Writing and Personal Plans for 2017

Last year, I set a pretty busy, though somewhat lenient, schedule for myself that included a number of goals, most notably:
  • Prepare Trezka for a 2017 publication (shoot)
  • Finalize Book Four and get it to agents (double shoot)
  • Publish The Nobodies (I did that!)
  • Find an agent and/or publisher for my Children’s Book (triple shoot-a-boot)
  • Get a new computer (I did this, too!)

So, yeah, I didn’t hit all of those. Beside the fact I don’t think I even touched my children’s book—and have been using the bulk of the time I could be working on that now regretfully drawing Donald Trump—I also didn’t get Book Four off to agents or publishers and, though it may still happen this year, have yet to get Trezka in a place I feel is worth publishing. However, I did publish The Nobodies in what was likely the peak of my year, and I did get a brand spanking new computer, which I absolutely love and refuse to surf the internet on. So, least I nailed two of those five, right?

There’re plenty of reasons I didn’t do more in 2016, and they all kind of boil down to the fact the year just sucked. In fact, a good portion of it saw me simply trying to forget reality in a drunken fugue or videogame world or comic paradise. Though I’m better now, I don’t think I’m entirely out of that stage yet—in fact, I know I’m not—but I’ve been working much harder toward my goals of late while trying to avoid the addicting lure of depressing news.

But, I had to ask myself, what do I actually want to accomplish in 2017? Well, plenty. But, let’s break it down.

Writing Goals

  • Finalize Book Four and get it to agents
  • Bring Trezka closer to publication
  • Finish writing and drawing the graphic novel
  • Reach goal: Start drafting Book Five

More on these. In regard to Book Four, in my latest pass, I edited quite a bit, added quite a bit based on those comments I mentioned, and ended with a net gain of 3,429 words. I hadn’t planned on adding so much, and didn’t even realize I’d done so until the very end, when I tallied. It’s rather insane, really. Now I’m going back through it, then reading it out loud, killing some inconsistencies, replacing some repeats, and adding or deleting a bit more. Learning from my editing of The Nobodies, there’ll be a few more passes, but the story is in great shape and I anticipate moving on with the next steps within the next few months.

Trezka will be my next immediate project. I started the overhaul I felt it required in 2016 but never completed that round of edits. You know how it is—I got pulled back into Book Four instead, and then pulled even further into the graphic novel. But, I want to finish out the Procyk Trilogy on the strongest note possible; it’s nearly there—especially the second half—but a lot of work is still needed.

With the graphic novel, I have to confess: the news lately has really turned me off the project. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept, but any story wherein Trump can be considered by anyone to be the hero just feels, well, wrong to me right now. I’ve decided to take a little break from it whatever the case, just because I don’t want to look at him, but I’ll go back in due time.

And, finally, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Book Five recently. I don’t know if I’ll get into it this year, depending on how long the other goals take, but I’d like to. The outline already exists, after all, and though I’ve thought up a few additions, that skeleton remains mostly in place—and I’m just itching to throw some meat on it.

Personal Goals

  • Lose 15-20 pounds
  • Exercise more
  • Put more focus on the people and things that make me happiest
  • Stop picking/biting my nails

And some notes on these. Though I’ve successfully maintained my weight the past several years, a recent health issue resulted in my doctor saying every pound of weight I lose will make me feel better. So, I looked up my supposed ideal weight, which, for my size, is about 165 lbs. That’s 15 pounds from where I am as of this morning, and 21 from where I was at the start of the year. Yes, I’ve already started toward this goal and, yes, I mean to finish it. When I do, I’ll be at my slimmest in what must be 20 years or more.

Exercising more goes hand-in-hand with the above, but I’d like to do more than simply reduce calories. I’ve started on a positive note, using my basement treadmill on a regular basis during this chilly weather, but I hope I can get back out to my garage once it warms to do more punching bag exercises, and even get back on my bike and ride around town. That’s not to mention taking the kayak out.

It’s not just physical health I want to focus on, but mental health as well. In the current atmosphere, it’s just so easy to be constantly surrounded by negativity and things that make me feel like this isn’t the life for me. So, I want to be rid of those things and spend more of my time being happy. I started this in late 2016, but I’m hopeful I’ll dive even further into it.

And, lastly, I really need to stop peeling back my fingernails. I don’t think it’s necessarily a nervous tick, because I have a stress ball at my desk, but I can feel the nails at times and just need to be rid of them before I can move on. Typically, that happens when I don’t have a clipper on hand—but I, while writing this entry as a matter of fact, just ordered a slim keychain nail clipper for such occasions. Off to a start!

So, that’s the 2017 plan. It’d be nice to check all of these off, I have to say. How about you? What’re your resolutions? Anything worth sharing?