Tag Archives: Reading Goals

Quest for Discovery: Week Three

Hello, fam!

As you can see, I’m posting this update a couple days late (oops), but this is what a three day weekend interrupting your routine does to you (especially when you’re nearing the end playing Horizon: Zero Dawn). Better late than never though, right?

Working out was still a struggle, though I did do my indoor routine one day last week and my body was sore for three days after the fact, so obviously I needed it. And considering I did it again this morning is a good beacon for this week’s outcome, hopefully, but I was a bit disappointed at my inability to make it a priority with my holiday schedule (as my two pound weight gain reflects). Since I’m back on my usual routine, now it’s just a matter of keeping up the indoor exercises until the weather is nice enough outside to run again.

Otherwise, I killed it writing wise (had a day of plot breakthroughs that resulted in five hours of outlining I’m going to finish up this week). Reading during my lunch break (which will switch to my dinner break, now) was magical. I’ve had to spend a bit more money this month than I hoped, with getting a new phone, eye appointments and getting ahead with Valentine’s Day shopping for my man, so hopefully next month will be more reflective of my actual spending habits. I forgot to get the devotional from home when I was there last week, so I’ll have to readjust that plan.

Overall, though? Sorta what I expected with the start of the year/ending of the holidays/getting back into the swing of things; some progress and some hiccups, but the same level of determination to keep pushing forward, despite.Image result for elegant page break clip art

Writing
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Research tropes. Map out second narrative arc. Make gameplan in WriteTrack. Prep for starting novel next week.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I didn’t make my gameplan in WriteTrack and I’m not starting it today, like I hoped, but I did have such a breakthrough figuring out the second narrative arc that I can’t help be excited, even if I’m going to start actually writing later than I planned.

Weekly Goal: Finish chapter outline and character profiles. Create map (for fun). Create WriteTrack plan.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Finish Age of Assassins. Write review (and Necrotech review?). Start new steampunk novel.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I finished Age of Assassins (and that one line in the epilogue is still haunting me), wrote the review and started reading Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory, which is such a neat steampunk read. Should finish it in a day or two.

Weekly Goal: Finish Karen Memory. Write review and Necrotech review. Read during my meal breaks.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Exercise indoors 3x. Log food…accurately.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Worked out once, but didn’t log my food at all. Still weighed, though, and while I wasn’t stoked about the results, I’m not giving into despair yet. I got plenty of work–and time–to do it.

Weekly Goal: Indoor routine 3x. Log food.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Put money into savings. Don’t spend any extra money that I don’t have to.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. I ended up buying a new phone. I didn’t really need one, but my old one was so shit, I really wanted one. It’s making everything a little tighter and will probably have to use my tax return to pay it off, but it wasn’t exactly the best financial week.

Weekly Goal: Actually put money into savings. Start prepping for taxes.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Pick up book from my parents. Come up with reading and check-in gameplan with my Mom to implement next week.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. Completely forgot to pick up book and haven’t talked to my Mom about it, yet.

Weekly Goal: Pray every night without losing focus (too much).

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy spending some time with my Dad after my eye doctor appointment. Try not to kill Edward after watching Battlestar Galactica.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Had fun chilling with my Dad and catching up with my siblings last week, especially as we watched some college basketball. Didn’t watch any Battlestar, but have been grinding Horizon: Zero Dawn and considering I’m at 95% completion…

Weekly Goal: Beat Horizon: Zero Dawn and prepare to have my mind blown. Have fun hanging out with Kylee (and hopefully my sister) on Saturday.Image result for elegant page break clip art

This week, definitely going to focus on the final outlining prep for Artemis Smith and the Steam-Powered Fallacy, so hopefully I can start writing the book next week. Working out and eating better will also be on the forefront of my mind. But mostly, I’ll just be getting back into the habit of working evenings instead of days and trying to survive the cold.

Cheers.

