Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 -- The Year of Writing

2003 -- The Year of the Wedding
2004 -- The year of Infertility
2005 -- The year of Pregnancy
2006 -- The year of Twinfants
2007 -- The year of Staying Home

And now, 2008, the year of writing and becoming a woman, again.

Goals for 2008


Write 2,000 words a week in my already-started novel. I just want to finish this sucker. It's been on my plate for 10 years. One might say that it wasn't meant to be ... or that if I had it in me to finish, I would have by now. But, I am one to know when something isn't going to work out and I just can't put this away. The timing has never been right ... and it never will be. I know that now. I just have to make it work. I'm not dedicating any time of day or week to write ... only that by Sunday night at 6 p.m. I better have written 2,000 words that week. I will keep a log. Marta is nagging me anyway so unless I want her emails to be moot -- which would be wasting her precious sweet energy -- I better get cracking. Thanks, Marta!

My second goal, related to the first, is to actually write the book proposal. I'd like to make this a goal to meet by Spring so that I can start sending it out ASAP. Plus, I read that writing the proposal is a great way to get the book's outline sealed nice and tight. I think I could use that exercise.

Third goal: One idea and one publication at at a time. I have a tendency to jump in with both feet to everything before checking out the waters first. My head is filled with more ideas than it could ever possibly execute. This is a serious problem for me. It also affects my mothering, my marriage, my inner peace. My mind is seriously like a movie in fast forward. The only thing that helps is meditation and I do not do that nearly enough, though I am making that a goal for this year -- a personal goal. Anyway, by giving myself only a goal of breaking into one national magazine this year (not counting any that I've already broken into), I am alleviating myself of that constant need to find the perfect fit for me. If something comes along and I have the time, the energy and it won't affect my mothering skills, then sure I'll jump on it. I have four magazines with great contacts right now ... my goal is to find that fifth this year -- but only once I've worked hard on the four that I have now. By July, I think I will be ready to start on that fifth one. No pressure before then. After all, my job is to be Mama and that does still come first. But, in the fall the girls will start pre-school, I suppose. That will ideally free up some time to do some writing in the coffee shop down the street, right?

Fourth goal: I've had an idea for an e-zine for months now and I've not done much about it. The topic is very dear to me and while there are some publications out there like it, none are quite the same. So, I am giving myself a goal to start up this ezine this year. It will be free, but with advertising sponsors. And many of you will totally dig it, I'm sure.

Finally, I have a children's books series idea that came to me last spring when I was searching for something to read to Jadyn and Liana. There isn't anything like it on the market -- that I have found -- and I do think it would be popular. My goal here is to write the book proposal since it is less about writing and more about collecting.

Personal goals

I'm quitting coffee. Thanks to a cold I've been off of it now for a week or more. I don't mean none ... I mean I'm not going to only get out of bed to get that first sip anymore. I've known for a while that that addiction is more emotional than needed. Half the time I don't even drink caffeinated. Instead, I want to wake up and do yoga and meditate. I'm going to follow with a nice cup of tea. Then, when my second job starts at nap time, I am allowing myself that nice cup of coffee, which I find helps me get through the afternoon better anyway. By doing this, I think I will save calories, eat a better breakfast and save money. I will be drinking one cup, not two, a day and some days perhaps none at all. We'll see how long this lasts.

I want to drop our grocery, gas and other miscellaneous expenses by 50 percent. I will talk more about this in a future post, but I am doing some serious research in this area and have learned that I have more power than I think over these non-bill areas. It's not a matter of over spending; it's a matter of taking extra steps to buy what you need. This includes living frugally and, as I discovered, frugal doesn't have to mean cheap. Once we move to the new house -- assuming that happens this year -- I will have learned some valuable money-saving techniques from this crisis that will continue to help us finally start to save again.

This is going to be like 2003 for me. It's going to be the year I lost weight. By using Weight Watchers, I lost 45 pounds before our wedding. But, staying home with the girls and not being very active and eating too much (though half the time my lunch is bread crusts and what the girls do not eat), I have gained most of that back. I still cannot afford a health club membership, but I do have videos, including Yoga, Cardio and walking. I hope to buy a yoga and kids DVD this month to get the girls participating because they do love them some Yoga poses. Still, I have to do more than that because I know they will not always give me that daily 20 minutes. My goal is to get up and work out each morning with one of these tapes and then hopefully do yoga once or twice a week with them as well as once on Saturday mornings with my yoga class. In the spring and summer and fall, I walk a lot so I will need to start watching my food intake before then. My goal is to drop 30 pounds by August 18. I will talk more about how I'm doing this for free on my other blog.

