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A New Year Dawns

So 2016 is behind us, epic hell that it was, and 2017 is ahead, possible new hell that it might be.

I'm having a harder time being optimistic this year than I have in the past, with the political climate and the losses of 2016 definitely contributing to that. But I decided not too long ago that I want to be hopeful – to focus on the good in my life and the things I have to look forward to. I’ve been told its “Pollyanna” of me to try, but on the whole my mood is exponentially better when I turn my eyes to the positive.

So with that in mind, in no particular order, here are some of the goals and good things I’m looking forward to achieving in the coming year. I’m trying to focus on achievable goals, by the way, and avoid looking at things out of my hands like “get an agent” or “publish a book.” I’m coming out of a year where I really truly thought one or both of those things would happen, so I’m trying to keep my expectations realistic. Those things would be AWESOME, but they’re in other people’s control. Hopefully the goals I have are ones I can reach for with just myself to make it come true.

  1. Get Married: This is one of the things on this list that makes me the happiest and thus it’s first on the list LOL. I have an amazing man who I’ve been with for four years, and I’m so so ready to be his wife. Added bonus: we’re going to Vancouver Island for our honeymoon which means I get to add a new country to my passport! Another bucket list item will be achieved!

  2. Write a total of 200,000 words: I finally FINALLY managed to meet my 150k goal for 2016 (barely - like 12/31 LOL), and this year I want to push myself to go just a little further. My writing habits and strategies have improved like crazy over the past year. I want to keep improving in every way I can.

  3. Finish at least one novel manuscript and one novella: I have a YA rural fantasy in the works that I’m really enjoying writing. I want to get it drafted and query-ready by DFW Writers Conference in early May. That’s definitely going to be a challenge time-wise but I think I can do it! The novella is going to be the sequel for CAT WALK, an urban fantasy shifter story I’m posting a chapter a month of for my Patreon supporters.

  4. Write six short stories: Or a short story every two months minimum. Depending on the support levels on my Patreon, I may end up writing more than six total, but that’s going to be my minimum goal. I want to have some written for Patreon and some for submitting to literary magazines and anthologies to keep working on expanding my writerly income stream and also get to experiment with story formats/genres as I’ve noticed I tend to do with shorts.

  5. Grow my Patreon page: This is a slightly iffy one as far as “in my control” since people will either sign up to be patrons or they won’t, but what I can control is making sure I have fun content every month and do my best to market it on FB and Twitter

  6. Grow my freelance editing business: Similar to above since I can’t control how fast I get new clients, but I can control the quality of the work I do and how visible I am about my business. I also have a few other freelancers that I hope to get on a referral list for and several small presses I’m going to apply to. This business is one that’s known for slow growth, so I’m just going to be patient and work steadily.

  7. Read 26 books: Or one book every two weeks, with at least half of these being diverse books. This is a fairly low number for me, honestly, considering I can often read a book a day, but I noticed that I got overwhelmed last year trying to keep up with multiple books a week. This will be a nice leisurely reading pace. If I read more, awesome – but I will read at least one book every two weeks.

  8. Review every book I read: This past year I tried to increase how often I review books both here on my blog and on retail sites, and I did much, much better than I have in previous years but I still fell quite a bit behind my “already read” pile of books. This year, I’m hoping that my every other week reading schedule will help keep me on track review-wise. Basically I will have to review a book before I get to start reading another. Help keep me honest, please.

  9. Get more politically active: Finally, the current political atmosphere in the US can be described as “nerve-wracking” at best. There are a lot of things I can’t personally change, but I’m going to do my best to get more involved with supporting causes I believe in and fighting those that will hurt marginalized people. I took the first step recently with donations to different places and officially joining the ACLU, but I want to keep moving forward and making sure that marginalized voices are heard.

So that’s it – the things I want to focus on doing next year. They’re not resolutions and they’re not castles in the sky. They’re all actionable items, and I can’t wait to see how I do with all of them!

What are your goals and exciting things happening in the coming year? Let me know in a comment or hit me up on Twitter!

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