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Reading Outlook for 2018

I have a lot of books I want to read. Not surprising, right? But sometimes, that fact becomes ridiculously overwhelming, especially when I’m trying to decide what to read next. With the goal of reading at least 40 books this year (but hoping for more), I wanted to make a list of the books that, ideally, I’d love to enjoy throughout the year, including rereading some series to prepare for a new book, finally reading authors I’ve been meaning to for months (and sometimes years) and continuing to read series that I enjoy. Below is a list of the books I hope to read. I’m curious what the total number is going to be…

Series To Complete

The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

  • The Daylight War 
  • The Skull Throne 
  • The Core 

The Shattered Kingdom by Evie Manieri

  • Blood’s Price (reread)
  • Fortune’s Blight
  • Strife’s Bane 

Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

  • The Republic of Thieves
  • The Thorn of Emberlain

Re-Reads

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen

  • Here, There Be Dragons
  • The Search for the Red Dragon
  • The Indigo King 
  • The Shadow Dragons
  • The Dragon’s Apprentice
  • The Dragon’s of Winter (never read)
  • The First Dragon (never read)

The Kingkiller Chroncile by Patrick Rothfuss

  • The Name of the Wind (10th anniversary edition)
  • The Wise Man’s Fear 

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

  • The Way of Kings
  • Words of Radiance
  • Oathbringer (never read)

Twelve Houses by Sharon Shinn

  • Mystic and Rider
  • The Thirteenth House
  • Dark Moon Defender 
  • Reader and Raelynx
  • Fortune and Fate

New Series

The Fitz and The Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb

  • Fool’s Assassin
  • Fool’s Quest
  • Assassin’s Fate

Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

  • Assassin’s Apprentice 
  • Royal Assassin
  • Assassin’s Quest 

Solider Son by Robin Hobb

  • Shaman’s Crossing
  • Forest Mage 
  • Renegade’s Magic 

On the Bones of Gods by K. Eason

  • Enemy
  • Outlaw

Birch Hall Romance by Kathleen Kimmel

  • A Lady’s Guide to Ruin
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Scandal

More Books

  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
  • Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Kraken King by Meljean Brooks
  • The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
  • Storm and Steel by Jon Sprunk
  • Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk
  • A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
  • The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
  • Nevermore by Rob Thurman
  • Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
  • Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker
  • The Deviant Heir by Melissa Caruso
  • A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
  • Outriders by Jay Posey
  • Blood Requiem by Christopher Husberg

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As you can see, my heart will now and always belong to fantasy, yet I threw in some romance, sci-fi and steampunk for good measure. And that list doesn’t even include rereading series like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher or The Camulod Chronciles by Jack Whyte. Or rereading every book that Tamora Pierce has ever written, because that’s way overdue. Or the slew of books that I’m waiting to get published this year, by authors like Brent Weeks, Joe Zieja, Curtis C. Chen and company (which I know I’ll read, even if they aren’t on this list at the moment). And the plethora of novels and authors I know I’m forgetting, but deserve to be on this list.

Yet, just listing out some of the books I already own and picking out some of the most recently added from Goodreads, with the list of books I hope to read this year (and a goal of 40 books), if I read them all, I’d be reading a total of…

54 books.

Yeah…

Time to get reading, shall we?

Cheers.


Quest for Discovery: Week Two

Hello, fam!

Week One of my Quest for Discovery was about what you’d expect the first week of resolution hunting to go: I panicked under the pressure of wanting to achieve all of these goals at once, feeling extra pressure “starting with a fresh plate,” so the goals I wanted to mainly focus on this year–writing and fitness–weren’t accomplished. It’s was a mental game that I failed, because I got so caught up in that idea of, “It’s the New Year, you have a new chance to chase after everything you want to change about yourself and if you mess up, you’ll fail utterly,” that I didn’t complete what I wanted to; even though I’ve been working on many of these goals since last year, and a hiccup here and there doesn’t derail me at all. Not to mention I didn’t factor in going back to work after two weeks off and how busy I was trying to catch up with that.

So. I had some success, I had some hiccups. But, unlike what I used to do–feel like a failure and get disappointed and then give up–I’m going to make new goals and continue pushing forward.

