2015 “Resolutions”

I don’t like resolutions. Once something becomes an obligation I tend to lose interest and use every excuse I can to get out of it. I don’t think they’re inherently bad, I’m just bad at them. The only thing I managed to maintain for 2014 was not ironing (for a whole year, that kind of commitment deserves a glass of wine). However, the fact that I am now what is technically know as an ‘adult’ (and have been one for quite some time) has finally hit me. So I’ve decided to set some goals. If I achieve them or get closer to them in 2015 that’s awesome, but I’m not going to beat myself up if not.

calvin_resolutions

To be clear, this isn’t a bucket list. I don’t like bucket lists because it turns life into a to do list as we count down the seconds until we die. It lends a whole aura of desperation and efficiency that seems to get in the way of actually living (at least in my experience), and then there’s huge pressure on these items to live up to your expectations and the meaning you’ve imbued them with as they are THE things to do before you die. This also isn’t one of those mid-life crisis things where I plan to have an emotional break down at thirty. But I am now 25 and I have never had stable income for more than a few months at a time. I’ve jumped from job to job, constantly having to retrain and learn new skills (while still always being on the bottom rung), meaning my writing time has been severely constrained. Below are my plans to rectify that

New Year's Resolutions Whiteboard

  1. Do something that relates to writing every single day. Even if it’s just updating this blog or submitting stories rather than actually writing new stuff, at least my head’s still in the game and it’s habit-forming.
  2. revamp my query letter and query process and go into this year all guns blazing trying to get an agent and get some more of my short stories published.
  3. FINISH The Waiting Place. Finish all edits that remain, structural edits, line edits and everything. By the time 2016 hits I will be finished with it (I realise this one is more like a resolution but writing deadlines will help me put this one to bed)2012-01-02-resolution
  4. Plan and research DreamCatcher and, if possible, write the sequel for Nano in November.
  5. Begin my teaching qualification and keep working in the school. From here on in, teaching will be my day job.
  6. work smarter (i.e. stop procrastinating and dicking about on the internet or cleaning things that don’t need to be cleaned)
  7. Really focus on the writing as my main goal in life
  8. Other miscellaneous things like stop worrying about money, travel etc.

 

Resolutions Cartoon

Anyway, we’ll see if this method helps, so far I’ve done writing stuff about every second day but I’ve managed to see some of the flaws in the way I’ve been approaching this so far. Hopefully I can approach 2015 with more clarity and focus, but if not? Well, it’s not the end of the world. All I can do is my best.

2014 Wrap-up: Better Late than Never!

So 2014 was eventful, and 2015 promises to be even more so…

Writing Stuff

Two of my short stories were published this year.

January – ‘The Ballad of Mr. Bones’ is a story that I loved writing. It’s about a post-apocalyptic obsession with shoes (and other obsessions) and was published in a special issue of Not One of Us called ‘Coping.’ Copies of ‘Coping’ can be ordered here for the low price of $3.50

April – ‘Symposium’ was published in the Irish edition of Literary Orphans, an absolutely fantastic journal run by Mike Joyce. It’s about love and life and a local pub. It’s the first story I wrote when I decided to take this writing lark seriously and in 2012 it was longlisted for the RTÉ/Penguin short story award so I’m glad it’s finally found a home. It can be read for FREE here.

Other writing related adventures include re-editing the submission chapters of my novel and renaming it to Human Child. I did a lot of planning and preparation and began edits on my second novel, The Waiting Place. Edits will start in earnest now.

I wrote two new short stories and will begin submitting them this year. I also completed NaNoWriMo!!! Woo, Huzzah! This is my third attempt at Nano and the first time i’ve succeded without breaking the rules. I started on November first with only a vague idea and by the end I had 50,000 words of a new novel that I reckon is a pretty solid opening to a trilogy of fantasy books. Edits and teasers etc will follow but I’ve tentatively titled it Dream Catcher.

China Stuff

I also spent seven months living, working and travelling around China. You can read about my exploits here, the blog is still being updated because there’s too much to tell. Ultimately it was an amazing experience, I’m delighted I took the plunge and did it but 7 months was enough. It has ignited a travelling bug in me though so we’ll see where the next few years take me.

Work Stuff

So I’ve been teaching for a few years now, giving grinds, teaching EFL and working in secondary schools and I’ve decided that I’m going to give it a proper go. I enjoy teaching and it’s a great way to finance and allow time for my writing. When I returned from China I got a job as a substitute teacher in a secondary school and I got accepted onto a PME course with Hibernia college. This is an online course so I can continue to work and write, but expect a few blog posts here where I talk about any ideas I’ve used in class to teach creative writing

House Stuff

We had a problem with rising damp in the house, started picking away at that and before we knew it we were sleeping on the sitting room floor because we were renovating three different rooms in the house and doing all the labour ourselves. The end result is that most of the house looks awesome (only two rooms left to go!) and I now have my very own office! For the first time ever I have a little writers’ hole that I can lock myself away in. There’s still a few finishing touches and I’ll post pictures and things as soon as it’s all gussied up.

Family Stuff

Some of my family and friends have returned to Ireland so that in itself is awesome. I continue to be very fortunate to be friends with such awesome people and writers and even more fortunate to be related to such crazy and caring people. Also my nephew is finally walking and kind of talking so that’s awesome, rather than a quiet little baby he’s an actual human now with built-in interactivity. And of course I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive boyfriend who didn’t raise one word of complaint when I left to go travelling alone for 7 months and always makes me smile.

2014 was awesome, it set the standard pretty high. So onwards and upwards for 2015!!