What’s good Twenty Eighteen?

At the end of 2017 I said to myself, you’re already making the moves Fayola, you know what your goals are, it doesn’t matter when you start them or when you achieve them as long as you’re striving towards them.

Last year my most important goal was to get a job in publishing. It was one of the few I ended up achieving. (unpacking from undergrad after…. 3 years… was also one of these things).

I set myself this challenge in January… it didn’t happen for the longest time. It wasn’t until the summer that I was actually going to interviews on the regular and actually landed an internship which eventually led to me looking experienced and comfortable enough to get hired full time at my job (which I started at the end of October).

I know what sort of things I’ll be trying to make progress on this year.

I want to complete the renovation of my room aka reclaiming my space at home, knowing that I’ll be living at home for a long while still.

I want to learn how to drive, I still can’t drive. On this year where I’ll be living for a whole quarter century, I think it’s time I actually step up, plan it and follow through.

I want to be healthier to myself. Get a better relationship with food and exercise. To be healthier with the boundaries I set and enforce with my loved ones. To be able to say “no” with my chest and not feel bad about being pliable, unavailable or too broke for something else.

I want to take time to enjoy myself, attend more events, travel more, try new hobbies until I find something that I don’t want to stop.

I want to be the best version of myself possible, but of course I want that every year.

I want to replenish my savings account, which has suffered over the few years of my unemployment.

I want to continue using the bullet journal method- because in the month that I haven’t been… my life has been a small, small mess.

I’m also going to take the time to acknowledge that even though I only achieved a few things, they were good things. And honestly, that was an achievement in and of itself.

I can’t believe I did the thing.

It’s November 30th as I write this. The last day of the NaNoWriMo challenge that has taken over my life for the past thirty days.

The first time I attempted this challenge, I was highly motivated to win. I had joined an online writing community, I attended write-ins, I didn’t have a job or class to go to so I could literally designate entire days to upping my word count and fleshing out my characters.

This year?

Not so much.

I went in blind, with nothing but a brief idea of what I wanted to occur in my story. I found that as I am a frequent reader of sequential works, I’ve picked up the habit of working with trilogies in mind (Thank you Robin Hobb) and even though I have hit the 50k word mark… The story has not progressed as far as I wanted it to…  but then there’s always book two and three!

This year, I’m an MA student 2 months in with a lot more on my plate. November is busy enough with the countdown for Christmas starting and a lot of family birthdays to prepare for. I got distracted often… There was an entire week where I didn’t write a single thing! And then there were the nights that I would spend on my google documents, struggling to catch up to the recommended word count (Do not recommend).

Skipping 1667 words a day is totally fine if you miss one day… when you miss several days… multiple times… and you’re demanding more of yourself than ever before… you might stress yourself into illness.

Which I did.

And it wasn’t fun.

At all.

But I’ve finally completed something. Too often I’ve become swept up in a monthly challenge only to have my enthusiasm fade out as the days progressed. I’m talking about the Monster Girl Challenge on my IG and the Journal Writing Challenge I started on Tumblr… wow.

It feels good to finish something creative that isn’t for class.

I’ve always had a big sense of admiration towards authors and writers who churn out worlds and characters every year. Now, having completed the process myself (minus all the editors and beta readers because I’m not planning on submitting this novel for publication), that respect and awe has increased five times over.

Even though my novel isn’t the best… and hasn’t ended up as I had hoped, but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. I mean, 50023 words in thirty days on top of an MA course? That’s an achievement. I’m crying.

I’m like the proud parent of an ugly baby*, no one can tell me a thing.


 

*No harm intended, most babies are cute, some just need to grow into their features.