Building a budget: One thing about not having any money ... it's really hard to budget. Things pop up and suddenly there's nothing left. The needs pile up on top of one another. Thankfully, I have been earning some income over the last year or else we would have had to foreclose on our mortgage by now. That income has been essential. But, as we start to lower our daily expenses, we are finding a very small amount of wiggle room. That means that each month has to be precisely calculated. No extras -- like that rug I just bought over the weekend -- can be bought. Even if it means a house less than perfect goes on the market once again. The budget must work and I need to find balance between buying what we need right now and buying what we are going to need soon.

Meditate: I have to do this for my sanity. I am so preoccupied with the future that I have a very hard time settling down and just loving this minute I'm in. I know I am not alone; that many humans do this. I'm just trying to take control.

Tend my garden of friends around the globe: I do have a friend nearby who I neglected to mention last week in my funk. She's a mom of twins who are about the same age. Our schedules are a little different but close enough to make regular playdates work. I have some other good friends from this blog and my hope is to really build on those this year. I mean more than a blog post ... establishing friendships and maybe even, gasp!, talk on the phone!

Thank you for visiting today.

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Megan said...

I too am a goal setter and a list-er. I am inspired by your goals! I hope that one day we'll be able to read on your blog that the novel is done...and will be in a bookstore near us soon!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Wow. I'd settle for accomplishing any one (ok, any half of one) of your goals in a year. I think that's why I gave up resolutions. But you do have me thinking of what the last 7 years were "Year of..."

LauraC said...

Those are seriously powerful years.

We also have a budgeting plan for the year. Very timely as one of our grocery stores has triple coupons going on this weekend. I made a trip before day care, Jon made a trip after day care drop-off. It's amazing how much we've been able to cut back!

Candace & Anna said...

I admire your ambition! Makes me want to sit down and visualize my year and make some tangable goals! I have always been one of those fly by the seat of my pants people *gasp*. I think I will have to try something different this year!

Shelli said...

I was nodding my head a lot while reading your post. I think you will do amazing things this year. My good thoughts are with you.

I wrote recently that this is my time to be a mother. I think this is your time to be a be many things really. And I don't believe that just because you haven't finished your novel by now that you won't ever finish it. If we all thought that way, we would never pursue our dreams. It's about taking one step at a time. One project at a time.

I look forward to your follow-up posts. I can definitely use the advice, especially in the saving money area.

marta said...

Glad to hear it is the Year of the Writer and that the nagging won't be wasted. You've got great goals--just remember that if you should falter--not that you would, but you know how it is--pick yourself up and keep going.

Looking forward to nagging you far into 2008!

Anonymous said...

I know that this year will be a wonderful year with out without goals. There is powerful momentum for positive change and growth in the numbers themselves: 2008

Your ambitions are powerful and I'm very confident for you in all ways.

That reminds me to order the towels. It's January White Sale time!

ONEDIA said...

Whew, I am exhausted just reading your list -- but I have 25 years on you. Living in the moment is very difficult. I struggled a few years back to learn to live more in the moment... I found Tich Nacht Hahn (sp?) to be very useful especially his Plum Village meditation tape because it helped me to bring my wandering thoughts back to the moment.

I look forward to reading about your progress. I am also using this year to do more focused writing so I will be struggling as well.

Keep talking over the global neifhborhood fence -- we will all be friends that you can write to at any time.


lesleysmeshly said...

I'm so glad you're back and focused on you. Those goals are amazing and I wish you the best. I can't wait for the e-zine.

Good luck on losing weight. Long times ago I was on WW and lost 20 pounds..I bought the books and followed the points at home sans meetings....I kept it off until IVF #1.

I'm the budget making queen..sticking to it is a whole other issue. =)

Shannon said...

These are pretty lofty goals there chickie! They say it takes something like twenty three days (I just round to a month) for behavior to become good luck getting to that mark.

ps. Since you are a writer and you are a woman, this sounds like the year to be you! A good year.

tlc said...

You have some very good goals set for a wonderful year!!

I know all too well, that it often becomes a task to tell yourself that I have to do this on this day, and so much by then. It doesn't seem pure anymore when you can not express what you need when you feel it. Being a mother hinders all of this, but what can you do but attend to the needs of your little beings.

Just know that it needs to be... your novel. Your novel that you have been composing since forever. For you, the ones you want to read it, and for a release into a decade of your life dedicated to pondering about what to leave in and what to keep out! It is almost like it is a living breathing thing that needs to be fed and nutured. you have done all of this, now is time to put it to bed and kiss it good night (like the kids!), and bask in the restful place that makes you happy. Knowing that it is a job well done!

Your novel is an extension of your soul. A window into the place you want to take your readers that shares the bareness of your being, through the characters or happenings you express. You are so good with your words in all of your forms of expression, especially here. Let it go, and it will all flow like it needs to. I am so rooting for you Shawn, and can not wait to sit down with what I know will be a great read with alot of substance and feeling. I can barely wait!!!

Bastet said...

I can't wait to see these blog ideas come to life...especially about cutting the grocery bill by 50%!