Because these dreams are too important to me to give up on.

 

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Writing
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Map out an online of the second narrative arc (namely, pick tropes I want to twist). Pick out some steampunk reads.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. I had this on my To-Do list all week, yet I had a lot of other things on there, too. Every day, it felt like I just ran out of time. Yet I’m not panicking, as I still have plenty of time to get research and plotting done this week and still be able to start writing by the 15th.

Weekly Goal: Research tropes. Map out second narrative arc. Make gameplan in WriteTrack. Prep for starting novel next week.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Finishing Age of Assassins. Read during my lunch breaks. Write review.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I’m going to count this one as a success, even though I didn’t finish the book or write the review. Why, you ask? Because I have less than 90 pages left and my real, true goal was to read every day during my lunch break, which I did. It felt fantastic.

Weekly Goal: Finish Age of Assassins. Write review (and Necrotech review?). Start new steampunk novel.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Do body exercises 3x. Log food.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. I didn’t do any of the indoor exercises I wanted to do, though I finally did get some sheets printed and sorted so I can do some this week. I logged my food for half of the week, but somehow continued to forget to log the sweets. Yet, after my period this week, I weighed again and am happy that two pounds of what I had gained was period weight, so over the holidays, I actually only gained two pounds total, instead of almost five. I count that as a win in and of itself.

Weekly Goal: Exercise indoors 3x. Log food…accurately.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Reevaluate budget and get it to a manageable state.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I went back through my budget and adjusted my spending amount, increasing it slightly to match the average of what I usually spent in a month last year, as well as added in putting in $100 into savings every month. Now, to see it go into action.

Weekly Goal: Put money into savings. Don’t spend any extra money that I don’t have to.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Look up some different devotionals and find one I like. Discuss with Mom and make a game plan of when to touch base (because she’s doing with this me *fistpump*).

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. My Mom and I found one that we both like and are excited to try. It should be in the mail early next week.

Weekly Goal: Pick up book from my parents. Come up with reading and check-in gameplan with my Mom to implement next week.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Get to Meridian in Horizon Zero Dawn. Have a blast catching up with old friends and at the fantasy football party.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. After reaching Level 35, I finally decided to start doing the main quest and go to Meridian. And wow, is that city gorgeous. Also went home yesterday for the fantasy football party to see the fam with the boyfriend and that was really nice, too. Not to mention getting dinner with two old high school friends, which was the highlight of last week.

Weekly Goal: Enjoy spending some time with my Dad after my eye doctor appointment. Try not to kill Edward after watching Battlestar Galactica.

Image result for elegant page break clip artIt’s funny, after reading through my goals last week and writing out this week’s, how I consider last week a “failure” overall, since I didn’t succeed in writing or working out. Yet I did a pretty good job on all the other ones, considering. Just another example of how harsh we can be on ourselves and how forgiveness–and understanding and a reality check, to be honest–is not a bad thing to heed at all.

Now? Time to crush Week Two.

Cheers.


Quest for Discovery: Week One

Hello, fam!

It’s really weird, getting into the groove of being productive again. The holidays always have a way of upending any routine I once had and disrupting the flow, so it always feels a little weird–not to mention intimidating–to get back into the swing of things once again. All morning, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 20 different things and while it feels good to start working towards my goals again, at the same time, I’m also trying to not get stressed out and overwhelmed.

You know, like how this post was meant to go up on Sunday and it’s, ah, Tuesday.

*shrugs*

But, I’m excited. I’m invigorated from the rest and relaxation. I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish this year and I’m ready to get started.

So, let’s, shall we?

Image result for elegant page break clip art

Writing
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Weekly Goal: Map out an online of the second narrative arc (namely, pick tropes I want to twist). Pick out some steampunk reads.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Weekly Goal: Finishing Age of Assassins. Read during my lunch breaks. Write review.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Weekly Goal: Do body exercises 3x. Log food.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Reevaluate budget and get it to a manageable state.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Weekly Goal: Look up some different devotionals and find one I like. Discuss with Mom and make a game plan of when to touch base (because she’s doing with this me *fistpump*).

