Yes, I know, I’ve missed the new-year’s-resolution-set-your-goals bandwagon for 2016.
I’ve been thinking.
I’ve been thinking about the difference in tone between my early blog posts for 2015, which were full of plans of things to achieve and ways to get organised to achieve them, and the last one I wrote in November when I was reminding myself that it was time to stop and breathe, because things had got too much.
I even overused capital letters to emphasise the too-muchedness of it all.
Okay, so 2015 has been and gone and 2016 has arrived – Happy New Year, by the way – and I find myself feeling a bit cautious about what this year will bring.
I am still focusing a bit on breathing, which has got a lot easier as the summer break has allowed me to wind down a bit, and I guess I’m determined to try and keep some perspective this year.
My Focus for 2016
So, while last year’s words (chosen in lieu of specific goals) were Decide and Now, both words that probably asked too much of my somewhat analytical and introspective personality – although they did provide some much needed spurring to action on a few occasions, this year I have chosen the word Freedom.
This choice was not something I jumped into without giving it much thought, and, even as I look at it now, I realise it has the potential to be larger than life if I am not careful, but the gist of it is basically that I aim to work towards:
freeing myself from being anxious and worried about things that I cannot control;
being free to be myself; and
being free to change the things that I want to change to make the life I want to live.
There are a few more details, but really that’s what I want to focus on this year.
The difference I suspect, is that I see this as a journey, whereas last year I saw it as an imperative.
So where might 2016 take me?
Well, my ‘day job’ has moved to a new school, so there are lots of exciting challenges ahead of me there, getting to know a whole different set of work colleagues and students. There are a lot of things (and people) I’ll miss about my old school, but sometimes it’s just time to move on.
As for my writing, the year starts on an amazing high for me with the publication of the first of my books in the Trouble series for young readers.
Trouble at Home is available from the 1st February, and can be pre-ordered now at bookshops and online. I’m very excited, and although my tendency to over think things is wondering whether I should calm down a bit and get a bit more chilled over the whole thing, another part of me is saying No way! I’m going to let my hair down and be excited for once.
You know, that free to be myself thing I was talking about.
Anyway, a box arrived at my house today with my author copies of my book and, darn it, I’m going to be excited.
Okay, so I’m also planning a launch party. Details to be provided shortly.
I’m excited about that, too, and totally nervous, because I just don’t do parties, but, hey, it should be fun.
As for what I’m working on at the moment... hmm... I have several projects that I’m trying to get through before I let the next shiny thing distract me:
finish the edit/rewrite on a time slip mystery for young teens and find it a home somewhere;
rework the YA/crossover fantasy that was shortlisted in the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award in 2013
– I started the rewrite in a frenzy of enthusiasm after attending a workshop on plotting run by Kate Forsyth back in April last year, but it’s one that really needs my full attention and I want to get it right;
work on some further adventures in the Trouble series
– there are already four in the series due to come out over the next two years, and, if that goes well, I already have two more completed manuscripts to offer and plans in mind for several others;
blog posts and newsletters;
… and I’d better stop there... although my ideas folder is overflowing and I’m always thinking up thinks to add (note: yet another idea hit me while I was away from the computer!).
My big thing is to get more stuff in front of publishers and stop obsessing about perfection.
Community and Learning
Later in the year, I’ll be presenting some writing workshops again (I’ll post details of these closer to the date), and I’ll be heading off to a few other workshops and conferences in the hopes of improving my own skills and knowledge, and, of course, meeting up with other writers.
Being part of the local SCBWI* group and an author member of the CBCA** will also give me a chance to keep up to date with what is going on around the traps and have some fun with other writers and book people.
* Society of Book Writers and Illustrators
** Children’s Book Council of Australia
In the meantime, I have just finished one online course and have another one I am working through, as well as a pile of books on my professional To Read list that will hopefully feed my insatiable desire to learn.
I think I’ve got enough to keep me on track.
What about you? What are your goals, hopes, plans, or dreams for 2016?
Do you have a word to focus your direction?