I can’t believe we are already into the fourth month of the year. So much has happened, but it feels like no time has passed at all. And it’s the ‘so much has happened’ part that I want to talk about.
In my opinion the best kinds of goals are flexible ones. Life changes, priorities change, and our goals need to be able to change with us. Otherwise we will spend all our time beating ourselves up rather than enjoying life and the opportunities it brings.
I think 3 months is the perfect point to start re-evaluating our resolutions.
Here are the resolutions I posted in December last year:
1. Read more books than I did in 2010
2. Have some sort of conclusion regarding my first book, whether that’s a sale or retirement.
3. Finish the first draft of another book.
4. Make progress on research/planning for Secret Project
5. Travel to the US
6. Secret goal to do with day job
I’m pleased they weren’t as crazily ambitious and utterly unattainable as some goals I’ve made, and I’ve actually achieved two of them:
2. Have some sort of conclusion regarding my first book.
Now, this isn’t an ultimate conclusion because I can easily see myself pulling it out again in a year or so and having another look, but I decided I didn’t want to belabor the submissions process too much longer as it was interfering with my writing anything new. I only submitted to 20 agents, and I received responses that were more positive than I could have hoped for, but I think in my heart I knew Tiger Eye wasn’t ready. I realised that no matter how many revisions I performed I couldn’t make it any better – I was way too close to the project to see clearly, and I was basically laying bricks on a broken foundations. I still have hope for Tiger Eye but for now I am SO HAPPY to be starting something new.
6. Secret goal to do with day job
Yup, I got a new job. An utterly perfect and fulfilling day job, better than I could ever have imagined for myself. They only problem – it’s full time. This is only a problem in that it impedes on some of my other goals, but in my mind it is totally worth it.
It’s funny to me that achieving one of my goals has meant I can’t possibly complete another – I just can’t see myself, as a full time worker, reading more than I did when I was part time. Devoting that much time to reading impacts on how much writing I can do, and on the special times I spend with friends and family.
So here are the goals I have left:
1. Finish the first draft of another book.
2. Make progress on research/planning for Secret Project
3. Travel to the US
The first of these it totally achievable. Evidence:
How awesome is that? It’s slow progress but I am totally infatuated with this story and its characters. The other day I turned to Michael and said: "Honey, I think this is my Forest of Hands and Teeth. I think this is the story that will define who I am as a writer. I think this story is ‘the one’." I could be totally wrong, but that’s how I’m feeling, and it’s a wonderful feeling. A writing-related goal I’d like to add to that is to find three blocks of time a week to devote to writing. At the moment I’m finding one, maybe two. The goal is three, and I’m already scheming how to do it.
The second goal? Um. I’m pretty sure I know what that was. Almost certain. Ha. I’m not sure what was so secret about it – perhaps I was trying not to jinx us – but I think the Secret Project was finding a house. And we are definitely making progress on that front, so if I had to predict, I’d say we’ll get further than just research and planning. But shhh! It’s a secret What I’d like to add to that one is to A) come up with an organisational system for our future home – cooking schedules and the like and to B) complete at least two DIY house projects. At the moment I’m thinking the dog house will probably be one of them.
The third goal was slightly impacted by my getting a new job. Still waiting on word from work on that one, but we’ll see.
So here are my fresh, new, re-evaluated goals:
1. Finish the first draft of a new book
2. Find three blocks of time a week to write
3. Research/plan (and maybe go ahead with) buying our first house
4. Complete at least two DIY house projects
5. Come up with an organisational system for our future home
6. Travel to the US
Oh, and hey. What do you guys think of the idea of naming our new house The Clubhouse? And changing our names to Daphne, Fred, Velma and Shaggy, with a dog named Scooby? Brilliant, yeah? Michael doesn’t so much agree.