Tag Archives: new year

2016: A Year in Review

Hello everyone!

So, I’m only a couple of days late with this post, and for that I am very proud of myself. Since we’ve dived joyously into 2017, now is a good time to reflect over the past year and talk about some goals moving forward.

I don’t think I have to address what a dumpster fire 2016 was, so I’m going to move right into the good stuff.

2016 was both a successful year and a not-so-successful year for me, writing-wise. In February, I was accepted into a MFA program (hooray!) but I seriously underestimated how much time I was going to have to devote to writing and reading for class. This time came right out of the extra time I would have used working on my personal writing. But, I did finish several short stories, one of which is currently out on submission, so yay for small victories! I never really found a balance between grad school, work, life, and writing in 2016, so that’s going to be something I work on this year.

Umm…what else did I do this year (checks Instagram)…oh yeah. Saw a lot of ‘rasslin shows, celebrated my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary, took a visit to my alma mater, saw a good friend get married, revealed the official title for #codenamehotprieststory (The Girls of Fall), buzzed both sides of my head, won first place in a Halloween costume contest, got two promotions at my day job (huzzah!), attempted NaNoWriMo, bought new floors for my condo, turned 28 and wore a mermaid princess crown. Shew. I guess my year was pretty busy after all, when you put it that way. 🙂

I’ve spent the last few days planning out what I’d like to accomplish in 2017 and going journalahead and writing things down in my planner. If a thing is written down, I’m more likely to actually do the thing. I bought a brand new notebook — the Leuchtturm 1917 — to use as a project journal and keep better track of all my writing projects — progress and notes.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have already seen some of my 2017 goals and resolutions, but I’ve added even more goals since that post, so let’s break them down here as well.

  • Complete second draft of The Girls of Fall by 3/1 — this one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m about exactly halfway through the second draft and I’ve calculated how many words I will have to write each day/week to meet this goal, and it’s very achievable!goals
  • Establish and protect a writing time — I need to write when I sit down and say I’m going to write. Whether that’s a few hours each night, or a big chunk of time on the weekend.
  • Read 30 books — This was my goal number for 2016, and I fell short by about 6 books. Going for 30 again this year!
  • Do Zumba two times per week — gotta go shake that booty.
  • No soda, coke, sweet tea, etc. — I’ve made a spot in my planner to check off the days I’ve been soda-free…only one check mark so far…WHOOPS.
  • Pack lunch for work — saving $$ plus eating healthy.
  • Temper phone time/social media time — I’m still ironing out the details of this one, but I would like to stop using my phone an hour or two before bed and use that time to read instead. And then go straight to bed, not spend another 45 minuets aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.
  • Send a quarterly author newsletter — Subscribers, you’re guaranteed to hear from me at least 4 times a year!
  • Attend a writing conference — I’ve already got one picked out, so now I just need to register.
  • Get all A’s in classes — Ugh, I’ve gotten all A’s and B’s so far, but I want those A’s, dagnabbit!
  • Do a quarterly review of goals — Each quarter, I’d like to sit down with myself and review the goals I’ve outlined here, maybe make some new ones, and just evaluate how the year is going overall.

Okay, I think I’m finished for now, whew!

I’m participating in an author life photo challenge on Instagram this month, so if you want to know more about me and how I’m tackling the new year, head on over and check out the hashtag, #IGAuthorLifeJan.

Happy New Year!

P.S. If anyone has any tips on how to manage your social media time more efficiently/effectively, let me know!

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Goal Setting (Or, Stuff Jessica Fails Miserably At)

I’m not ready for today to be the last day of 2014; honestly, I don’t know how the year disappeared so fast. But, since tomorrow will begin a new year, I figured a little introspection was in order.

I don’t normally like to make a big hubbub about New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I don’t make them. I’m more of a short-term and long-term goals kind of girl. Sometimes they get written down, sometimes they don’t. IMG_45412206201343

That being said, I can’t tell you what I was thinking about this time last year (two years ago, I was suffering through the aftereffects of mutant strep throat, so I wasn’t thinking about much). But I can tell you what I managed to accomplish.

In February, I founded a YA critique group. We’re still going strong!

In April, I made the decision to indie publish my first novel. My goal was to get it out into the world in December, but I underestimated how long the process would take. So I guess I get to carry this goal over into 2015…huzzah!

In August, I found a new job, which has its ups and downs.

In September, I dumped the guy I always (not literally always, but you get the idea) thought I wanted to be with. Best. Decision. Eva. (And yes, I’m counting this as an accomplishment, and if you knew all the details of this, you would as well).

In October, I closed on my condo. MY FIRST PLACE. YAY ADULTHOOD.

In December, I was able to unveil the cover of Stones, which was some very exciting stuff. I was also able to turn 26 with minimal fuss and no quarter-life crisis breakdowns.

Those are the highlights of 2014…now we can proceed to goals for 2015!

Here’s the most obvious one: publish Stones and Finger Bones. This will be happening in February! I am thinking it will be ready to go by Valentine’s Day weekend, but I’m not releasing a specific date until I get the bugger formatted.

The rest of my goals are going to be broken down in categories for easy reference and so I can make lists. I love lists.

Overall Heath & Wellness:

  • Continue making better food choices
  • Choose and start taking a vitamin D supplement
  • Stop tolerating sucky people
  • Stop vehemently loathing work (yes, it takes away valuable time that could be used for writing or trolling the internet, but I have a mortgage to pay)

Home Improvements:

  • Paint master bedroom and bath
  • Find a bookshelf for room
  • Bring all books from home to new home

Reading, Writing, & Publishing:

  • Finish 25 books. I know this might seem like a low number to some, but I’ve been really slacking on my reading habits. I don’t think I even finished 10 this year, which is terrible!
  • Do a better job of tracking these books, probably utilizing Goodreads
  • Choose these books from the collection I already own and make list
  • Write at least 5,000 new words per month. I think this goal will complement my writing style better than daily or weekly goals, since I tend to write in fits and starts, and some days are more productive than others.
  • Outline book 2 of the Black Towers sequence (I think I need to be more diligent with outlining this one to make sure threads are being resolved, tangled, or cut as appropriate)
  • Draft a Black Towers novella
  • Participate in bloggy activities. Blog more in general. Let’s aim for at least twice a month!

And there be my goals! Mostly manageable, I think. I probably won’t be officially publishing anything else in 2015…but never say never! This, of course, depends on how fast I get things drafted, polished, edited, and all that jazz. If anything, I can aim for publishing the novella at the end of the year, but I’m not going to make than an official goal…yet. 😉

Happy New Year, minions!

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