Looking Back on 2017 and Ahead to 2018

… or the Obligatory Goals Post LOL

I doubt I’m alone in having a 2017 that was nowhere near as productive as I hoped. The political climate and sheer stress at trying to get my reps to actually listen to their constituents was exhausting and it definitely had a negative effect on my writing life for sure. Still, I did accomplish a fair amount of things – more than I realized until I sat down and wrote this post!

So, in 2017, I:

  1. Got married to a man who makes me grin like a loon in just about every way.

  2. Went to a country I’ve never been to before and spent two glorious weeks there (Vancouver Island).

  3. Officially opened my Patreon and grew my freelancing business (definitely a long slow build for both, but there’s more to come in the New Year!).

  4. Read 49 books “officially” according to my Goodreads challenge with 17 counting towards my #DiversityBingo2017 card (note: with rereads, this is likely in the 75+ range if not edging towards 100 books this year LOL)

  5. Reviewed every “new” book I read and rated several of the rereads.

  6. Wrote and posted 6 new short stories to Patreon, as well as starting and/or editing to post several more.

  7. Made progress on two already started WIPs and finally started a novel I am enjoying the hell out of and am sitting at just under 57k on with plans to finish it in January.

  8. Won NaNoWriMo with the just mentioned 57k WIP,

  9. Wrote a grand total of 152,411 words this year, which while nowhere near my 200k word goal, does just barely beat last year’s cumulative word count of 150,248 which I def think is progress even if not as far as I’d hoped.

  10. Added my reps/senators to my address book in my phone and called them on the regular which I’d never done prior to 2017 bc reasons.

So yeah, when comparing this to my goals for the year that I posted to this blog waaaaaay back on January 2, 2017, I actually accomplished a lot more of my goals than I expected, and I know why I wasn’t able to complete the goals I didn’t manage. While in the midst of the slog and the lack of writing, I felt like a horrible failure off and on, I am out of the dark and can admit that I definitely DIDN’T fail. I maybe didn’t accomplish everything I’d hoped to, but I did better than I thought, and that is something I have to keep reminding myself of.

But what do I have in mind for 2018 you ask? New goals ahoy (some of which, admittedly, will look suspiciously like old goals but I’m OK with that LOL):

  1. Write 200,000 words. Yes this is a repeat, but I like it that way. Hell I had “write 150k” as a goal 3 years in a row before I managed it. I bet I can make it with just a second year’s try!

  2. Finish the queer paranormal trailer park first draft in January. No really. I have probably only 25-30k more story, so this is definitely doable as only half a NaNo.

  3. Revise queer paranormal trailer park thing.

  4. Decide if I want to query queer paranormal trailer park thing, and if so, query LOL.

  5. Finish a draft of another novel whether one of my in limbo WIPs or a new story.

  6. Read 52 new books (so a book a week basically) with at least half being backlist (or released prior to 2018) books for the #BeatTheBacklist challenge.

  7. Review every new book (or reread book if I haven’t reviewed it in the past) I read.

  8. Grow my writer community with things like write-ins and the Highlights Workshop I’m going to in May.

  9. Write at least 12 short stories for Patreon and/or submission to lit mags. I didn’t submit any new stories to lit mags last year, and I really want to see something hit the submission part of my publishing spreadsheet again this year!

  10. Continue to grow my freelance income with both new clients (individuals and companies) and recurring clients. This one is a little out of my hand as I can’t make people work with me, but I can do my best to send out resumes & do awesome work so clients rec me to friends.

  11. Pay off my car. I did the math and if I am really good about controlling my spending, I can pay $400 a month on the car and have it paid off in 11 months which will be just under two years earlier than I have to!

  12. Once the car is paid off, tackle the credit cards.

  13. Start trying for a baby.

  14. Continue to be as politically active as my stress levels will allow. Try to vote Ted Cruz out in November LOL.

So there’s a few more goals on the list this year than there were last year considering some of the life goals I’ve got on here. But I do really think all of these are doable as long as I don’t get overwhelmed, you know? Regardless of if I do complete all of these or not – I still feel like forward progress is the important bit. My little Hufflepuff self just needs to remember that I am “unafraid of toil,” and as long as I work hard, I’m doing better than if I give up!

What were your goals last year and did you make progress on them? Got any exciting goals for the New Year? Let me know!

All content © 2015 by C.L. McCollum unless otherwise noted.

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