Tag Archives: resolutions

New Year’s Goals and Resolutions.

Happy New Year!  I’m glad 2008 is over, not because it was a particularly bad year for me or family; in fact, aside from Junior’s broken arm, it wasn’t bad at all, if you ignore the statements for our 401ks and the kids’ college funds.  The world around us seems to be a more dangerous and depressing place than it was a year ago, though.  I do think the new administration in Washington will help, but it’s anyone’s guess how much a change in leadership will improve things, or when any improvement will start.  That said, I’m cautiously optimistic about 2009.

Enough about the world at large.  I’m going to talk about me (again), and list my writing and running goals for the year.

Writing Goals:

  • Finish the revision of Meet the Larssons.  I’m using Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Revision Process, which seems like a rational way to get through it, but I admit I’m having trouble.  The problem is that the changes I need to make are so substantial that I’m doing much more rewriting than revising, and it’s taking longer than it did originally because this time I have to worry about consistency, quality, as well as the significant changes to the story arc I need to make.  I’m going to get it done, though, hopefully in the next month or two.  This leads to my next writing goal:
  • Complete the first draft of Project Hometown.  I want to have the first draft of my second novel done by the end of the year.  This time, I’m outlining the heck out of it.  Once the outline is done, I should be able to get through the draft a little more quickly than I was able to finish MTL, and it should require less restructuring on the second pass.
  • I’m going to shoot for completing six short stories and submitting them.  This will be easier if I take to heart two of the lessons I learned from TTB:  (1) 13,000 words is too damn long; and (2) six drafts is too damn many.  I give the history of TTB here, but in brief, I started it on January 13, 2008, and finished it five months later on May 11, 2008.  If I spend five months on a short story, while revising one novel and writing another, I’ll be lucky to get two shorts completed in 2009.  But I got “Jimmies” written, revised, and sent out in less than a month; if I can write six stories the way I wrote “Jimmies” — one careful draft over a couple of weeks, one revision on my own and one after a read-through from the Mrs. — I should be able to meet this goal.
  • I’m going to keep up with this blog, of course.  I don’t intend to commit to a specific number or frequency of posts, except that I plan to be more disciplined about my Sunday Stats posts.  I like them because they keep me accountable for my running and writing, and ensure that even when I’m busy I post at least once a week.  I may rearrange the format a little, but it’s working for me.  I haven’t decided what to do with the podcast section; I’d like to make the reviews of new (or new to me) podcasts a more regular feature, but searching them out may require more time than I have to devote to it.  I’ll keep you posted on what I’m listening to, and include reviews of new ones when I can.  Please feel free to email me with suggestions for podcasts, particularly about writing or running.

Running Goals:

  • I won an age-group medal in a 5K in August; I came in third for the 35-39 age group.  This year, I’ll be in a new age group, and I’d like to medal again.
  • My personal record for the 5K is 20:26, from 2006; I got that age-group medal with a 20:27.  I’m going to increase my speed work and try to get my 5K time down below 20 minutes.  I’ve made this resolution for the last two years, so you’re entitled to some skepticism.
  • For the last several years, I have run two or three half marathons during the racing season, and in both 2007 and 2008, my half marathon times got slower through the year instead of faster.
  • Help Unfocused Girl train for a summer 5K and run it with her.  She wants to do it, and I’ve been looking forward to running with my kids since before they were born.

That’s enough for one year, I think.  I have some thoughts on turning 40 this year that I’ll put in a separate post.  Hope your 2009 is happy and healthy.


More on resolutions

I posted my perennial New Year’s resolutions from the previous post at the NaNoWriMo Big, Fun, Scary Goal Center forum, and decided they were too vague, so I added some detail on some of them, and admitted that others were unrealistic (at least for this year!):

Some of these require more specificity. I want to get my 5K time down below 20 minutes, which is not so terribly far from my PR in both 2006 and 2007 of 20:26, but will certainly take some concentrated effort.

Language skills. I have been teaching myself Spanish off and on for a couple of years, and plan to do a little more with that this year, but this is actually my lowest priority goal this year.

Go back to TKD: I just registered myself and my daughter for Family TKD at the Y, and I think my wife and son will end up joining the class, too. Perfect! Also, this helps with “spend more time with the kids.”

If we buy a piano this year, I will learn to play at least one Billy Joel song.

Writing: a couple of weeks ago, when I started my blog, I said that my writing goals for 2008 were: keep up with the blog, write one professional article and one short story before NaNoWriMo 2008, and win NaNo. I’m having to modify those goals slightly because I started hashing out a novel the other day. So now my new writing goals are: keep up with the blog, write one professional article and the first draft of my current novel before NaNoWriMo 2008, and win NaNo.

I will not grow taller.

Learn to draw: again, probably not this year.

Superpowers: I plan to go up at least one belt level in TKD this year — that and breaking 20 minutes for a 5K would be superpowers enough for 2008.

So, yeah, I started work on a novel on January 2. I’m such an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking — I had a plan, and the plan did not involve working on a novel until November, which was comfortably far off. But an idea I’ve been kicking around occasionally since I was in high school more than 20 years ago popped back into my head with a new angle that I couldn’t resist thinking through. That’s the problem with ideas — once you get one idea and start going in a new direction (such as, “I’m going to start writing fiction again”), you can’t help but get flooded with ideas related to it. This isn’t NaNo, though — I don’t have that kind of tight deadline, although I’d like to finish the first draft of this novel before I have to start a new one for NaNo.

Happy New Year

I can’t say I’m sorry to see the end of 2007 — there weren’t any major problems at home or at work, but it was a stressful year and I’m glad it’s over.

We did have a very nice New Year’s Eve, including the countdown for the kids at about 10:15, outside in the snow. We told the old year not to let the door smack it on the ass on the way out, and now we’re ready for 2008. Today we met up with some friends and took the kids sledding, which in the flatlands here is a treat. They had a blast, which was fun.

Back to the office tomorrow. I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, but I expect that will change when I get back into the thick of it.

I’m not much for resolutions, but if I were going to make resolutions, they would be exactly same as they would have been for 2007 or any of the last 7 years:

Get my 5K time down.
Learn a new language, or an old language better.
Go back to Tae Kwon Do lessons.
Spend more time with the kids.
Take the Mrs. out more often.
Learn to play the piano.
Start writing again.
Grow taller.
Learn to draw something other than stick figures.
Obtain super powers.

The problem is not that I can’t achieve any of these things, the problem is choosing a manageable number of them to work on, while maintaining a full-time job where I am essentially paid by the hour.

This year, I plan to focus on the writing, through this blog, at least one professional article, at least one short story, and NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how that goes.