Big Plans, Big Plans… - It may be the antidepressants talking, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic about 2014.

WARNING: I am writing this on New Year’s Eve, while on drugs. Pain pills and muscle relaxants for my back, to be precise. This is not a problem for most people. I, on the other hand, feel like I’m viewing the world through a fluffy tunnel made of pink cotton batting. It’s happy in here, but somewhat confusing.

Also, I have a hot water bottle shoved in my pants that’s giving me a lovely Quasimodo look, and I’m shuffling around like my great-grandmother did when she was nearing 100. THIS IS SO HOT.

Still, I said I was going to do a New Year’s goal setting post, so here we go. If it doesn’t all make sense, well, there’s always tomorrow to revise.

Professional Goals

My word of the year for 2014 is going to be… (drumroll please): Decisiveness.

Is that a word? That looks wrong.

Decisive. Hmm. Spell-check is cool with it. Maybe we should go with “commitment?”

In the past (like, right now), I’ve been afraid to commit to anything serious. I don’t like taking risks. I like to know I can back out of things without too much fuss or embarrassment if I change my mind. Really, it’s a wonder I ever got married. If I take on a challenge or a big project, I do so fairly quietly. I try to keep my investment in most things to a minimum, and downplay their importance so as to avoid the pain of losing when I give up or fail.

I like to have an easy out, is what I’m saying.

This is going to be the year I get over that. I’m going to dive into the deep end. In March (and I have reasons for this timing), I will have reached the point of no return. I will change my Facebook profile name to match my professional name. If people ask why, I’ll tell them. And I’ll add a job to my profile there, and set up an author page (much good it’ll do me; Facebook seems to be making things difficult for pages, and I hope most people will add me as a friend as well as following that).

I will announce a book release date.

I will work my ass off and get a book out.

And another one.

Two books in 2014 is the goal. For some people, that’s nothing. Some people can release six or 12 novels in a year. I can’t, for various reasons. But two, both of which I’m already working on, seems reasonable.

I will manage my time, set deadlines, and get this done. I know what I want, and for once in my life I’m going to take some risks to get it.

(It’s kind of crazy how things change. Last night I was reading a journal entry from a year ago, when I was stressing about writing a perfect query letter and hoping to get an agent. Now my goals have completely changed, and I’ve decided that path’s not for me. Never would have called that. I guess in light of that, my other word for the year should be flexibility. It’s worked well so far, and in the changing and increasingly challenging landscape of independent/author publishing, it’s absolutely necessary.)

Personal Goals

I think my big personal goal will be to get organized. I probably said that last year, too. But I feel like maybe, if I can focus on work during half-days when the kids are both at school, I should be able to keep household stuff under control. My work time used to be whenever I could grab it, which meant I was always scattered, and always thinking I should be doing something else. Now there might be a chance of focusing, if I can break the habit of checking e-mail and Twitter, etc. every ten minutes.

Okay, every four minutes. Jeez, you guys see right through me, don’t you?

I’ll have three hours a day to myself when kindergarten is in morning sessions (January, March, May), one and a half hours when they’re on afternoons. It will take some planning and a lot of co-operation from the kids, but I should be able to get 8-10 work hours in per week, and then do groceries, exercise, meal planning, and house cleaning during the other daytime hours, leaving evenings to relax and do some research and reading of blogs and books. Work time will be writing, formatting, and other book-ish stuff, plus whatever promotional…

Ugh, I’m screwed, right?

Well, I wasn’t planning on making it big on my first book, anyway. In September both kids will be in school all day (but home for lunch), so I’ll be able to do more promotional stuff when the second book comes out. The writing part is more important.

Wait, this section was personal goals, wasn’t it? *scoops brain off of floor, puts back in head*

Read a novel a week, plus a business/craft book every two weeks. Plan all suppers, grocery shop once a week. Make time to help with the kids’ homework every day, and read them a story before bed. Learn to be more patient, somehow. Get into a routine. Keep the house clean. If I can’t get over my telephone-related anxiety, at least enlist help from AJ and get those calls made somehow. Get a chiropractor. Floss teeth every day. Spend less time on things that aren’t important.

Good enough?

My head is spinning. I’m not sure if that’s the drugs or the future. I’m guessing the drugs. I’m not drinking, but I may spend New Year’s Eve passed out on the floor after all. WOOHOO, PARTY!


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

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