Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's 2014 -- shall we chat about goals?

We made it through another year!

Let's celebrate with tea and a good book. :)

I'm not going to do an extended recap/evaluation of 2013, even though I enjoy reading those posts from other folks. Instead I will list some goals for 2014:

1. Journal/blog more. This post from Neil Gaiman really got me thinking, and like him, I plan to blog more and tweet/tumbl/facebook less in the new year. I totally understand the allure of interacting with the world in 140 characters or less (or with photos, etc.), but I'm not that good at it, and it's making me feel strangely fragmented. Anxious, even. I miss the old days of Livejournal. I miss the details, the ruminating, both from my friends and from myself. In the new year, I hope to curb the number of quick blurtings and take more time to express thoughts and share deeper joys. It may be that no one has the time or inclination to read that sort of thing these days. But I'm not blogging to promote myself or create meangingful/practical content for users (or whatever the platform mavens say). My stories are my product. My blog is me. And maybe you'll come by and visit from time to time? I'll certainly make a point of visiting you!

2. Read more. I only read 50 books last year. I recall long stretches of time when I was stuck in a particular book, not making any progress, or just between books, and I felt myself getting out of the habit of reading. In those times, my imgination seemed to slow down, too. I must be more intentional about reading! And lo and behold, studies show that reading novels is good for brain function! (Thanks, C, for linking that article.)

3. Spend more time researching and planning my next story. I'm already a planner rather than a panster, but I still get in too much of a hurry somtimes. Since I don't have a hideous deadline hanging over me, I'm going to immerse myself in the historical context for my next story, and do some deep thinking about character and motivation, before I launch into the first chapter.

4. Be more like Elfrida. One of my favorite novels read in 2013 was Rosamund Pilcher's Winter Solstice. The main character is a warm soul who offers physical and emotional refuge to friends in crisis. Now, I'm too much of a cranky hermit to be 100% Elfrida, but I do want to be a better friend. A better listener. I need to be quicker and more adept at offering the same sort of refuge to my friends. And darn it, I could actually invite people to my house from time to time. Maybe I should start small, like with a bookish tea party? Something casual and joyful, with lots of yummies? Let me know if you're interested. :)

5. Be more conscious of living in the moment (and detach self from phone). This one is pretty self-explanatory.

What about you? I'd love to hear about your goals.

Useful stuff:

--Dr. Lisa has some great suggestions in The 3 R's of Successful Resolutions.

--Family lawyer Shel offers 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples (without using the word ‘weight’).

--And here is a procedure for dealing with negative thoughts/emotions (from Elephant Journal).

Let's have a HAPPIER NEW YEAR, friends!

[Cross-posted at Livejournal]


  1. These are such worthy goals! I love concocting my list each year. I especially like how your number five presents the means to an end. I think I can meet more of my goals if I detach myself from my phone. As for your number 1, that plays together for me, too. I miss emails and letters and phone calls. I'm not particularly witty, so the limited characters make me feel "fragmented" and detached and "anxious," as well. I'm glad someone else understands!

    1. You've expressed your unease with Twitter many times before, and now I'm really getting it. Facebook is easier for me, but it's such a timesuck, and I find myself just liking and sharing and not really saying anything meaningful. Plus, with Facebook, it's hard to find old posts and "revisit" a certain time in your life. On a blog, you have easy access to the past with the archives. It can be really interesting to go back a few years and see what one was up to at that time!

  2. all the best to you.. i too plan to blog more... improve my writing skills...

  3. Be more intentional as a writer - designated writing times, specific goals to query markets "I've been meaning to get to." Reading way more fiction. (ONLY 50 books???? Please tell me some of those had only 6 pages!) As to your number 4? Interested.

    1. As to your number 4? Interested.

      YAY! I am plotting and planning . . .

  4. Inspired by one of your previous posts, I read (or re-read) Winter Solstice. It was an uplifting holiday tale, and I, too, am envious of Elfrida's knack for easy-going, heart-felt hospitality. It took me a long time to get through the book, however, because I'd read a few pages and then get the urge to bake some scones or polish the silver.
    And about that tea party, yes, I'm interested!

    1. So glad you enjoyed spending time with Elfrida and the gang. And yay for the tea party! Must start planning.

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