We have reached first day of 2022 (or, as my wife reminds me, 2020.2, following the recent year known as 2020.1). We went through a bit of a Covid scare this week when my step-daughter tested positive after she spent Christmas with us. Despite being vaccinated and boosted, we opted to take no risks and get tested ourselves (my wife is a teacher after all, it’s absolutely necessary she know). Our results came back negative, which was a relief.
I have thoughts about the anti vaxxers, anti maskers, anti social distancers, and other folks who have refused to do what is necessary to beat this pandemic and act like the shitty lock down we didn’t really even have back in March/April of 2020 (when Florida completely refused to do ANYTHING, thus ensuring it would continue to spread) should have been enough. Their gaslighting of the country will be forever remembered and every death since then will be hung around their necks.
Now I have eaten all the pie in the house. The last of the ham is about to go out with the garbage. Christmas decorations have come down and been put away again until next year. What is left to do?
Oh right. I shall NOT make resolutions.
Resolutions are rarely kept. Fewer than 10% of people manage to keep their resolutions all year. It’s a bad way of managing your desired changes and accomplishments. Instead, this year I’ll make some goals, then develop plans to try and obtain them. We’ll see if I hit them by year’s end.
Goal #1: have four stories sold & published this year.
Tough goal to make. There’s no guarantee any story will sell. I do, however, have a head start, with one story already sold, to be published come April. I have another on hold I feel pretty confident will sell. Okay, a bit of a cheat there, but I’ll take it as part of the plan (it’s my plan, I do what I want). After that, it’s a bit sketchier. But I have plenty of stories on submission, and plenty more that need revision, so it’s doable. The plan: keep writing; keep submitting; keep pushing.
Goal #2: finish new novel.
Easier goal to achieve. The novel in question is already roughly 2/3rd’s finished. I have the ending in place, too. Just need to bridge the gap between the first 50,000 words and the final 10,000. The plan will be to begin working on it again today (January 1st) and aim to complete by the end of February. That will give me enough time for a round or two of revisions prior to beta readers getting their hands on it later next year.
Goal #3: Write 250,000 words of new fiction next year.
I’d previously (2016) set a 350,000 word goal, which I achieved by October. I find a yearly word count goal works better for me than daily word counts, or promises to write every day. I should be able to manage this one fairly easily. It’s only 685 words a day average. Absolutely doable. I plan to refresh my word count spreadsheet and use that to monitor my progress.
Goal #4: practice guitar regularly.
I’d like to say “every day,” but that’s a stretch. Averaging 3 times a week would be a good plan I think. I’ll monitor by keeping a calendar of days I practice. I know quite a few chords now, but I need to be able to start stringing them together something so I can play actual songs. So, maybe the goal is “get good enough to play some simple songs smoothly.”
Goal #5: pay off the car loans.
We’ve been working hard to pay down debt the last few years. We just paid off the remaining student loans we had (and we STILL think Biden should cancel all student loans). This year, we’ll focus on paying off the cars early. After that, it’s just the mortgage left for long-term loans, plus the credit cards we pay off monthly (we paid those down first before the student loans). This is absolutely doable as a goal, and we should have it done before summer is over. Fingers crossed of course, this old house needs constant repairs. New roof, new gutters, lots of new plumbing, new windows, new water heater, new fridge, upgrades to electric panel… and that’s all in the last three years. We’ve put a LOT into this place to make it safer and more livable since we’ll probably retire here. But there’s still some things we should probably get done in the next couple of years.
Welcome to 2020.2 and another 365 days of waiting for the other shoe to drop. May this year be better than the last two. You made it. That’s all anyone can expect these days, so be proud of that. We’ll get through 2022 together just as we did the last two years. Somehow. Be gentle with yourselves. Limit your social media consumption, because that shit rots society. And NEVER back down from the fascist, terrorist, rabidly conservative, religion of greed, false patriots who are threatening to destroy us.