Writing Tip: Goal-making time!
With New Year's Eve tomorrow, I thought it would be a good practice to reflect on 2019 as a whole and to create loose goals--not resolutions I'll never stick to.
The lows of 2019:
I lost a great colleague and friend this year. It was one of those situations that blindsides you, as you spoke with him and the next day he was gone. Within that week, I lost an acquaintance too, one who edited my novel Quiver. Compounded, these deaths greatly affected me and were inescapable since I was prepping for the next semester, while editing Quiver with my publisher, keeping the deaths of both men fresh in my mind. Not long after, my husband had a landscaping accident almost cutting off two of his fingers and needed surgery. Next, my special needs son had a hard time at a new school who refused to accommodate his needs and wondered why he misbehaved. I had to get an advocate and fight the system on many fronts. In all, it was a rough six months. Money, health, school, and grief caused anxiety and depression, the latter worse than it been in years.
The highs of 2019:
It began well. The first few months were uneventful and blissfully boring. Then we went to Disney World and Universal Studios for vacation, and my son finally got some therapy after a long waitlist--even if it was only for the summer. I finally got money for the paperbacks Amazon was lagging behind paying after they had switched to KDP. My second book launched. I had my first book signing. I joined a writers' group and found new friends who could talk about the craft and critique each other's work. A new occupational therapy place opened and my son got a permanent slot. I got a lot of writing done, slayed NaNoWriMo, and edited two manuscripts. By the end of the year, my mental health has improved.
Overall, I have had better years. I cannot complain since 2018 and 2017 were some of the best years of my life--buying my dream house, becoming a published author, and finally getting a correct diagnosis for my son. But what 2019 reminded me is that we need the lows to make the highs so much better. Also, that I need to make some changes in my life to better prepare myself for stress, grief, and overall mental health.
Goals for 2020:
When it comes to life, I need to continue delegating things to others in my family when things are too much and find a better way to deal with my stress such as exercising. I also need to be more social, set up a schedule to get out of the house so my mental health isn't affected by idleness in the summer or overload during the school year.
When it comes to writing, I will finish book 3 of Celestial Spheres (only a couple chapters left), concluding the trilogy, and submit it. This will happen because I do have a publisher deadline--very useful motivation. I will make the difficult decision of whether I will continue the series with different characters in a spin off or move on. I will work on book 3 of The Immortal Transcripts after this; a rough draft is already handwritten, so I feel confident I can get it done in a timely fashion. Last, I want to see if I can finish a children's chapter book that I have half written and get it in querying shape for 2021. On top of life and work, this is a lot, but I know I'll great 2/3 finished for sure.
In all, 2019 was full of highs, lows, and lots of lessons. Happy New Year!