New Year Resolutions

Has anyone learnt the skill of knitting time?

2017 has rushed past at an alarming rate. I toyed with the idea of trying to take life at a slower pace in the year to come. Having retired more years ago than I like to remember, life should really be getting less hectic, but the chances of that are pretty slim. Fundamentally it means giving up at least one of my activities. My mornings are devoted to exercise – yoga, tai chi, Zumba, line dancing and pilates. Giving up any one of these, would be counter-productive – I need to keep healthy – and there is no way I want to write less – in fact, the opposite!

Many of my writing goals for the coming year don’t change much from the ones I always make:Update website. Priority has to be to sort out my new website. The template I bought in the summer – if not earlier is still sitting there and its technology continues to defeat me.

  • Write more. I felt so proud of myself for achieving 50,000 words of the next Fiona Mason novel for NaNoWriMo, but I have not looked at it since. I MUST get down to some serious writing. I’m not the world’s fastest writer, but it would be good to get not only ‘Blood Flows South’ plus a second Aunt Jessica published this year.
  • Read more. There are shelves of reference books still sitting there in my study that I never make time to read and I dare not look at the number of books I’ve downloaded onto my Kindle – it was something like 400 last time I looked!
  • Learn Twitter. That’s been on the list for a good 5 years and I can’t remember where I put the book I bought to learn up on it.
  • Plus – I also have two Ancient history lecture cruises to prepare for and I need to do a vast amount of research before I can begin to even sort those out. As I need to make trips to the British Museum and to Oxford’s Ashmolean museum, I can’t afford to leave the research until the last minute.

Back in 2015, I created an elaborate spreadsheet detailing my goals for the year broken down into twelve month-long blocks using the smart. It was divided into two major sections – writing and marketing. Looking back on the year, the writing goals I fulfilled without too many problems, but I doubt I met even half of my marketing project goals. I seriously underestimated how long each of those marketing tasks would talk. I realised early on that one month was not enough for me to master Twitter (I’m still so terrified of it, I still haven’t opened the book I bought on the subject) or look at the book I have on getting the most out of Goodreads. I’m not going to bother spending time creating another spread sheet, but I am determined to stop procrastinating and at least make a start on both books this coming year and at the very least, crack Twitter.

I find mapping goals for the year ahead quite a depressing activity. I know it should enthuse and encourage, but even using the old SMART principal hasn’t helped at all. I’ve done very little the last few days – I have a cold – nothing disastrous, but I’m feel very sorry for myself.

On the plus side, I’ve just been given another 5* review for Blood in the Wine and the nights are getting lighter so life is not that bad.

What are your New Year resolutions? Do the excite or depress you?

8 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions

  1. Happy New Year to you and your family and friends.

    I really do hope you find the time to finish and publish the next Fiona Mason book as I have to confess I am addicted to these stroies.

  2. This year(today) I am excited to look ahead with pleasure. But it was not always so.
    2017 was one of the worst years, ever, for me, with family problems, ill health, cancelled holidays, & generally life not turning out as I had anticipated it. December culminated in the sudden death of my sister-in-law, Joyce, from heart failure, followed by a cremation in Cheltenham. Thankfully there was no rain but the Cotswolds were cold;roads snowy in places and outside the crematorium a mass of heavily-iced -up paths. My husband was shocked at the rapid demise of his only sibling and began to question his own mortality at 77.
    Thankfully that was in the past (2017) and now the New Year has arrived I can look forward to the imminent birth of grandchild number four, followed within a few months to the wedding of son number two.
    So, all is good again. Even my yoga and coping strategies I had relied on for past problems( such as experiencing three miscarriages in a row, all within a year) could not help. I had been dragged down, and just as the miscarriages were followed by an anxious year of pregnancy but resulted in the glorious birth of our daughter, Henrietta, after two boys, so I feel again that life is sweet and may be even sweeter(by the law of ups and downs we all experience in our lives).
    2018 : I embrace you. I have determined we shall all have a Good Year.

  3. Delegate!! Is there someone you know who would be willing to take over the website redesign so you can focus on the things that are more important to you? Sometimes, we need to be okay with giving up the things we think we “should do” because we think others expect it of us. Wishing you a relaxing, enjoyable 2018!

    • I know too many authors who have done that, but then complain because they can’t update it. Websites are constantly in a state of flux – most writers say it’s worth the pain. It just takes a great deal of effort to set up – even if you hand it over you need to know exactly what you want.

      • Ah, yes. Not being able to update it afterwards would be an issue. I was thinking more along the lines of a close relative, like a grandchild or niece/nephew, who could do the technical stuff for you and help with updates as needed.

  4. Luckily, I’m married to a techie otherwise I couldn’t cope, but even he can’t work out various problems such as how to change the fonts.

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