Last December I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish over the course of being 30. I turn 31 during the first week of January (the 7th for anyone who likes bestowing good wishes). Despite 2017 being even more of a dumpster fire than many people anticipated, this year was a very good one on a personal level. But according to The Goals, how did I do? Let’s find out.
Read 100 books. Check. Easy check, actually: I completed this goal before starting my new job (uh, spoilers?) in July. I read nowhere near a hundred more books over the course of the second half of the year, though; I’m at 133 books as of this post’s writing.
Start editing a book. This can include a rewrite of an existing book. It’s a stretch to say that I actually edited a book in 2017. However, I did spend both Camp NaNoWriMo sessions planning and doing character development for the two novels I’ve been working on most intensely: Anxiety Girl novel and the Parallel Worlds and Photography novel. I’ve reached a standstill for both of these things, though. Unfortunately my main solution to both of these problems is writing yet another draft. That seems like overkill since this would be the third draft for each novel, though.
Publish something. Uhhhh. *looks around* I made no progress toward this goal.
Go back to Night of Writing Dangerously. Check! It was amazing, as usual. I won a word sprint. One of my fellow @NaNoWordSprints leaders had made me a sushi hat (seriously!). I visited the NaNo office once again and rolled up all the posters for the event. I went to a couple of write-ins, saw some old friends, made some new ones, and finally put names to faces for people I’ve known on the NaNo site for almost a decade. (And occasionally had a few people recognize me, which is still weird.) I talk more about NaNo in this year’s NaNoWriMo summary post.
Travel somewhere new. I went on a trip to Asheville in February, but that’s it in terms of new places. I did return to several previously visited places: Charleston in August for the total eclipse (where clouds blocked our view just minutes before totality), that cabin in western North Carolina for NaNoGiving, and of course San Francisco and Berkeley for Night of Writing Dangerously. Still, this goal was technically fulfilled.
Learn basic Korean. Uhhh, I thought about it? And looked up a couple of sites? Duolingo came out with a Korean course just before NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t had a chance to explore that yet.
Stay employed and decrease debt. This should have been two separate goals, but I didn’t think of that during this time last year. The first half of this year was a financial challenge due to a decrease of freelance work and my roommates moving out. The situation was dire enough that I started looking for an “actual job” and started one in July. I talk about that more in the pre-NaNo State of the Sushi post, and most of the content there is still the same. As for decreasing debt, well, remember barely getting by during the first half of the year? Well, I’m still paying off my 2016 taxes for this reason; when the choice is “pay your rent” or “pay last year’s taxes when you can get an installment plan”, then the first one usually wins.
Begin training for a marathon. Hahahahahahaha I’ve barely thought about this one.
The lack of achieving goals aside, this year was a pretty good year, despite the bumps in the road. That financial groove I mentioned at the end of last year went away in early 2017, when business got really slow, and I was struggling for awhile until starting a full-time job mid-year. But now it’s safe to say that I’m in a good spot, financial and otherwise.
One other thing of note: Remember when I added “Take a class” to my goals in 2016? Despite not doing this in 2016, I did take a class during the first half of 2017 when the freelance business was slow. That class was a course in logic and set theory at my alma mater. I knew the professor and he invited me to sit in on the class. It was a great time and if my schedule were more flexible, I’d sit in on another class in a heartbeat.
Let’s start thinking about 2018 goals, shall we?
Sushi’s 2018 Goals
Read 80 books. “But Sushi,” I hear you say. “You’ve read over 100 books per year for the past four years. Why lower this goal?” Simple: I have less time on my hands than I did when reading a book every two days last year. It took nearly two weeks after starting the new job to finish reading a book. After taking into account the fact that I barely read in October and November, 80 books comes out to eight books a month over the course of ten months. That’s still attainable, especially with audiobooks, but it’s a challenge all the same. Of course, my dream goal will be to reach triple digits again, but we’ll see about that.
Rewrite a book. Whether that’s the third draft of one of the books mentioned above or the roomba novel from November (which people actually want to read for some reason), I hope to write something that isn’t a first draft, something that will take me toward a version I’m happy with.
Travel somewhere new. As I’ve mentioned over the past few years, I’m not especially well-traveled, so this one stays on the list.
Go back to Night of Writing Dangerously. This one is gonna stay here forever.
Stay employed. Yes, this one stays on the list. As long as I don’t screw things up too much, I should be fine here.
Decrease debt. If I keep letting autopay do its thing, two of my student loans will be paid off this year. Woo! I’ll re-evaluate them in the spring and see if I have enough extra cash to pay them off early. Sure, those two small loans won’t make a huge difference in interest in the long run, but I’ll take that psychological win to keep going (and the extra money to dump toward bigger debts).
Begin training for a marathon. Yes, this one stays too. I hope to use this winter’s run commutes as a way to warm up to running in the cold (or what qualifies as cold for someone used to southern weather). And since the real goal is a 50k race (gee, wonder why), the marathon is a good start at around 42k.