Saturday, December 17, 2005

2005 Review and 2006 Goals

I borrowed these from Devon, whose blog I enjoy reading daily. It seemed like a great way to get things in order for the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. I'm always very introspective this time of year, so this will be great for me! Here goes...


1. Take some time and look back at 2005. Write a few summary paragraphs (NOT A LIST) to evaluate the year.

At this time in 2004, I was graduating from college, so at the new year in 2005, I was beginning a new phase of my life. So I started the year with great expectations for 2005, and most of them were fulfilled. I had a great job with a local nonprofit org. waiting for me when I got out of school. It was the perfect job for me at that point, and it still is. I'm enjoying my work very much, and I feel great that I'm working in my field.

I started the summer planning to do a summer writing challenge and finished Summer's Blossom, but it didn't work out. My laptop died halfway through and was completely unfixable. There is some very important info on that machine that I still can't access, but I'm working on a plan to get it transferred to my current computer. Hurricane Katrina pretty much turned everything upside down for awhile. Work was fierce during the three months after the storm. The months of September, October and November were filled with 10 hour days, working 6 days a week. It was hard, but very rewarding. I suffered hurricane burnout around the middle of November, right in time for my birthday, but it passed pretty quickly. I'll be ready next season, in case we get another bad storm. Anyway, I did NaNoWriMo this year and won for the first time! I couldn't believe it! I was ML for my area (one of two) and we had a great time encouraging everyone in our area to win the contest. We had 38 members, which was awesome for a first-time regional group. Did anything else happen this year? I'm not sure. It went by so fast!

2. What achievement left you proudest last year?

I'd have to say my finest moment of the year was winning NaNoWriMo. But it wasn't really because I won NaNoWriMo, it was because I finished a novel that's been in my head for a very long time. Finishing Summer's Blossom was the greatest moment of the year, for sure! It was the moment I realized I could be a writer after all.

3. What were your disappointments?

I am disappointed that I didn't keep my resolution to exercise for 45 minutes every day. There were days when I skipped it altogether. I need to make more of a commitment to that.

4. What do you wish you had done differently?

I wish I had been more committed to my writing and to exercise. I wish I had taken more risks.

5. How did your goals for the year evolve and change over the course of it, and what were the unexpected experiences?

A lot of things were changed by the hurricane. I had so many plans that were destroyed by that storm. But I can't complain, because others had it a lot worse. So many people lost their lives or their homes. So plans are incidental compared to that.

6. What was the best unexpected thing to happen in your year?

My two trips to Chicago. I have never had so much fun! I loved the city and really enjoyed the people I met there. Who knew business travel could be so much fun?

7. Looking ahead, what are your goals for 2006?

Finish at least 3 manuscripts
Write Every Day
Exercise at least 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes
Polish Summer's Blossom and send it off!
Move to a place closer to work
Meet some new people

8. What steps do you plan to get you there?

So many of these are related to each other. To finish at least three manuscripts, I will have to write every day. To write every day and to exercise every day(well, at least three days a week), I will need to create a better schedule for myself and stick with it. I've already done all the research on where to send Summer's Blossom, so all I have to do is polish and edit and then send the query. Moving should be easy enough if I can find a place. As far as meeting new people goes, I just need to put myself out there more. I'm planning to take some recreational learning-type classes so maybe I'll meet someone there.

9. What are your dreams for 2006?

Be published!

10. What steps will you take to bring you closer to them?

Already working on it.

11. What are your resolutions for 2006?

-Lose weight and get into better shape
-Keep Writing
-Try something new each month
-Live each day in such a way that I will look back on the year and not have any regrets
-Concentrate on my spiritual life and my creative side

12. How do you plan to get there?

Exercise and eat right, write every day, even when I don't feel like it, and always be mindful of how short life truly is

13. What changes has the last year brought to your long-term plan?

I'm not as anxious to move away as I was before. I think I'm going to stick around for awhile, especially if the job continues to go well.

14. Where would you like to be one year from now?

Contemplating grad school. I just need one more year out of school before I will feel ready to go back!


1. Where do you want to be with your writing in the long-term?

I would eventually like to write full time.

2. Where are you with your writing now?

Well, it's more serious than a hobby, but it's not something I can do for a living yet.

3. What project did you leave unfinished last year that you need to finish for your own peace of mind?

I must get to the point where I am comfortable sending a query for Summer's Blossom! I've been cooking up this story for way too long!

4. What creative goals do you want to achieve over the next year?

I'd really like to get two Deadlines books finished, and there's another one I want to work on too. I'd also like to do a short story each month, just for a change of pace. I'd also like to work on different genres (probably in the short stories) so that I can say I have a command of all types of writing.

5. What financial goals do you want to achieve over the next year? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? (Note: There is no need to post this information, but you should have a figure that you feel comfortable with in your own notes).

There is a number in my head. If I continue getting raises at work, I will reach that number by the end of next year. I'd also like to make some money on a piece of my writing. It doesn't matter what, I just want to say that I've been paid for writing something that wasn't a part of my job!

6. What steps do you see necessary in your life to achieve these goals?

Continue doing my best at work. Gain more confidence in my abilities at work and in my writing ability so that I can continue to work toward those goals.

7. What will make you refer to yourself, first and foremost, as "writer"?

I guess just writing every day would allow me to refer to myself as a writer, but I think ultimately it hinges on being published. I know that's the worst way to determine if you are a writer or not, but it seems to be everyone else's standard.

8. What steps do you need to take on the technical front to achieve your goals (such as improving spelling, grammar, and a general widening of skills)?

I'm taking classes in different genres of writing to hone my skills in those different genres.

9. What steps do you need to take on the creative front to achieve your goals?

Write every day (I keep going back to that, don't I?) Journal and keep an idea notebook for future projects, spend time watching people and writing down observations about them.

10. What changes do you need to make in your daily life (interaction with friends, family, job) to make this work?

I need to schedule creative time each day. This includes time for writing, journaling, prayer and meditation, and making an effort to really observe the world around me.

11. How much time each day do you vow to devote to your writing?

I'd like to spend two hours writing and one hour editing/brainstorming if at all possible.

12. With what new type of writing will you experiment in the coming year?

I want to try sci-fi and fantasy. I'd like to write a children's story and a young adult story. I want to play with all genres. And I'd like to finish my Harry Potter fanfic.

13. What new non-writing interest do you wish to add to your life this year?

I want to learn to draw. I plan to sign up for a drawing class that starts in January. I'd also like to take martial arts. I'm thinking TKD. There are some decent schools around and I think I can find one that suits me. I want to go further with photography, since it's something I really enjoy. I'm going to try to take more nature photos, since those are the ones I really love to take. Of course, I'll continue taking pictures of my sister's three lovely kids! I'm finally going to become involved with one of our theater companies in town, and perhaps the opera company. I'd like to get back into singing, especially on stage. I miss it terribly! Of course, I may need to resume voice lessons if I want to try to get into the opera company. It's been a few years...

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