Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year's Intentions

I love the idea of New Year's Resolutions, but like most people, I kinda hate the practice.

I love blank books, blank calendars, blank paper. All that potential...

And I have lousy follow through, sometimes.

My husband, the Project Manager, likes to talk about Target Dates versus Deadlines. Targets can be moved, deadlines are missed.

I've learned a lot from him; when people ask me about how productive I am (or talk about how intimidating my productivity is, which continues to boggle me, because I don't see the same thing you see. I see my messy desk and my days of fuckit, I'm going to play Star Wars ALL DAY LONG) I really have him to thank for that...

He's taught me how to manage projects, and in truth, that's all a novel really is. A project. It has stages and goals and completion and projected output. And like all projects, it can get lost in the weeds, have unexpected delays, and consequences.

First of all, I generally know how much writing output I'm capable of. For me, that was a first critical step was determining what my regular outcome was (always build in time for "I hate this project" screw arounds, because I will hate the project, I will take time to just fuck it, I will get overly involved in reading someone else's books... and if I don't account for that, I'll just feel guilty about it. And guilt, for me, is a pretty sucky emotion. It's both useless and has a bad tendency to backfire. If guilt made me work harder, I'd be all for it, but it doesn't. When I feel bad/guilty/pathetic, I tend to hide from what's making me feel bad, rather than deal with it. Unproductive, but true.)

From there, I decide how long the project is going to be; novel length, novella, short story... (yes, I have bloat. Targets can be moved... )

And then I track backward from the expected due date  - some of which are set by publisher requirements and some are set from my head - at so many words per day, so much time to screw around, when do I have to start?

Final step is just a matter of doing what I say I'm going to do. Which can be difficult. And again, targets can be moved!!

So, this year...

Among other various "I really need to Do The Thing this year Better than Last Year," I'd like to read:

  • at least 2 books per month for review
  • one book per month that's been recommended to me as a "You really must read this" 
  • only re-read one book per month. 

(at this time, this is not really a plea to have books recommended to me. I have a list already...)

I'd also like to remember to update my Music Page daily with a new song st least three times a week.

I want to stop forgetting to clean my house regularly. I'm tired of panic-cleaning whenever guests are expected. (and yes, I know, I have friends who are totally rolling their eyes because my house is actually much cleaner, even now, than it's ever been, but the thing about improving is that I want to get BETTER at things...)

I want to learn a new skill; last year I attempted and failed to learn to crochet. (I'd say failed miserably, but I wasn't really miserable. I enjoyed trying to learn, and was more amused by my failure and a little exasperated, than anything else) This year, I'd like to attempt to learn to play a musical instrument. I always wanted to when I was a kid, I love music, and while my voice is a NATO sanctioned Weapon of Mass Destruction, maybe playing wouldn't be so terrible?

And the Writer Goals for this year:

I have 3 novels to write:

  • Sins of Angels
  • All that Jazz
  • Project to Be Determined Later)

three novellas to outline/write

The Terran Academy series

  • Economics 101: The True Cost of Running an Empire
  • Computer Science 201: How to Hack your Final Exam
  • Journalism 301: Objective Reporting in the Middle of a Battlefield

four short stories that I want to work on.

  • How 'bout them Apples?
  • Next Thursday Night
  • Cascade Failure
  • A Funny Story For Someone Else.

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