Books, critiquing, editing, goals, Life Talk, philosophy, publishing, reading list, seasons, writing

New Year, New-ish Goals

Friends, it is 2015, and I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more pleased.

Not that 2014 was a bad year. Not at all. We did a lot of learning and growing and stretching in it, and also took plenty of trips to the beach. Can’t really complain.

But a new year is here, and I am ready to put into action the results of all that learning and growing and stretching. And some more beach trips.

I signed Joy up for violin lessons with someone here on campus who teaches (EXCITEMENT ABOUNDS) and realized that this means she will be taking ballet lessons, art lessons, piano lessons, and violin lessons this semester; Gracie will be taking art and ballet (possibly starting piano in the fall, we’ll see); and of course we’ll be continuing with our Friday homeschool group. Guess there’s no question but that I’m a mom of kids instead of littles now, with all these activities. How am I supposed to be a proper hermit with all this running them around hither and yon?

I have a few goals for 2015. Learn and practice more self-discipline is the big one. I’m way too prone to flutter frantically around, getting overwhelmed by life and all that I need/want to do, and not get any of it done. This is an old tale, I’m sung it before here and elsewhere, and I am well aware that the kind of self-discipline I am after will likely take me the rest of my life to master. That’s okay. I’ll just keep plugging away at it.

Another familiar goal: read less, savor more, get deeper into what I read instead of charging through books so quickly that I can’t even remember them two months later without checking Goodreads. I’m working on this one already. I started Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her (I tried reading it once a few years back and never made it all the way through) and am stopping to jot down notes whenever something strikes me, re-reading certain passages if I feel the need or desire, trying to consciously slow myself down to enjoy the book instead of plowing through it like a bull in a china shop.

I’ve specifically set the goal of reading 12 non-fiction books this year. I find non-fiction incredibly rewarding, and yet incredibly hard to get through, so I figure if I plan to read one per month, by December, I might find it’s a bit easier to do.

For writing: I’m learning to slow down there, too (noticing a pattern, anyone? I told you 2014 was a year of growing). Not push, push, push to GET PUBLISHED GET OUT THERE OR ELSE YOU ARE DOOMED, DOOMED I TELL YOU. Enjoy writing. Dig deeper into it. Be more honest. Polish it up again, even after I think it’s perfect (because six months later, I’ll realize that it’s not). Explore new genres, new ways of sharing stories, new ways even of writing. Don’t be afraid of going off the path.

But at the same time, while holding this loosely, I have set myself a few goals, because how can you go off the path if you haven’t established what the path is? So, I would like to finish the first draft of of the serial story, with the goal of polishing and publishing through a newsletter one chapter a month. I would like to get From the Shadows polished and ready to publish. And I would like to start over again with Magic in Disguise – I am almost finished outlining the new version, so that’s exciting.

I’ve got a few more personal goals/hopes for this year – but I’m holding those close to me for right now. They’re fragile; I don’t want to expose them too much or they might disintegrate.

And speaking of self-discipline … I just remembered that I need to pack today for our almost-week-long jaunt to visit family which starts tomorrow, so I guess I’d better sign off from here and get to that.

After I finish my tea, naturally. Priorities.


2 thoughts on “New Year, New-ish Goals”

  1. I’ve kind of been a lurker here for 6 months or so, and I so *love* your posts! I especially appreciate your sharing in this one. I love your ideas on slowing down, because I seem to find myself all too often beating myself up for being *too* slow. It’s definitely a fine line between moving slowly enough that I’m savoring and polishing vs. just procrastinating, so I’m not saying I don’t need to do some work myself. However, I find it helpful to be reminded that sometimes it is *good* to move through things at a more measured pace.

    Also, to do a little sharing myself, last year I tried a new twist on the traditional New Year’s resolutions, since like many of us, I am sadly prone to failure in that area. Instead of making a list of goals for myself, I tried using a word (okay, 3 words) for the year. 2014 was my year to Discern, Trust, and Act. I think the word for 2015 may be Kindness – to myself with my thoughts, words, & actions, and to others with my thoughts, since kind words & actions are easy for me, but not so much thoughts toward people who ‘get in my way,’ like drivers who cut me off on the freeway, for example. I got the idea from Marianne Cantwell’s blog at, and it worked brilliantly for me.

    Anyway, many thanks for your enjoyable posts, and best wishes for you & your family in 2015!

    1. Dana, thank you so much for coming out of lurker-ville and leaving such a lovely comment. It’s very nice to “meet” you at last!

      I love your words for the last two years. I have done that in the past (I am currently wearing my bracelet with “valiant” stamped on it, which was my word in 2012 and of which I still need to be reminded, in fact), and have a word sort of swirling in my head for 2015.

      Ah, the difference between savoring and procrastinating … I know that line all too well, sadly.

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