Goodbye 2016, hello 2017

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It’s New Year’s Eve. 2016 is finally coming to an end. On a public level, 2016 has not been the greatest. We have lost a lot of loved celebrities, the US has elected a vile, hateful lowlife as a president and the UK has voted to go back to the 1950s during the Brexit referendum. The world has stood idly by while Syrian civilians have been bombed into oblivion and there have been more bombings and acts of terrorism than I would like to recall. I am sure we will all be happy to see the end of 2016.

On a personal level, 2016 has been good to me. I finally got my health problems sorted out (I wrote a blog post about that), I started this blog and I did more writing than I have in any other year. At the end of this year, I am feeling much better, more energetic and enthusiastic than I have in years.

As is customary at the end of a year, I am looking forward to the next year. I didn’t really have any New Year’s resolutions last year, but I decided to put a few together this year. I find that having New Year’s resolutions help me focus for the year ahead. Do I always end up following through on all of them? No, but I do find it gives me somewhat of a steer in the right direction.

I have great plans for 2017. Now that I have my energy back I have no excuse not to write, edit and blog as much as I can. I put together my planner for 2017 a few days ago, clearly defining my goals and milestones. I find I work much better when I have a deadline. I participate in NaNoWriMo each year and I am always able to get to the 50,000 words within 30 days. This year I even wrote 110,000 words AND finished my novel within the month. But I find I usually slow down or stop altogether once my Nano novel is finished. Because I have no other deadline, I slack off for the rest of the year, always intending to write, but never actually doing it. It’s all very good and well to participate in NaNoWriMo, but if the writing is confined to just that one month a year, you can’t really call yourself a writer.

At work, we set out our performance goals for the year at the beginning of the year. During the year we track our performance, ensuring we are on target. If I can do that for a job I don’t really care about, why can’t I do it for a career I want to obtain? So, with that in mind I took out my 2017 planner and marked what I want to achieve with a deadline for each project. I want to write 3 novels this year, edit my 2016 Nano novel and send it out to agents/publishers and write at least 2 blog posts a week. I also intend to write a short story a month, and hopefully enter one or more for a competition.

So what are your New Year’s resolutions?

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