I woke up this morning, and as is habit, flopped over and fumbled for my phone which I leave plugged in overnight on my nightstand. After ensuring that the significant other is awake/alive, I blearily loaded Facebook. This is a terrible habit. It’s usually preceded by checking my email, but I’ve since disconnected my work account because there’s nothing like not being out of bed and getting stressed out over someone else’s stress.
The first several posts, not for reposting, consisted of a bevy of “anti-resolutions.” Do the same thing as last year but forget about expectations, procrastinate more, make some interesting things, and drink better booze.
I’m all for this. When no one is benchmarking you but yourself, might as well break into the Writer’s Tears and make a good show of it. (I’ve been working steadily through the Monkey Shoulder. Never having been a whiskey/bourbon fan, this is a crash educational course and I find I quite like it. Is that cliche? Writers and their preferred substances to get themselves altered? Dunno.)
I scribbled something into DayOne and went to find coffee.
I’ve been reading David Mitchell’s latest book, The Bone Clocks, and the farther I get into it, the more frequently I experience bouts of full-frontal mortal reckoning. It may very well be because I’m in my early thirties and decidedly not where I’d like to be right now, and it may very well be that I’m dissatisfied with a bunch of things that are in my power to change, but every year the protagonist ages in that book I get a bit more wibbly.
And I ask myself, what am I doing right now that pushes me closer to what I want?
I think half of 2014 was spent adrift. It feels like a lot of wasted time, despite my accomplishments. I want more. I want to do more. See more. Experience more. Write more. I want to do something drastic and laugh about it later before I run out of time. Before I can’t. Before I’m old and feeble and the weight of those regrets keeps me company until I breathe my last.
It’s not that time, friends.
I’ve yet to leave my mark on this world.
Without further ado, let’s get to the thing:
The Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post
This is the year I will complete two manuscript drafts
If my first goal involved weight loss or something relatively easy, I’d be more flippant about it. Two manuscripts is a lot of words. It requires daily writing and some hardcore commitment. It doesn’t actually mean sacrificing my social life — I’ve learned this from writing Wake the Dead — but it does mean sitting down for an hour or so every night and hitting the count. The real challenge is not slacking off between drafts: I’ll have to jump from one literally into the other without a break to make it happen. (This scares me.)
Six months each manuscript. Now look at this math:
90,000 words / 6 months = ~500 words a day
140,000 words / 6 months = ~778 words a day
Guess which one I’m starting with? Path of least resistance, baby.
I’m going to need an editor. Let me know if you have a referral. I’ll send you an ARC in thanks once I’ve got it in-hand.
This is the year I will self-publish my first book
I came to the conclusion that this is entirely doable, feasible, possible. I’d do it for the pleasure of building a little self-contained world in ninety thousand worlds, and I’d do it to appease my inner control-freak who thinks designing promotional materials and the actual book itself would be a delight. Full control over content and execution. Full profits — even if it’s like, $100. Whatever, man. I think it’s high time I show the world I can write my way out of a cardboard box.
This isn’t to say I won’t be attempting traditional publishing avenues for other material, but this book baby is a little monster and it wants to live its own life.
This year, I will travel to motherf*cking Bali
Or Costa Rica for a yoga retreat, or Nicaragua just so I can loll around on a beach for a week, but probably Bali. I haven’t been that far yet, and the more my mother protests about Indonesia, the more I want to do it. My last few “vacations” were gruelling, debaucherous excursions that left me exhausted. I want a beach, a jungle, some Buddhist temples, an infinity pool, and some sand up my butt.
Well, you get the idea — sand in the butt isn’t really a goal, but it’s probably an overstated takeaway.
This year, I will get my driver’s license
Yeah it’s about time. Turns out I can waltz into the SAAQ, take two exams — theory and practical — and be in the road. I have Fiat lust. I’m reminded frequently that I’ll likely need to move so I can have a parking spot, but that’s fine too because I have no intention of spending another summer in this greenhouse apartment on the third floor. The only thing blocking me right now is a staunch dislike of studying extremely dry material. I predict flash cards in my near future.
Read More and Drink More Tea
That’s it. Nice and tidy and manageable, I’m sure. Or at least I’m blindly, wildly confident. I’d suggest bracing yourself for more inane pep-talk posts where I encourage you to put your nose to your keyboard as I do the same.
Make good things. Be kind. Give more hugs. Get busy. Etc.
What’s on your list this year?