“We have the chance to turn the pages over, we can write what we want to write.”
I feel like a lot of us wouldn’t mind erasing 2016 from our memories, but I doubt anyone would say that ‘nothing happened.’ Equally, it was an important year for my family.
My husband and I tied the knot, took our first aeroplane-required holiday together, saw the northern lights, adopted two cats, went on monthly adventures to learn more about where we live, got new glasses and both started new job-roles.
I had a short story published in Fight Like A Girl, which is a wonderful anthology, and despite only being 20k into my 100k goal in September; I’ve written around 70,000 words in the final three months.
Reflecting on 2016:
i. Read 12 books: 13 / 12 – I read 13 books this year, focusing on a mixture of new authors, all favourites and non-fiction alike. (You can see my reviews here: Part I and Part II.) It was nice to take the pressure of myself, and thus I found I was enjoying the books more.
ii. Edit novel draft ready for submission: 1/1 submission – I submitted Planes Shifter to a handful of agents, which felt like a step in the right direction.
iii. Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: 90,244 words – Across this year, I wrote most of the third instalment of the Planes series; edited book 1 of that series and edited TFG. I also began drafting Skeletal, which I returned to in December to re-plot having hit a few obstacles in the first 10k. I didn’t hit 100k, but I passed 90k, which feels good enough.
I also published 57 posts here on the blog, really getting into the swing of a weekly posting schedule.
iv. Re-create a wellness routine: It’s been interesting to follow this theme of wellness throughout the months. I kept this goal quite vague so I could change it as the year changed. It’s been a mixture of “date days” with my husband, trying new recipes or foods each month, strength training and, for the month of December, a goal of daily yoga.
At the beginning of the year, I introduced some mental health tools we learned about at work, and then in June, I began ‘working out.’ It sounds fancier than it is; but across the last 6 months, I’ve been trying to build exercise into my daily life: taking the stairs at work, doing push ups and trying to remember some yoga poses.
- Exercise is just as effective as anti-depressants for mild depression, there are numerous benefits for physical health and that sense of accomplishment has been really useful on days when I feel like I’ve not done anything worthwhile. This year was more stressful than I wanted to admit at times, and focusing on getting stronger and feeling healthier has been useful. Like characters in a story, we like to feel we’re making progress in life.
2016 Experience Points Collected: 13,425
This Year’s TA-DA List – I:
– Celebrated 9 years with O.H, and we got married.
– Had a short story published in another anthology.
– Completed a new novel-length story: Planes Daughter, edited 2 others, and began a new one.
– Started a new job and went back to University.
– Ended the year with over 90,000 new words of fiction under my belt.
Publications This Year:
- K. R. Green (Apr 2016 ) “The Coyote.” Fight Like A Girl, Joanne Hall and Roz Clarke (ed), Kristell Ink. p109 – p131.
I’ve left much of 2017 blank for now. There are a couple of pencilled-in events, such as a short story submission due in January, and I’d like to attend FantasyCon2017 if the timing works out.
Equally, we’re trying to work out if we can hop over to France to see some friends before anything more happens regarding EU-membership. Finally, we have some decorations and furniture to still procure for our house, and I intend to graduate at the end of the the year with a recognised Core Profession.
But aside from those few items, I’m ready to rest and reflect: to really reap what I’ve sown, to finish projects and to take opportunities instead of jumping from one event or plan to another.
2015 was full of job changes, two home moves, family cancer, mental heath struggles, and buying our house.
Then 2016 was the year of our hand-fasting, adopting cat-children and going back to University.
For 2017, I want to pass my course, decorate the house, and around that, own a blank slate to fill or leave open as much as possible.
My 2017 Goals:
- Read Another 12 books: Generally, this worked well for me. It took the pressure off to read books which were specifically short or childish; and let me experience a wide range of topics and authors again. Thus, I’m aiming to read another 12 books. I’m hoping for at least 3 of these to be from my current “to-read” pile which I never seem to get through.
- Complete a Second “agent-ready” Novel Draft: I submitted the first book in the Planes series to a few agents across the year, and thus my goal for this year is to make a second story ready for submission. If the feedback I receive is manageable, and feel I can edit the Planes one for re-submission, that counts as progress, but I still want to make some headway on a new story, so I can begin submitting that.
- Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: Despite only completing 20% of this wordcount goal across 75% of the year, I pretty much caught up. This is a manageable model for me, and so I’m going to stick with it. Again, any fiction writing counts towards this wordcount, including short stories, novels and editing.
- Build Upon My Wellness Routines: I want to tweak this; now I’ve got the momentum going. My parents have gifted us with their Wii & Wii Fit Board for Yuletide, and I’m hoping to use some of the yoga programmes and games to complement my bodyweight routines to get some of that stillness-of-mind aspect back.
- I did get back into meditation in October, but this fell away the moment NaNoWriMo and my exams came around, so balance is definitely the key thing here. Rather than add yet another thing to my routine, I’m melding a bunch of exercises to fit into my ‘workout time,’ such as yoga, a wii-fit-session, dance, Shivanata or strength training.
- Take Photographs: Rather than make some specific goal to add to my current list, I just want to get in the habit of taking my DSLR out with me on walks and outings.
- I’ve been very cautious with it, sticking to indoor and garden photographs so far, but I have a sensible carrying case, a clear filter protecting the lens, and it’s time to really learn how to use the different functions.