New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is upon us, and that means time to start thinking about resolutions. Did we accomplish our 2013 goals, and what should we do for 2014? Although most people focus on exercise and diet, I’ve got a new article up on Fantasy-Faction about resolutions designed to improve your creativity, if you’re interested.

So what am I doing? Well, for me, 2013 was the year of reading 52 books. I managed to pull that one off. Yay, me.

But what am I thinking about doing in 2014? Well, yeah, I’m thinking about exercise and diet. I can always eat better, lift more, sprint more, and sleep more–especially the last one. I’m running another Tough Mudder in June, so I want to be ready for it.

But as for reading and writing resolutions, well, I’ve got several. My first reading resolution is to read 100 short stories in 2014 (and yes, this will include listening to audio versions). I’ll keep a running count on Twitter using the hashtag #100ShortStoriesin2014. I also hope to read more nonfiction this year: histories, mythologies, biographies, travelogues, that sort of thing.

And perhaps most importantly, I want to change how I read. Instead of being swept away by a good story well told, I want to read more actively, taking apart a story: why structure the chapter this way, why this action/dialogue/internal monologue, why this word choice, etc. It’s all part of getting my mind right, Myke Cole style. And speaking of Myke, if you’re in the DC area on January 31, he’ll be speaking at the Library of Congress’s Pickford Theater at noon.

And speaking of the greater DC area, I hope to take more advantage of all the museums in town and hiking trails just outside of town. As I talk about in my F-F article, this is a great way to recharge my creative batteries.

And lastly, writing. I want to write more and more regularly. If I write 1,000 words a day, Monday-Friday, every week of 2014, that will get me 260,000 words. That’s several short stories or heck, even a couple of novels’ worth of words. But, 260k is not my goal; it’s my floor. It’s a minimum. I hope to clear that figure by a wide margin. I’ll keep a running tally and update it online every so often.

And all of this is on top of my other goals: continue to expand my freelancing assignments while also searching for a full-time job (Know of any writing, editing, legal jobs in the DC area? Let me know!). Continue using DuoLingo to improve my Spanish. And finally, to be a better husband, son, brother, and friend to all the special people in my life.

What about you? What are your resolutions, creative or otherwise?

Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone! I’m off to go pick up my parents at the airport, so posts might be a bit light over the next few days. But enjoy yourself. Celebrate, but be safe out there.

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