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Weekly Goal: Get to Meridian in Horizon Zero Dawn. Have a blast catching up with old friends and at the fantasy football party.

Image result for elegant page break clip art

Want a boost of happiness or inspiration? Here are 26 inspirational quotes to change your life. Happiness quotes. Self-love quotes. Best quotes.

Looks a little sparse, this week, considering we’re just getting started and there are no goals to report progress on from the week before, but I feel like these are some manageable goals to start out with. I’m trying out a new layout, too, of how to write out these goals…still trying to figure out how exactly I want to do that, so we’ll see if it sticks or if I change it up.

For now, here’s to 2018 and trying to discover–by creating–a better version of myself, one day at a time.

Cheers.


Introducing My Quest for Discovery

Friends.

You followed me on my Quest for Happiness. It had roadblocks and stumblings, wrong turns and backtracking, yet also was filled with learning, success and forward progress. It’s a quest that doesn’t end, but instead, continues in new forms.

This year, it’s time to continue on that quest. It’ll feel familiar, yet also different. It’ll be challenging, but also rewarding. I’ll always quest and strive to create happiness, but for 2018, I thought we could take on a new name, a new focus, that expands on all of the foundations my first quest built, while matching the shape of what I hope to achieve this year.

This year, I embark on the Quest for Discovery.

The layout is the same. Every Sunday, I’ll post goals to help mark the map of how to get from Point A to Point Z. It helps me stay accountable and provides a paper trail to show where I started and where I’ll end, highlighting all the failures and successes that got me there.

Without further ado, here are the long-term goals I’m hoping to accomplish, with a few highlights to describe my vision of how I think I’ll get there.

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Writing: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

  • On good writing days, I average roughly 1,500 words. So, if I wanted to write (almost) every day and get a first draft of (roughly) 80,000 words, it was take (practically) two months to write. So, add in some missed days, some unproductive sessions and time to outline and panic, and I think it’d take roughly three months to write a new novel. Same for editing (though I can prolly edit in a month, depending on the weight of the edits). 12 months in a year, so four projects to focus on. I like this idea. It feels breathable, yet challenging.
  • Editing wise, I’d like to tackle the NA trilogy I wrote. I have at least one major change I want to make to book one (I lied, I can already think of two) and though it’s been on the shelf for a while and has a lot of issues, I still think this series has hope. So I’d like to get through the first book, definitely, and start working on the second book, if I can.
  • Writing wise, I want to write book two in Artemis’s series. I think I’ll spend the first two weeks of January trying to get the book outlined (out of the double narrative within it, there is one mapped out and one still needing to be fleshed out) and then start writing on January 15th. Then, have a draft done by March 31st. I also really want to reattempt writing the first book I shelved last year, during the fall.
  • To achieve this, I’m going to use an amazing app called WriteTrack to help plot when I should be writing and goal word counts. I first tried this with the sci-fi project last year and even though I shelved that project, I really loved that app. It was helpful to schedule days I knew I wouldn’t write (like Saturdays) or change the weight on the days I was writing, so my goal word count changed. And the progress bar is always wonderful. My goal is to work on writing related things Sunday through Thursday every week.

Reading: Ready every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

  • I’d like to start reading during the lull moments of the day. Random 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, because it really adds up. Also, reading during my lunch would be awesome, as well as the hour before I go to bed.
  • Carry a book with me everywhere.
  • In early January, I’ll prolly take an afternoon to look through all of my books that I own and highlight some series I really want to finish this year, as well as some single books I’m really feeling. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a blog post highlighting them and then write a couple updates throughout the year of how I’m doing.
  • But, ideally, the goal is to finish a book every two weeks (but, for Goodreads, I’ll round up to 40 books for the year), if not more, and then write a review for each book I read.

