Ready 2015!

Ahh, I can’t believe it’s upon us already!

So 2014 has been an absolutely insane year. When it started I was just beginning my last semester of grad school. I was living in a basement (super bad situation in the end, full of bugs and my landlady’s daughter had guests of a particular kind all the time and I paid for a ton of things I never got like a parking spot in the garage and KITCHEN RIGHTS), I was in a job with a really negative atmosphere, doing an internship that for various reasons was extremely challenging, and I was five hours away from everyone I loved.
In May I graduated and moved back in with my parents. In June I did interviews in parking lots and gas stations on my way to vacation in Florida, and I got my dream job. In July I bought a house and went to my first writer’s conference, and in August I started my dream job. In September I moved into my new house, and here we are in December.
In the midst of this chaos I wrote eight draft novels and revised two. My first short story was published in The Dark Carnival anthology from Pen and Muse Press, and I was an alternate in PitchWars with my Phantom of the Opera retelling.
So, as I was saying. An insane year.

Now I know the cool thing seems to be not really being into goals, but I can’t help it: I love goals and I adore New Years Eve resolutions. And as I look into 2015, one clear phrase keeps coming to me- Take Charge.

For those of you familiar with me, it probably isn’t that shocking that lots of people have told me I’m driven, or intense, or dedicated. Personally I sometimes don’t see it, but I also know how many dirty dishes are in my sink. Either way, I do know that I have a wee bit of a workaholic tendency and I do kind of go all in all the time in every single thing. So, oddly enough, to me 2015’s Take Charge is a call to calm down a little bit.

I’m seeking some balance, and a better mix of the things I love. Writing is awesome and the best, but this year I was so focused on churning out words that I didn’t read much or do very many fun things or anything really except work and write when I wasn’t throwing school in the mix. In 2015 I want to find some balance and relaxation and slow down a little, taking time to enjoy and cherish moments. I want to be sure that the things I’m striving so hard for really do matter to me, that I’m selecting them instead of being driven by any kind of outside forces, and that I appreciate the journey. I also want to really focus on my health, to help reduce the symptoms of my movement disorder and the impact its having on my life. I want to be a little less intense and more laid back.

With that in mind, here are my goals:

Write three books
Revise three books
Journal my writing process at least 2x/wk
Blog at least 2x/week
Develop two additional social medias (Tumblr and Instagram)
Buy no more than three books/month -this is a special challenge I’m doing, more later
Exercise 20 mins/3x per week
Cook a real meal 2x/week
Watch at least one season of 3 new shows on Netflix
Go on a trip
Do an obstacle course challenge
Get 3 massages
Get involved in something in my community
Host 6 dinner parties or other gatherings
Choose some craft and make at least two projects
Finish the basement
(Sub goal from the basement) – Finish library design
Learn a new skill

I know it looks like a lot, but many are just adjustments to what I do now or things that will feed my writing and my life both.

Okay, so maybe I’m not dialing back the intensity. I’ve always been an all in person,and Leslie Knope is my spirit animal after all. Go big or go home! But 2015 is going to be an excellent and beautiful year, and when I get excited, I just want to get to work! So in four more days, we’ll wake up to a New Year. Let’s make it All In!

Advertisements

The Spaces Between

Whoa so hey there, bloggy friends. Did you think I fell off the planet?!

I kind of did! Well, not precisely: here’s some of what happened-

I did NaNoWriMo and wrote 75,000 words between Nov. 1 and Nov. 24. The book morphed from being straight Robin Hood retelling to including magic and switched from third person past tense to first person present 20k in. That should be fun to revise.

I got bronchitis

I finished moving into my new house – well, mostly. Don’t look under the couch. Or in the closets.

I filled a hole in the wall. Yes, it was there when I moved in. Just didn’t know about it before I moved in.

I bought books. Lots of books.

I was in the PitchWars showcase and it was fab! The people I met during that contest are amazing and I will be forever grateful!

 

And now:

Now I’m in a waiting time. I’m taking a break from writing for December. It’s my tradition, because I’m a fast drafter so usually over the course of a year I write 5-6 books and revise 1-2…in other words, there’s a whole lot of output for eleven months, and this year has been incredibly stressful at times in not-writing life too (finished grad school, moved, job hunted, bought a house and moved again, started new job) so December is a really important time for me to decompress, relax, and completely refill the tank.

But it’s hard, y’all. It’s really hard.

I am a writer. I’m many other things, but being a writer shapes my interactions with the world and with other people. I see the world in story, and everything makes me think of characters and plots and things. So to take a break from expressing all of those things is very weird, and I’m finding it alarmingly unsettling. You can ask some of my friends – I’ve been moping, restless, and I’ve eaten a whole lot of cupcakes and peppermint kisses.

But it’s good. It’s important to separate yourself sometimes. I’ve had a million ideas just over the week I’ve been off so far, and I’ve had time to fidget with little projects, play with ideas, daydream, and otherwise toy with concepts. I’m taking some time to think over my hopes for my writing career, what I want it to look like, and what I need to do to get there. I’m making plans for the blog, too, and setting some goals for 2015 writing, and for 2015 life too. You can only do your best writing when you’re connected to yourself and to the world, and sometimes writing itself puts a filter up between you and everything else around you. It’s easy, sometimes, to describe a situation to yourself the way you would write it, or to have a small voice in the back of your mind during an important conversation with a loved one whispering how this conversation would go in a book, or to only process your emotions as you put them into characters.

This makes your writing powerful. But it also keeps you from fully experiencing life. And we need to, sometimes.

Over the next couple weeks I’ll tell you about plans for writing and plans for this blog, and I’m already full of excitement! I’ll also read a whole bunch of awesome books (Just started the Throne of Glass series and kids, this is a good one!) and send out some gifts for the first time since grad school began rendering me impoverished, and I’ll finishing cleaning and arranging my house, and bake, and go Christmas caroling, and be in a Live Nativity, and come up with a million more book ideas.

And then when January comes, I’ll know who I am, and how the world is, and what it all means in it’s realest, tangible sense. And then I’ll be ready to tell a story.

 

Tell me, do you take hiatuses? What do you love/hate about breaks from writing?