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Reflections on 2015 & on the New Year

I had quite the Christmas break this year. My actual Christmas holiday was very good. I got some surprising presents, spent time with the family and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My friend Brett came over for New Year’s Eve and we sat around grazing on Fondue, (a New Year’s tradition in my house,) and watching way too many bad college football bowl games. Brett is also a writer so we even chatted about our stories and our writing processes. We don’t get a chance to do that often so it was a lot of fun.

In between Christmas and New Year’s I thought a lot about what happened in 2015. I also thought about what 2016 might look like. I started thinking about work, goals, resolutions and themes for the upcoming year.

See I don’t just do New Year Resolutions, I give each year a thematic bent. (Geez, am I a writer, or what?)

Looking back I can see that the theme for 2015 was asking for what I want. I jumped out of my comfort zone in 2015 and I asked people for what I wanted. I got new friends, new opportunities to write, I sat on literary panels on three different conventions, including Denver ComicCon.

2015 was also the year I learned to ask for help in my writing. I was frustrated with a book draft I wrote in 2014. To be honest, it was crap, but I didn’t know why. My critique group wasn’t very helpful, so I asked a friend. I then found another critique group that fit me better. Finally, when I realized that I needed a romantic subplot – and I didn’t know how to write romance – I asked for help and got it Mary Elizabeth Wine, a dear friend and a pro on romance.

I also became an editor for an online magazine. Something I’m very proud of, all because I asked.

I also got a new job in education. I won’t get into it too much, but let’s just say that the last two years I was underemployed. Having a full time job was really nice around Christmas time.

Looking forward to 2016, I realized that I have to produce more. I won’t call it The year of work, because it’s not about just work, but about producing finished stories. So here are my Goals for 2016:

#1.) I will produce FOUR professional level, book length manuscripts. That’s around 85,000 words. That includes research and editing. Writers write and its time I get going.

#2.) I will receive a book contract by a publisher in 2016.

#3.) In addition to writing those four manuscripts, I will publish at least two.

#4.) I will lose 50 pounds by July 1st. I will lose 100 pounds by January 1st, 2017. My weight has been out of control for quite some time. (Really, all my life.) I’m tired of it and I want to change. This goal scares the crap out of me. I have avoided dealing with my weight my entire life. I’ll be 45 this month and the weight has really begun to affect my quality of life. So it is time I make it a priority.

#5.) I will update my blog once a week in 2016.

I will probably not meet all of these goals and that’s alright. The growing is in the attempt. I invite you to join me in my progress, cheer me on when I succeed and call me on my bullshit when I make excuses. Buckle people, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.