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Fitness: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

  • Main goal is to lose these last 10 pounds and reach my goal weight of 160 lbs.
  • I’d really like to tone up some areas that are still a little flabby (lower back, hips, thighs, ass, arms) and focus not only on cardio, through running, but also add in some strength training. I’m not sure how that’ll look yet.
  • Ideally, I’ll run four times a week–either Monday through Thursday or Monday through Friday, with Wednesday being a rest day. After running, I plan to stretch and incorporate whatever strength training I’ll add in. I’ll prolly stick with running 30 minutes per day or roughly 2 miles.
  • ^^ With this, though, winter is always really hard, with crappy temperatures, bad trail conditions and a different work schedule. So I’ll probably wait to try and implement this until January 15th, when I’m back on my normal work schedule, and then play it day by day until spring comes.
  • Food wise, just want to continue using the principles of Naturally Slim to keep myself eating a healthy amount of food, without sacrificing the carbs I love so much. Would really like to increase my water intake and protein consumption, though.

Financial: Learn how to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

  • First off, in the first week of January, I’m going to reevaluate my budget, based on my spending last year and also incorporate putting money into savings every month. My savings account will not only serve as a backup nest, but also as my (hopefully) travel fund. The goal is to put in $100 per month into savings, starting in January.
  • I want to figure out a way to become less stressed in regards to money. I don’t want to break out into nervous sweats whenever I spend any or constantly feel like I’m behind. Though I know there are some challenges ahead, especially when I go on my own healthcare plan after this year, I am also doing okay and I need to recognize that.

Spiritual: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

  • This goal I’m actually the most nervous to have, because my spiritual relationship with God is one I don’t mind talking about, but it’s also personal, so writing about it weekly will be a different experience with me. But I’m not as close with God as I feel I used to be and I want to remedy that, through incorporating more prayer and perhaps a devotional or online weekly service.

Carpe Diem: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

  • This goal, I’m substituting my Relaxation Goal for, and expanding upon it a little bit. I enjoyed tracking how I wanted to relax each week, because it reminded me how important that was to purposefully plan to relax and make time for myself (or family and friends) every week. I want to expand upon it and make it more general; not just relaxation, but general happiness and enjoying every day.
  • I’m also hoping, through focusing on this, that I can lessen some things I struggle with, like my anxiety and depression, as well as overthinking everything, getting overly stressed out, confidence issues, self-doubt, jealousy, plus loads of other things I wouldn’t mind improving/erasing/managing.

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My Quest for Discovery is focused on a lot of things, as you can see. It’s mostly focused on discovering how I can be the best version of myself and what that woman looks like (as well as putting in the effort becoming her); as well as what stories I can discover and how I can dedicate my life to writing them. I have no idea how this quest will go, but at the moment, I’m feeling excited and invigorated, because instead of feeling like I’m setting up impossible resolutions doomed to fail by February, I know I can do this. I’m proved it before. I can prove it again.

Welcome, friends, to 2018 and my Quest for Discovery. I can’t wait to see what you discover about yourselves, too.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Reflections

Hello there, lovelies.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to write on this blog and let me tell you, I’ve actually really missed it. But, I’m sure you can understand the craziness of the holidays. I’ve been really lucky to have a wonderful family to spend it with, plus a lot of friends and an amazing boyfriend to pull me away from the virtual world and have me living in the actual one (not to mention a surprise trip to Disney World, which I’ll write a post about here soon).

But, I return to the blog to write the first post in a two part duo.

About resolutions.

(C’mon, friends, cut me some slack. You knew this was coming.)

If you follow this blog, you’d know that I actually posted every Sunday, tracking my resolutions and the goals I made to follow them, in a series of posts titled “The Quest for Happiness.” I’ve always been a pretty happy person, but I knew, if I focused working towards the goals I wanted to achieve, in the areas of my life most important to me, I was bound to stumble across happiness, if not create it myself.

These were the long term goals I quested after:

Fitness: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
Writing: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
Reading: Read 60 books.
Relaxation: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
Blogging: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
Financial: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.

