Every year for the past few, my friend Heather and I have taken January 2 to write down our wishes and intentions for the coming year. We then seal them up in an envelope, and open them on January 2 the following year before writing new ones.
I totally forget what’s on mine, so it’s always interesting to see what I’ve written down. I’m happy to say that I accomplished 11 out of 22 in 2020 (and some are still “in progress”)—among them, write more, get the toxicity out of my life, keep my home office clean, and stop going to so many events so that I can enjoy more time at home (when I saw that one, I got the creeps).
I went more specific for 2021, and have 63 wishes and intentions. We’ll see what happens!
In Dark Discussions Episode 265 (hard to believe that I think this year we’ll break 300 episodes!), we had the opportunity to talk with Australian actor Aston Elliot, most recently known for his role in Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla (catch our episode on that film here). Then, we take the plunge into our Bucket Lists–each of us had to watch a horror film (mostly classic or quintessential to the genre) that somehow we’d never seen. Listen on I-Tunes, Stitcher, download from the website here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_265.html or listen directly here: Dark Discussions – Episode 265 – New Year’s Resolution Bucket List
Generally, I do well with meeting my goals (I don’t think of them as “resolutions”) for the year, even though they are usually large (if they’re too large, then I don’t give myself more than one). The goal I set at the beginning of 2009 was to land a writing residency. Mission accomplished: I applied to and was accepted at the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. 2010’s goal was to publish every short story I had in my drawer as well as build a better blog and website and actively engage in marketing. Missions accomplished: I placed/sold a record 22 pieces plus one new commission and a best-of selection, and I followed through on my website/marketing plan. 2011’s goals were to get my books in Cons and judge a contest. Missions accomplished: through the New England Horror Writers, I sold books at several events, among them Rock and Shock and the Enfield Zombie Walk; I was approached by New York City Midnight to judge their short story contests and, of course, took the position.
2012 got a little derailed. I hadn’t had time to think of a goal before our New Year’s Eve gathering, assuming I’d figure out what I wanted the first week in January. But then Nathan popped the question, so the goal for the year was throw a wedding on September 15.
So what will be my goal for 2013?
Recently, a close friend and I had a conversation about how we’ve both been so crazy-busy with marketing, events, and yes-ing everyone to death (on top of everything else in life) that we’re not writing (much less getting feedback on it and having consistent camaraderie with other active writers). Or reading. We fondly recalled the days we’d hole up in our home offices with music playing and candles lit for a whole weekend to just write. When we hung out and talked about writing for hours on end. When we sat around on, say, a Monday night and just read a whole book of short stories. Those anonymous days (2004, not that long ago)—when there was no social networking, not everyone had email, books were paper, cell phones were just phones and personal websites, let alone blogs, were unheard of—loomed in our memories like paradise. And it occurred to us both that we want that back. We want to enjoy life again reading, writing, and critiquing, instead of doing all sorts of other junk that on many days is drudgery.
So this year, I decided my goal wouldn’t be so grand. It’s to simply do less and more. Less blogging/marketing/things I said yes to I dread, more writing, reading and critiquing. Fewer events, more time at home. Fewer new projects, more old ones. I’ll have more time to do what I like, which means that time will probably go even faster (gulp) than it does now.
What are your goals for 2013? How will you make time work for you?