I found many years ago that New Years Resolutions do not work for me. Instead this year I want to set forth a list of goals for 2015, writing and otherwise.
These are not resolutions. This is not a mission statement. These are just things that I want to do better in 2015.
I want to write 1000 words a day. I want to not only put in the work required to further my skills, but I want to develop it into a habit that becomes a part of my daily routine.
In the past I’ve always written by snatching time where I can, a couple of hours at a time. I always operated under the assumption that to make a writing session meaningful, it should be lengthy. NaNoWriMo last year broke that assumption. It taught me that you can literally write anywhere, so long as you have the tools available to you. But big, 10k sessions are also still great!
I have so many things that I want to write that it is likely that I’ll run out of time to do them if I don’t pull my finger out. Which brings me to my next point…
Writing books is what I want to do as a career. It is something I enjoy, and from the general feedback I received about Metro 7, it’s something that my readers enjoy too.
But at the moment my focus is scattered. There are a lot of things I want to do with my life. I want to record an album, have a crack at voice acting, write a script, direct a short film… but with my focus on a whole bunch of spinning plates, my primary focus suffers.
Over the holidays I wrote a list of the books I want to write. There are 21 novels that I’ve either started writing, or that I’ve started plotting and teasing out the details for. 21. That’s just the ones I want to write now, ignoring any other ideas that pop up while I’m writing these. If I write 1 book a year for the rest of my life, it’s going to take me until I’m pushing 50 to get all of these little bastards written. And that’s just not good enough in my opinion. I want to pick up the pace.
Unfortunately while I’m still working a full-time job, I just don’t have the time to dedicate to getting these books out as quickly as I want to. Therefore my downtime must be used productively. I’m going to start treating my writing less as a hobby and more like a part-time job.
Reduce clutter & finish what I start
We have so much shit in our apartment it’s not funny. It’s starting to feel suffocating. It’s not hoarders level bad, but our shelves are overflowing. Back when I was hardcore into the Transformers collecting, I collected a lot of shit with a shotgun approach. I did not have the focus that I do now. My collection has been pared down to two focusses; Beast Wars & Masterpiece. I’m going to be offloading the rest of my collection over the coming year.
I have a bad habit of picking up something new and shiny before finishing the thing that I’m currently on. This is applicable to both videogames and books. My goal this year is to reduce the amount of popcorn brain that affects my consumption of media. I will finish what I start before picking up the next new shiny thing.
Then I want to reduce the amount of stuff in our house. Instead of buying DVDs/Blu-Rays, I’m going to be renting them from the likes of iTunes or Google Play. I’m going to be comparing digital to physical medium in an effort to minimise the sheer amount of physical stuff in our apartment.
I want to be healthy. I want to be fit. I want to be able to climb a flight of stairs or walk up a hill without feeling breathless.
I am overweight, and I need to lose weight. It’s as simple as that. The stress of my current full-time role has put me into a bad mental health state, and my weight is tied to my mental health. If I’m in a bad head space, I make bad eating and exercise decisions. And my weight makes my mental health worse, because I know I should be doing better and get frustrated at my own lack of progress & willpower. It’s a vicious cycle that I haven’t yet been able to break.
But I have a plan, and I have the tools at my disposal necessary for me to be on the path to success.
I would like to separate the two halves of my life and treat them as very different animals. Throughout most of last year, a very difficult situation caused the stress of my work life to bleed into my personal life, sapping my will to do anything of note with my free time. Looking back on it, I’m actually amazed Metro 7 happened.
I don’t want a repeat of last year ever again in my life. A lot of shitty things happened last year, but a lot of good things happened too. I spent far too long dwelling on things outside of my control, and 2015 is not going to be like that.
I can only take care of my little corner of the world, and I need to remember that.
Cut down on idle time
Have you ever wondered how long you actually spend trawling through your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds? Or how long you idly browse Reddit? Or how long it actually takes to watch a full season of The X-Files on Netflix?
A really long fucking time if you actually pay attention.
This year I want to cut down on idle time that I would normally waste by scrolling down a screen. I want to write more. I want to read more. I want to play more games. Last year I swear I spent more time talking about games, reading about games, and watching other people play games, than actually playing them myself. There’s something very wrong with that picture.
I want to actively engage with things, not be passively distracted by them.