Here’s how I think I did.

cowboy bebop smiling GIF

Fitness: I think this was the biggest goal I achieved in 2017. I technically started it in 2016, in November, so I’m just a little over a year in to changing my lifestyle in order to be healthier and more physically fit.

Though it didn’t start off that way.

Last November, I was ghosted by a guy I’d gone on a few dates with on my birthday and I was both pissed and sad about it. So I started running, as a way to get my emotions out. I found I enjoyed running and the way it helped not only manage my emotions, but how, by continuing to run week after week, I started seeing subtle results, noticing progress; things like shaving off a 10 seconds of my mile time or running half a mile more. So, I wanted to keep going.

Then, I was lucky to apply for and get into a program through my job called Naturally Slim. It taught me how to eat better, without sacrificing the foods I love or becoming a strict calorie counter–both aspects which made dieting an inevitable failure for me, every time I tried it. It took a while for the principles of the program to stick and I still mess up following them, at times, but they are solid foundations I know I can implement–and I enjoy doing so.

A year and two months later, I’m 30 pounds lighter, hitting the 170 lb mark. That’s less than what I weighed in high school and only ten pounds short of my original 40 pound weight loss goal. I’m drinking a lot more water, my body is a lot stronger and I can run, at max, four miles without stopping (though I usually average 2.5).

This is the most awe-inspiring accomplishment, to me. This is a goal I’ve had since middle school, when I was what, 15? 10 years later and I’m finally taking my health into my own hands. I’m shaping the body that I want, creating my own confidence, relearning what it’s like to look at my reflection and like what I see.

I’m nowhere near done yet.

Writing: This was my biggest struggle and will probably be my biggest focus next year, because I hate how much I struggled with this.

Between getting ghosted on and the results of the election, depressed is one way to say how I started 2017 emotionally. 2016 was my best year to date, writing wise–four finished novels (though technically three, as I had already started one), so I wanted to continue that momentum. It wasn’t like I’d run out of ideas and I’d proven to myself I could write every day and stick to a routine. So, originally, I created this long-term goal for 2107: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

Yet depression rears an ugly head.

And it’s a bitch to creativity and confidence.

I started a new novel that I was really excited about, but got 60 pages in before I restarted it, not liking where the novel was heading. I got 50 pages in before I shelved it for a later time. I’d sent out two of the novels for beta feedback. One I got back and then did minor edits, before sending it out again. The other was so bad that it shouldn’t have been sent to other eyes in the first place. So I thought, hey, I could start that one over and see how that goes. So I made a bunch of outlines and got the vision I wanted. And I was really excited.

But then got 50 pages in and gave up, tabling another novel.

Got feedback once again on Artemis. Edited it again, feeling invigorated and excited. Planned out, roughly, the other four books in the series. Ended the year on a high note, which was really exciting, considering how shit I felt the rest of the year, trying and failing to write the books I wanted to; how I changed my original goal, after knowing I couldn’t meet it, and then failed to meet the editing goal I made for myself, too.

Yet it was an important experience, I think. I learned what it was like to struggle as a writer and I know that struggle isn’t going to just disappear. It’s something I have to learn to recognize; learn to differentiate between the struggles I need to push and work through and the times when I need to take a break. It also, in a roundabout way, reaffirmed my desire to be a writer. Because not writing much throughout the entire year? Yeah, that really sucked.

And I don’t want 2018 to be a repeat of that.

Reading: Definitely didn’t read as much as I wanted to or in the way that I wanted to. I’d read in large spurts–hours at a time–and then not read at all for weeks. Which sucked, because reading is one of the major ways that I de-stress–not to mention I have so many good book series I want to read and never enough time to read them. But, the books that I did read, I really enjoyed. And I kept up with writing reviews, as well, as quirky as they are. So it’s a start.

