New Year’s resolutions are rubbish. They barely work for me, ever, and although it’s an exhilarating and cleansing feeling to come up with them and plan out everything nicely in the first days of January, feeling absolutely certain that I In Fact Will Accomplish All And Even More, the momentum usually dies wheezing and in burning shame during the next two or three months of the year, if not sooner.
I’ve done it many times; wrote up extensive, pretty-looking bucket and to-do lists (“I will watch 15 new movies”, “I will listen to 20 albums from the 90s”, “I’m gonna take photos every goddamn day”, “I will learn the entirety of the Finnish language”) and then forgot about them promptly as soon as the year started in earnest. It’s just not sustainable. I’m barely getting the hang of daily journaling right now figuring out what system even works for my brain, my habit tracking is… mediocre during the best weeks, and my work notebook is a mess hurtling itself towards complete chaos with every day, so to maintain these lists and to be happy about them too? Impossible, and in the worst case, just adds to my anxiety.
So I’m gonna do it again.
This time though, it’s only for my creative goals. Let’s leave work and daily life out of this, I write my separate lists for those and I’m quite good at falling in and out of despair over them already. Yes, I’m going to try to keep a diet and exercise more and I’m going to finish that paper and read more books and listen to more podcasts. But while 2020 was an awful, messy, impossible year, my creative endeavours (dilettante as they may have been) had literally grabbed me by the hair and kept me afloat in the torrent of excrement, so there’s probably something there that I can utilize for the greater good. I don’t know how and where the world will twist and shift this time, but I don’t need to. I have a lot of ideas and plans and that is enough for now.
The 2021 Creative List
(in a more or less priority and/or chronological order)
(let’s admit, it’s mostly writing but hey, that’s okay)
- I’m going to edit Skylark from beginning to the end into a third draft state
- I’m going to find beta readers and editors and listen to their advices and edit a bit more
- I’m going to publish Skylark (wheeeee!)
- I’m going to start writing the sequel and at least plot it out roughly
- I’m going to write those oneshot ideas too (there’s like five already)
- I’m going to continue Remains and finish the first draft even if it’s really-really bad
- I’m going to continue Out of the Grey because it’s fun
- I’m going to write book critiques and recommendations for this blog
- I’m going to do beta reading and help other people in editing
- I’m going to maintain the blog and Wattpad and the Facebook page
- I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo 2021
- I’m going to take part in some writer’s club or Twitter community or whatever the young’uns are doing these days
- I’m going to do more art like painting and drawing (check out artful.co.uk, I have a subscription now and it’s so cool)
- I’m going to read and learn more about art and writing. To preach what I practice, I guess, heh.
- I’m going to maybe, perhaps, do some videos? On stuff? This is a pretty vague thought for now, and it’s the last item too, so let’s just leave it at that.
If you’re a writer, are you planning your goals for the year? What are your expectations? Nothing? Everything?
Whatever you do, I wish you strength and perseverance to accomplish what you want. And you know, it’s good to have plans, but more important is that you get something positive out of all those to-do lists. Whenever it’s possible (so, not necessarily for washing the dishes or assembling that damn coffee table finally) do it because you want to, not because you need to. There are so many unavoidable fucking chores in life anyway. Not everything has to be one, especially creative efforts. And occasionally, it’s good to just sit down in silence and be a little, and rest, without any expectations and the urge to hustle and always trying to remain productive. We need peace sometimes, and that’s okay.
And that’s a reminder for myself too.