Skip to main content

New Year, New Direction (2019 Overview)

Last year was quite the year, wasn't it? I published a second short story collection, I started reviewing stories by indie authors, and even my personal life got a little bit crazy.

Sorry, almost got carried away with another 2018 retrospective (see the last two weeks of posts here and here if you missed them). The purpose of today's post is to talk about 2019 - what I'm focusing on this year and what you can expect to see from me.


Good. Let's get started.

Focus Words

I am not usually one to focus on a word or a set of words for a specific year, but a couple have come to mind as I've been brainstorming and planning for this year.

  1. Organization
  2. Persistence

Organization is not something I have a difficult time understanding or doing. I love organizing. Weirdly, I have a lot of fun doing so - enough to write an entire series of posts about getting organized for a couple of writing projects a few years ago. The bigger issue is that I often do not stay organized for long. Persisting in my efforts to stay organized can only help me move forward towards my goals for this year.

Also helpful with this goal? My sister/roommate is also focusing on organization this year. I guess that makes organization a household word for the year.

Which makes me happy.

What I'm Working Towards

My list of goals for this year is long and could take up an entire post if I wanted to explain them in detail. I'll share some of that list here - a few for my works-in-progress (WIPs) and this blog, a few for my day job, and a couple of personal ones.

For my WIPs/blog

  • Finish writing and publish the first in a series of planned novellas
  • Finish edits/rewrites and publish my 2017 NaNoWriMo project (the first book in The Switch series)
  • Post at least once a week to this blog

For my day job

  • Complete certifications to round out my skill set and help me pick up more work
  • Put myself out there and go after projects I've been hesitant to try for in the past (even when I've been more than qualified to pursue them)
  • Better leverage my existing network of contacts for work opportunities

For me personally

  • Commit to taking better care of myself - physically, mentally, spiritually, etc - and see it through
  • Find an organization to do volunteer work with
  • Reading a ton of classic and indie science fiction novels
More than creating a list of goals I want to accomplish this year, I've tried to set myself up on the path to achieving them by determining what I need to do and planning how I'm going to do those things. The first three months of my planner are filling fast with all the steps forward I'll be taking. For the first time in awhile, I'm excited for and optimistic about what I can get done.

As for the blog... 

This is an area I spent a lot of time thinking about in the second half of 2018. How often do I want to commit to posting? What content do I want to share on the blog? How much time do I want to spend working on what goes up?

Once I could answer those questions, I created a tentative schedule that will push me to do better, learn more and (hopefully) make the process of sharing content here less of a daunting task. Some of the things I'm looking forward to are:

  • Continuing to post book reviews for indie science fiction authors every month (click here if you are a science fiction author looking for a reviewer);
  • Working on a blog series or two about the science fiction genre;
  • Sharing the things I love about science fiction (books, television, and other media); AND
  • Keeping you, dear reader, better up to date about the status of my current projects as well as what is going on in my life.
Look for all of these things and more to be posted weekly on Thursdays.

In the end...

I have no idea whether or not I can accomplish everything I've talked about in this post or on my list, but the surest way to fail is to not try at all so... I'm trying.

But what about you? Do you have a word for the year? Goals or plans? I would love to hear about them in the comments.


Popular posts from this blog

My Writer's Toolbox: Thesauruses I Love

I don't know about the rest of you writers in the crowd, but there are times when I struggle to get the right words to come out onto the page. The debate over using thesauruses amongst authors can be fierce. My personal opinion is that there is definitely a place and time to use them (they've saved me from missing deadlines on a few occasions), so long as a writer is careful not to overuse them. Because I do consider them an essential in my writer's toolbox of resources, I thought I would share the ones I make the most use out of and where you can find them. 1. Webster's New World Thesaurus (credit: @catpollockwrites IG, posted 8/24/2017 ) When you were in grade school, did your teachers ever hand out those monthly or bimonthly Scholastic book catalogs with all the age-appropriate books coming out that they wanted you to buy? That, my friends, is how I got a hold of my thesaurus. It's almost like mid-thirties me traveled back in time and whispered int

Metaphors: Candles

I've recently fallen in love with candles. Since coming home from the World Race , I've bought at least one a month. My favorite candles are the ones that come in glass jars - because when they burn out, I can clean the remaining wax out and put the jars to other uses. Right now,  that means they get cleaned out and packed away in anticipation of my move to Flagstaff. But as I was lighting one tonight (vanilla spice... Thanksgiving smells? Yes, please!), I saw a metaphor for writing flickering away in the flame licking at the wick and melting the wax. I suppose it could be a metaphor for life in general, but since the theme of this blog is writing... Well, you do the math.

[Five Minute Friday] Purpose

Fiber bars, strewn along the side of the road. There had to be at least a dozen of them, still in their wrappers and completely unopened. No box in sight. Really? That's about the reaction my younger sister and I had when we stumbled on them on our early morning run. Really? along with disgusted sighs about the wastefulness of it. These were the expensive ones, not a generic store brand that kind of tastes and kind of looks the same sometimes. So, when we weren't keeping an eye out for their box, we speculated about what had happened. And wondered how many more we were going to see before the end of our run. "Maybe they took one bite and thought they were gross," my sister said. "So they threw them out because they didn't want them anymore." I let out one of those disgusted sighs and nodded along with her theory. "Yeah, or they got in a huge fight, and threw them out in a fit of rage." "That's a possibility." And