Relaxation: This was a goal I added in halfway through the year, thanks to the advice of a friend. Everyone said I had a lot of goals on my plate–maybe too many–but I couldn’t see myself not working towards any of these things. They are all too important to me. But one friend mentioned that maybe I should also track how often I’m doing something fun or taking time for me, making that a priority as well.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

It was a weird thing to track, because sometimes, I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to write it. But it was also fun to track, because it helped me remember that, even during the weeks where I didn’t have anything specific planned to help me relax or enjoy, like date night or a DnD campaign, there were a lot of little things spread throughout every week, too: like reading outside when the weather was nice or grinding on the latest video game I loved. And those are important to recognize and embrace, too.

Blogging: I think I killed this goal, particularly with this blog. I definitely increased my posting output and I love that. I tried posting on a schedule (posting X type of content on Tuesdays and Y type of content on Fridays, for example), but found that didn’t always work the best for me, so I had to be a bit more flexible. Instead, it became trying to post twice a week on this blog, not counting my Sunday Resolutions posts. It also entailed learning to forgive myself on the weeks when I didn’t have time or didn’t have the ideas to write twice a week.

I will say that I didn’t post nearly as much as I wanted to on Erlebnisse, my book review blog, which is tied into not reading as much. Hard to write book reviews if you’re not reading books. So I think next year, tied into my focus with reading more often, I’ll try to write more reviews, as well. And, because I believe I learned this skill so well, I don’t think I’m going to be tracking blogging, like I did this year–but more on that in the post two.

Financial: This was both a win and a struggle. Looking at my goal, I actually did really well. Downloading Mint and creating budgets on there really helped me manage my money with a lot more awareness. It blows my mind how I used to not even check my bank account for months, back in high school. I can’t imagine not checking my account weekly, now. Also, having all of my bills managed online is super helpful, through my bank. I feel like I have a lot of control, which is awesome. I started a retirement account, which I stressed about and am proud I got done. And I do have a savings account–which was started to fund London and has since been drained to the minimum balance required, so my main goal next year is to replenish it and fix my budgets so I’m not living so stressed out, financially, and I learn to live based off of my actual income, not my desired income.

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Oof, that turned out to be a really, really long ramble. But 2017 was a really eventful and challenging year for me, but personally and professionally. Considering it was the first year I made resolutions and stuck with them, I think an extra long post is forgivable, if not necessary.

Stay tuned to part two of this post, which contents I’m sure you can guess. 🙂

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Nine

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Actually make an indoor workout plan. Eat well. Stay forgiving.
    • Status: Negative. Well, I did find some workouts to do indoors, but did I do any? No. I did pretty decent, food wise, and I’m really just trying to stay forgiving, at this point, and realize that I can–and will–pick this back up again. Just maybe after the holidays.
  • This Week’s GoalMeet my step count each day.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit short story. Potentially map out book two of Artemis?
    • Status: Success! I edited the short story, but didn’t map out anything. Since mapping anything out was more of a potential goal rather than a hard hope, I’m counting this week as a win.
  • This Week’s Goal: No writing this week, since I’ll be on an unexpected vacation!

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: FINISH THIS BOOK.
    • Status: Success. And finished another book, to boot.
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy vacation. Potentially read while there?

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Get to writing and mailing those Christmas cards. Plus, WRAPPING PRESENTS.
    • Status: Success! And only, what, three papercuts on the tongue? Not too shabby…
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy a very unexpected drip to Florida and Disney World!

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Taking a week off blogging.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Force myself to buy a coat, because winter. Then, stay frugal.
    • Status: Negative. Still didn’t buy a winter coat. And now that I’m going to Florida for a week, money is the biggest stress on my mind. Going to have to seriously look at second job opportunities after Christmas…
  • This Week’s Goal: Get some cool souvenirs, but don’t go mental (yet don’t stay anally frugal, either).

Killed it, reading wise. Did okay on everything else. But this week is traveling and making memories and next week is Christmas, with even more memories and awesomeness. So while all these goals are really important to me, they are definitely going on the back burner, in exchange for time with family and friends.

But watch out, 2018. I’m coming at ya and you might not be prepared with all the awesomeness I’m throwing your way.

Cheers.