Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 New Year's Resolutions: Midyear Evaluation

I have mentioned before that I'm really into New Year's Resolutions. Setting goals for myself is one of the chief ways that I manage to get things done and that is exactly why I enjoy them as much as I do.

On New Year's Day, I put up a list of my resolutions for 2012. Since it is now mid-July and the year is halfway over, I thought this would be a good chance to look back and see where I am on those goals and which ones I'll manage to accomplish this year.

So without further ado, here is my midyear evaluation:

1) Create/Write a Dream Journal

This goal has basically been accomplished. I purchased a journal for the task just after Christmas and, though I don't use it as often as I would like to, I have been steadily adding to it throughout the year. As of today, it has fifteen entries. That may not seem like a lot, but my dreams tend to be long and elaborate.
Here's a little excerpt for your sheer amusement:
(4/2/12): "The games didn't last very long. Soon enough, it was down to four of us. Nathan Fillion (I think as Castle) was there and sought me out for an alliance. At this point, we had all been relocated to a sort of hotel room and were told that Stephen Moffat would show up to congratulate the winner(s).Nathan wanted me to tell him more about myself, but I refused, saying that it was dangerous information and I didn't even know if I could trust him."
Yeah, my brain is a weird place.
Hopefully, I'll manage to start writing in it more often. My biggest problem is getting myself to wake up and immediately start writing out what I dreamt. As a rule, we tend to forget our dreams quite soon after waking. If I don't go immediately to the journal, I tend to mull it over while checking my phone or my social media sites and by the time I feel up to writing it out, I've forgotten most of the details I wanted to put in.
I'll definitely have to work on that over the next few months.

2) Move to New York City.

Yeah, this definitely won't be happening. At least, not this year. I've been meaning to write a blog post about this goal and will probably do so in the near future. The point here, though, is that I still don't have a job. There's no way in hell that I'll be able to afford anything at this point in time. I hope to be moving up north sometime next year instead, if at all possible.
Like I said, I'll be writing a blog post about this whole thing soon, so keep an eye out for that one.

3) Read 75 Books

As of yesterday, I have read 41 books this year. This means I only have 34 to go!
However, as any of those with whom I've discussed this goal will know, I have been steadily working my way up to reading 100 in a year. This is due to the fact that I once read that English majors at Oxford college are required to read 100 books a year. As a book enthusiast, this seemed like a wonderful idea to me. In 2011, I read 55 books, so I set the goal at 75 this year.
But I would be overjoyed if I could manage to read 100 this year and reach that goal sooner, rather than later. So if you look to the sidebar on the left and see the Goodreads Book Challenge Widget, you'll see my goal there is 100. If I can reach it this year, I will be overjoyed. If not, there will always be next year.
Either way, I'm totally going to blow the 75 goal out of the water.

4) Learn Tae Kwon Do

This one will likely remain partially done this year. I did take two Tae Kwon Do classes sometime around May, but I basically let it slip through my fingers and the trial period ran out. I decided it wasn't something I needed to be pursuing just yet.
I would still like to take some sort of fighting class in the near future, whether it be Tae Kwon Do, Karav Maga, or Kickboxing (all sound awesome). It's just not something I want to focus on right at this moment. Maybe next year will work out better for me.

5) Finish Writing My Book

Honestly, I don't see this one happening this year either. The book I was working on when I wrote that resolution didn't work out and I abandoned the project. Since then, I've been so wrapped up in FanFiction story lines that I haven't had the time to start yet another book project.
I think once I finish up the loose ends I have in my current FanFiction stories (A Matter of Trust (Newsies), Eyes of Purple (Narnia), and Winning the Golden Hearted (also Narnia), then I'll buckle down and focus on churning out a book.
In the meantime, this gives me the chance to work on developing the stories bouncing around in the back of my head and add new depth, as well as improve my writing skills. So don't worry, this time isn't being wasted in the least.

6) Accomplish at Least 3 Things on My Bucket List

And my final resolution has already been passed with flying colors. I have already accomplished four things on my Bucket List and will definitely be accomplishing another before the end of the year, hopefully more.
The three items on my Bucket List that I am probably most proud of are:
1. Go to Ireland
2. Get a Tattoo
3. Try Fish Sticks and Custard

So there you have it, my midyear evaluation. Maybe more will be accomplished by the end of the year than I expect and we'll have even more to celebrate. I'm already looking forward to the goals I'll be pursuing next year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Might Just Be Mental

Sometimes I feel like my laptop is a sentient being.

When I'm reading a particularly good book or have an idea that keeps turning itself over in my head, this little MacBook Air of mine seems to loom bigger and bigger in my mind as if it's calling out to me.

"Write!" it pesters incessantly. "Why aren't you writing? Aren't you the one who calls yourself an aspiring author?"

Of course I want to write. The problem is multifaceted and cumulates in a lack of focus and far too many ideas ricocheting off the boundaries of my mind. Nothing's cohesive. I know where I want to go with some stories and the premise of others, but it's like the moment I've got that going for me, by brain freezes up and my fingers seize.

My laptop scoffs. "Maybe you should just give up," it jeers. "Everyone else is better at this than you. They've all at least finished a rough draft of their manuscripts. You just keep getting stuck after the first ten chapters then ditching it and it's cluttering up my files."

I sneer and go back to reading or watching YouTube, doing my best to ignore its nagging. I have to figure out how I want the opening to work. I have to hash out the story first. I can't write down some half-baked idea and call it a manuscript.

"That's what editing's for, dimwit. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around."

But I want it to be perfect the first time around! I want it to be the potential I see it having. And I have other things to do. This isn't my entire life after all.

"Isn't it what you want your entire life to be? Writing? Publishing books?"

Shut up! I'm doing the best I can. I'm reading like a maniac over here, trying to learn as much as I can through what others have done. As John Green would say, it's the best apprenticeship I've got.

"You just ended that sentence with 'I've got'."

I groan. That's besides the point. The point is that I'm learning right now. You can't expect me to do everything at once.

"Practice makes perfect. You can set a little time aside at the very least. What was that quote you used to be so fond of? Oh yeah, 'The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.' -John Irving. Or 'Learn as much by writing as by reading.' -Lord Acton. Or even that one from Ray Bradbury, that author you look up to so much, 'Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.' I win."

Not fair! You can't just bombard me with quotes I like and win the argument just like that. Okay, maybe you've got a point. *sigh* Fine, I'll get to writing already. I'm not saying I'm gonna type up a novel in the next week, but I promise I'll stop procrastinating somewhat and at least write for an hour or two every day. Scout's honor.

"You weren't a girl scout. They didn't let you in the troop because the lead mom hated you, remember?"

Enough with the low blows already. You already won.

Just let me finish one more chapter of Suite Scarlett first. Things are getting intense right now . . .