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What’s up in the New Year

December 31, 2011

Inspired, in part, by good friend Callan’s post on this topic, I figured I would post about the coming year.

Since I’ve graduated from college, I’ve not done a lot of the things that should have been done. To whit: I have never had a job that paid me a reasonable amount of money, I’ve not written nearly enough, I’ve not read enough books, or learned enough things. Most importantly, I’ve not been able to find that top gear that I need as a writer, and I’ve found myself not enjoying life too often.

Last year I made some resolutions and kept to a number of them (and forgot others). I’ve become more open minded, one of the big things I wanted to do, and I definitely redoubled my efforts to write nearly every day. Of course, a lot of that writing has been about video games, which is good and important but somewhat of a cop-out. I resolved to drink less soda, to beat my addiction, and I totally did that. I resolved to eat better, and I did that, for the most part, too. I wanted to read more books, but that didn’t happen. Exercise more, which did. Lots of stuff.

So, mixed results. But a good effort. This year, I’m being more methodical. I’m making a plan!

The most important thing I can do better in the new year is to prioritize. That’s very important. My big problem, as a human being, is getting started. I talk myself out of writing things I want to write; I think about things too much before doing them. I have to do more. If I have to write a lot of bad words, as the proverbs say, before I write good ones, then I should just write them and be done with them. Further, I gotta do the stuff that’s important. I have to spend my time doing stuff that’s important. I have to write more fiction, writing interesting, thoughtful articles instead of putzing about doing things that are pointless.

So, writing more, writing better. Also on the list is reading a lot of books. My goal is a hundred pages a day, or an hour a day (these are roughly equivalent at my reading speed). That would be 36,600 pages of words for the year, not counting articles on the internet. Or a little over ninety-one four hundred page books. That sounds like a really nice goal.

Additional part of this goal: post about them here. Instant content!

Continuing to exercise and eating better still are also goals. I walk a lot; I can walk more. Eating wise, I want to flip my schedule around: eat protein rich meals for breakfast (and oatmeal), smaller portions for the other meals of the day. I’m planning to split it into three smaller meals, one of which would be entirely vegetables towards the end of my work day to give me some more energy. Reduce sugar consumption, too. Basic stuff.

In conjunction with the top goal of prioritizing, I also want to be happier. I have the same problem with enjoying myself I do with work: I sit around, listless, afraid of wasting time, and then that’s what I do. Enough of that. I want to work hard, and then I want to relax with the same vigor. I want to be doing things to enjoy myself, to actively relax, rather than just sit around and hope I feel better. I cringe when I think of all the time I could have used better over the past couple years; I want to use it better.

Final point: last year I focused on my games writing, trying to write more frequently, more insightfully. I’m still relatively unknown, but I wrote some decent “bad” words last year. This is the year I want to write some good ones. I want to be published both in terms of fiction (which is the immediate goal) and in terms of games writing and make money for it. I don’t mean technical writing or copy, either: I mean short stories (god, if it were a novel I’d be even more chuffed, but I don’t think it will be), articles, money in my pocket. I want to make at least one dollar from doing both of them. Heck, I’d even take a free copy of a journal as credit here.

Because here’s the thing: no writer ever thinks they’re ready to try to publish. I sure as hell don’t. But at some point you have to stop and tell yourself, “Self, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve written a lot of stuff. We have to see how it stands up in the world.” And that’s what I’ve got to tell myself. This, 2012, is the year of seeing how I stack up to everyone else.

(Final note: I made no new year’s resolution about this blog because I know for damn sure it’d be the first one thrown into the wastepaper bin. Yeah, I’ll write here more. Sure. But I’m not swearing to it. It’ll happen one day, like Spring.

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