Jan. 3rd, 2013

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 New Year's is usually a time of relative isolation & contemplation for me, making these reflection & retrospection posts really easy to write.  Not so this year -- in fact it has been my busiest New Year ever, surrounded by friends and activity -- poker tournaments, D & D one-shots, movies, board games, parties, -- clearly not a bad thing, especially when my seasonal doldrums have attacked early.

My life in general has been like that lately -- too amiable and sociable for me to be as creatively productive as I would like.  The doldrums -- the depression, the sudden onslaught of anxiety attacks that cropped up this year -- have been a factor as well, obviously.  I didn't do very well at any of my resolutions from last year.  By an objective, goal-oriented standard, this year has been an utter failure for me.

So thank God, I'm not objective, I'm not goal-oriented, and I'm not alone.  Nasty as my emotional roller-coaster has been, it would have been worse (and my productivity too) were it not for the light and bustle of friends keeping me cheery.

Resolutions coming shortly.
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 1) Writing.  165,000 words by the end of the year, or ~450 words per day.  This is well within my capabilities, especially if I can get a good head start on productive days.  As before, no beating myself up about bad days or off weeks -- just looking for new ways to increase productivity.  No giving up.

2) Finish my current writing projects.  If I work at it I can have Hellion Prince done in March or April.   I have several unfinished short stories and some barely-started novels, too -- producing finished work takes precedence after chasing new ideas.  Even though my wordcount as over 120,000 last year, under half of that was on the projects I had made priorities.  If this emans more polishing and editing and less new work -- even less overall words -- so be it.

3) Get an agent.  Speaks for itself.  I'm not ruling out self-pub for some of my projects, namely Swansong, but I need to query Hellion Prince and Running In Her Veins.  I want them both being shopped around before I turn 29.

4)  Sell a short story at a professional rate to a legit publication.  I've had short stories published, and I've been paid to write, but never both at the same time.  Once Hellion Prince is finished, and my query letters are out in the wild, this is priority numero uno.

5)  Publish a gaming project.  Whether a LARP or the Periodic Tome of Elementals.  Whether self-pub or traditional.  I game too much not to turn it into a revenue stream.

6) Blog three days a week.  I burned out on five days a week.  Let's try this.  Low priority, though.

7) Track what I read / do the 50 Books POC challenge.

8)  Get my weight down to under 200 lbs.  That means losing three pounds per month, every month.  Not sure how I'm going to go about it yet.  I'll work out a plan, and I'll get it done.

9) Pay down my college debt.  In the last few months, a fierce desire to continue my education and return to academia has woken up.  Rather than a pie-in-the-sky plan to pursue a dream degree in an unforseeable future, in 2014 I want to go to a local grad school and get working on a Master's in English Literature.  In order to do that, I have to stay current on my loans, pay down about $4000 I owe directly to my alma mater so they'll release my diploma, and do the GRE.  I can do that.  Good TA programs mean that school itself will cost me between nothing and $3K/year, and I can manage that too -- paying my alma mater will be good practice.

10) Renew my faith.  It's been rather in crisis this year, but it's also been the most successful tool in my mental arsenal for battling my panic attacks.  Both as a practical and a spiritual matter, I want to reconnect the parts of my beliefs which matter most to me.  Maybe that means Bible study.  Maybe church attendance.  Maybe activism of a more secular kind, or writing sermons regularly (there are websites that pay you for that one).  I don't want to be too mercenary about this, but the fact is that my faith is a help to me.  Maybe a crutch, and maybe a ladder -- it's possible to see it either way.  But I have to pursue epiphany, not just sit and wait for it (unless meditation turns out to be what I need to do).

Anyway. That's the plan.  Ten resolutions.

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