Happy holidays! I cannot believe 2018 is almost at an end, this year has been an absolute whirlwind. I thought I’d have a look back at my goals and how badly I did at achieving them, and then set some more for next year that I probably won’t achieve either! Ah, new motherhood. It’s all fun and games until somebody drops their biscuit.
So, last January I shared my Reading and writing goals for 2018 and announced that I was six months pregnant so my aim was set relatively low! Well, as you can imagine, I managed to completely undershoot that incredibly low goalpost. I decided to make 2018 the year of self-care and mindfulness, and despite failing to keep up with the journaling, I have tried to be kind to myself since my son arrived in April.
My first goal for 2018 was to journal every day or as often as I could. I also gave myself permission to put my journal down and pick it up later and not beat myself up if it had been weeks or even months since my last entry. Which is good, because I don’t think I have journaled once since I gave birth. But just reading my goals back and writing this post has got me itching to pick it back up again, so hopefully I can get back into it. No pressure though, it’s intended as self-care, not another thing I can berate myself for not being perfect at.
My reading goal was to read 24 books this year, 2 a month with one being an audio book (proud Audible member over here). So, that didn’t happen. Having a new baby is definitely not compatible with reading for pleasure at length. I’m currently at 13. Yep.
I did however manage to read the paperback of Tower of Dawn, even if it did take about 4 months. I think all the rest may have been audio books. Let’s look:
- Audio books
- Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
- Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
- Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
- Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
- Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
If you count 12 there, you’re exactly right. I actually DNF’ed The Lies of Locke Lamora and Goodreads has included it as I clicked Finished. I really thought I’d love this book, but it just didn’t do it for me – or maybe it was the narration, but either way, there are too many great books out there for me to force myself to finish something I wasn’t even enjoying.
I’m almost finished reading A Court of Frost and Starlight (perfect festive read, very Frozen), so I’m hoping to add at least another 2 books to my list before January 1st.
Ah, my writing goal. I’ll give you a quick recap. In the spirit of self-care, I gave myself permission to not write a single word in 2018. I’m proud to say that didn’t happen, I actually have over 10,000 words of a new WIP. That WIP, however, is neither of the stories I mentioned in my January post. What is it, you might ask? Well, I broke the first tenet of the querying writer – I started writing the sequel.
I know, I know, it’ll probably be a waste of words. If I ever get an agent for The Fair Queen my editor might tear the whole thing to shreds and book two will be a pointless heap of mulch. But I just needed to wrap myself in the world I’d created while writing The Fair Queen, spend some time with my characters and feel at home. I wanted to get the ideas and words out of my brain, even if it only bears a very vague resemblance to the book that ultimately becomes book two in The Fair Chronicles (I’m going with chronicles, saga could work too, but I feel my world has similarities to Narnia, so chronicles it is).
I’ve actually shelved Cockle Shells & Silver Bells. I think I’ll keep some of the characters and themes, but rework them into a completely different story. Later though, right now I’m lost in the Five Kingdoms with Aria and Xander. The Resurrectionist is still tugging at the corners of my mind, so I’ll definitely try and outline something once I’m happy with The Solitary King.
Goals for 2019
I’m revising my reading goal down to 16 books, so that’s 12 audio books and 4 paperbacks. If I can squeeze an actual physical book in every 3 months I’ll be happy. My TBR shelf is looking pretty jam packed and I even bought myself A Darker Shade of Magic (my very first V.E. Schwab!!!) a few months ago to tempt myself into reading more, but it just wasn’t happening. As soon as I finish ACOFAS though I’m jumping straight into that bad boy. I can just feel that I was meant to be a huge Schwab fan, it’s definitely happening. I mean, I’ve got THUG sitting there giving me a disapproving look – somebody tell my baby naps are life!
I really, really want to finish my first draft of The Solitary King and maybe even do a second draft before handing it over to a few trusted betas. I know it’s redundant at this point, but a couple of friends who read The Fair Queen and loved it have been badgering me for book two ever since, and they deserve to see what happens next for Aria, Xander and the gang. So, that’s at least 60,000 words. That’s achievable right? I’m saying yes. Wish me luck.
I’m also planning to dive back into the query trenches, as it’ll be a year since I sent any in January. It was a well deserved break, but I’m ready for the heartbreaking, soul-crushing rejection, and the little frisson of excitement every time I press send. Followed by ice-cold terror as I check my spelling and the agent’s name for the bazillionth time.
So, there you have it: read 16 books, finish the first draft of my current WIP, and send a few more queries. Pretty low expectations, but if 2019 is anything like 2018 it’ll be enough to know I’m still working towards my dream, whilst also taking care of myself and my new little family.
What are your reading and writing goals for the coming year? Let me know in the comments!