Yes, this is how I spent New Year’s Eve 2017, and it was awesome!
Though time is a uniquely human construct, there’s something beautiful about the idea of a new year. It’s like a crisp dollar bill, fresh and full of possibility. I use the turning over of one year to the next to celebrate achievements and either reinforce or set new goals. Here’s what went down in 2017 and what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2018.
In 2017, I published five pieces: one harrowingly personal essay (Shapeless), my first erotica piece (Begin Again), a politically charged (but funny!) vampire romance novella (A Taste of Revolution), and two horror shorts (He Smelled Like Smoke and The Promise). With this motley smattering of writing, I’ve realized that I’m not comfortable boxing myself into a single genre or style. I’ve embraced the fact that I write what I want to when I’m inspired to create it. And I love that approach. It seems to be working for me.
I read 45 books this year (hitting my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal – whoo hoo! – albeit just barely). My top 7 reads were (in no particular order:
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
Losing It by Cora Carmack
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Joyland by Stephen King
Bite Somebody Else by Sara Dobie Bauer
Graphic novels I loved reading this year include:
March: Book One by John Lewis and Nate Powell
Paper Girls: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan
Rocket Raccoon #1 by Skottie Young
I crafted over 100 comic book flowers for my upcoming wedding.
I survived my first hot yoga class (which got up to 106 degrees, thankyouverymuch).
My fiance and I made our wedding bands. Like, mixed-and-melted-down-the-metals-and-cranked-the-metals-through-a-rolling-mill-and-soldered-them-together-and-beat-them-into-circles-with-mallets made them.
I took the stage in an amazing production of The Vagina Monologues.
I learned how to hand stamp metal.
I rediscovered my love for baking pies.
I bought my first onesie and dressed up like Chewbacca for Halloween.
I did a water nymph photoshoot with one of my oldest and dearest friends.
I climbed to the very top of an exceptionally tall indoor climbing wall (six stories!).
I snuggled with an alpaca (which is the perfect way to end a list of accomplishments, right?).
Read 45 books. I’m keeping this one consistent. Not gonna lie, I read some really short books on December 29th, 30th, and 31st in order to hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal. This year, I want to cruise into December confident that I’ll hit my 45-book goal – and then some.
Write one story or piece a month. This one is going to be a challenge. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing regularly (it’s like I’ve convinced myself I don’t have time because I’m planning a wedding or something!) I lost a little bit of my love for writing in 2017, and I don’t know whether to blame stress, poor planning, a lack of inspiration, a lack of self-motivation, or the monster that hides out under my bed. Whatever the case may be, I want to challenge myself to meet a deadline every month in 2018 to see if I can re-spark my desire to write consistently. Whether flash fiction, a sprawling novella, or a personal essay, I need to write something every month. And I’m going to be gentle with myself. The pieces don’t need to be ready to sell or the best thing I’ve ever written. They just need to be complete.
Continue to cultivate a regular yoga practice. When Bryan and I were living in Phoenix, I was really good about going to yoga at least twice a week. There’s something about yoga that makes me feel incredibly strong and incredibly calm, which I’ve found to be a really powerful combination for me. It’s also a great way to give my lower back and other chronic injuries the TLC they need. I started working toward this goal in 2017, and I’m hoping to build upon it to keep the momentum going in 2018.
Revive my blog presences. My personal blog and the blog I share with my fiance (2geekslife.com) have been grossly neglected. Again, I’ve fallen out of the habit, and I’ve also self-sabotaged a bit. There were times in 2017 when I thought my regular musings were too mundane or too boring to publish. Time to kill that self-doubt and trust that I always have something valuable or funny or thoughtful to say. Time to trust my voice.
Okay, those are the big goals. I’m sure other goals will pop up throughout the year, and I’ll go after them with vigor and an eye for self-improvement and cultivating accomplishment and happiness.
For those of you who create resolutions or set goals each year, I hope you’re off to a great start. I believe in you! Go get ‘em!