more specifically, I plan to both begin and finish Book Two of The Other World. Book One only has a chapter or two to go before I send it out to my beta-reader, so I want to have the first draft of Book Two written this year. And if I’m feeling really ambitious, maybe I’ll even write Book Three as well. 🙂
Write a lot, including beginning and finishing an entire novel. Goal number three is born.
And I’m going to stick to three goals because three seems like a nice number, a reasonable number. Throw too many things in there and you just stress yourself out, right? Right.
So there you have it…my three goals for 2016 are as follows:
1. Take good care of myself, specifically by walking 10,000 steps a day and taking at least 15 minutes per day to do something fun/relaxing.
2. Build readership/viewership by putting more focus and energy into my blog posts, shooting fun and different YouTube videos, and putting more effort into self-promotion.
3. Write as much as I can, including writing an entire novel from start to finish.
I think those goals are attainable, don’t you? It’s going to take time, effort, and a better attitude than I normally have, but I think my day-planner and I can figure something out. 🙂
So how about you guys? How was your 2015? What are your plans for 2016? Do you have any major goals? Any little ones? How did you spend New Years Eve? Are you possibly feeling a little hungover today? 😄 Please share! And Happy New Year! ❤