10 for 2023: How Did I Do?

Given the times we live in, the idea of New Year's Resolutions seems idiotic, but I'm doing it anyway because lists are easy to make and strangely satisfying to cross things off of. But before I launch on yet another exercise in mild futility (I do usually get some of these things accomplished), it's time to look back on 2023 and see how I did:

 1. Big Writing Goal for the Year: Get Book 4 into the draft format by the end of the year. I'm currently working my way through Chapter 5 and I'm sitting at 25,744 words. It's been challenging so far: I'm sticking to a single POV for the first time in a book, I'm writing well outside my usual genre preferences so far, and writing consistently and well is hard, y'all. But enough is enough-- time to light this candle and git 'er done.

Okay, here's the story with Book 4. I was plowing through, heading into Chapter 8, the wind was in my sails and then I got a note. A note so damn good, so brilliant that I couldn't ignore it. So, no I didn't get it into draft status, because I had to go back and do a remodel on the thing for reason that are absolutely legitimate and make a ton of sense. Where do I stand:

Chapter 1: (Revised/2nd Draft): 4497 words

Chapter 2 (Revised/2nd Draft): 5820 words

Chapter 3 (Revised/2nd Draft): 7094 words

Chapter 4: (Revised/2nd Draft): 6619 words

Chapter 5: 6165 words

Chapter 6: 6227 words

Chapter 7: 6699 words

Chapter 8 (Incomplete): 2826 words

I'm ending the year with 45,947 words-- so tangible and real progress was made on Book 4 this year. That alone is going to warrant a win in my book. But, I did not do the thing that I said I was going to do, which is get it into Draft status. I'm going to have to give myself a half point for this one. Status: 1/2 point.

2. Little Writing Goal(s) for the Year: I've got one story in my 'slush pile' that I'm submitting around. I want to add two more to the pile by the year's end and be consistent in submitting as many places as I can get. I'd like to do some world-building and prep work on future planned projects and while I'm not a frequent Wattpad user, I'd like to get writing consistently on platforms like Reddit (or Wattpad) again.

So, the thing about writing is that you might start out with one idea, but sometimes your destination doesn't wind up being the one you think it is. I do have two stories I did submit pretty consistently with no luck. I have a third story that I submitted around as well, but I'm currently hip deep in revision and expansion of that piece that right now has crossed the 17K threshold into novella territory and who knows where it will end up-- I'm hoping it won't be novel length by the time I'm done, but we'll see. What I am realizing at the end of the year is that I have a Substack (you should subscribe if you haven't already) and the time it takes to submit over and over and over again is time that detracts from getting projects across the finish line. I think my experience this year convinced me that if I'm going to do it myself for books, I might as well do it myself for all my writing. (Changes are coming-- hop over the Substack if you want to find out what they are.)

What I did do was submit at least one story a month to HFY on Reddit. I did not touch my Wattpadd this year and I'm largely okay with that as I was at best a casual user. But for that reason, I'm going to give this one a win. Status: PASS.

3. Lose thirty pounds: so this past year I discovered that I've got what's called diastasis recti, which is a fancy way of saying abdominal separation and a less fancy way is saying that when I do a sit-up, I look like that guy in Total Recall (the good one, not the remake) with the alien coming of him. Compounding that, I appear to have a small umbilical hernia going on and I don't want it to get bigger or cause actual problems. Losing weight is no longer a whistful dream, it's rapidly becoming a necessity. Ideally, I should probably lose fifty pounds, if not more, but I'll take thirty. That seems doable to me. At bare minimum, I want to end the year weighing less than I do now. 

Yeah, this didn't happen at all. Status: FAIL.

4. Build healthy habits: food, exercise, water consumption, writing, time management, stress management-- I expect everyone can do better handling most of these things in any given year, but I want to push the boat out on developing actual healthy habits on all fronts this year. (I don't know how I'm going to judge this one, so we'll see.)

I'm going to give myself a half point for this one. I have been better about water consumption, writing, time and stress management has been sort of a work in progress, but I've tried. Status: 1/2 point.

5. Grass seed! Our backyard is in dire need of proper seeding this year and I want to actually fence off a chunk to keep it (hopefully) free of dogs so it can actually grow.

We did, in fact, put grass seed down. We did, in fact, fence it off and attempt to water it so it would actually grow and for awhile, it sort of did grow. But then we got a new trampoline to cover up the rest. I'm going to give myself a half point for this one as well. Status: 1/2 point. 

6. Expand our vinyl collection! I'm pretty sure we're on the verge of needing a new needle, so we'll probably have to do that this year, but the itch to listen sort of comes at me in waves, so I'd like to visit some actual record stores and see about picking up some new albums this year. 

We did acquire more vinyl-- in fact, I'd say we're in need of more storage for our vinyl, because our record holder is getting a bit full. We did get new needles shortly after I wrote this, but currently we need a new needle again because the kids did something to it and I can't find where I put the others as of yet. I would still like to sneak down to the local record store and actually buy locally, but I'm going to call this one a success. Status: PASS

7. Get another tattoo. One of these years, I'm actually going to do it- so why not this year?

I have plans for two, I was lined up to get one. I didn't do it though. Status: FAIL.

8. Goodreads Goal! I'm going to up my goal from 25 books to 35 books. Not an unreasonable goal, I don't think-- speaking of which, here's my official TBR 2023, so you'll have some idea of what I'll be reading this year. 

Currently sitting at 111% of my goal. 39 books completed so far and an outside chance of getting another one over the finish line before the end of the year. Status: PASS.

9. Reach a 600-day Duolingo streak: I was tempted to go straight to 730 days to double my current streak but decided to be a little conservative here. If I overachieve- great!

If I'm doing my math right, I should be finishing the year with about a 720 day streak. The only mountaisn I have left to conquer: winning the Diamond League and getting to 1000 days, but that's probably going to be my goal for next year. Status: PASS.

10. To make a list of New Year's Resolutions. (Yes, It's my annual 'control' resolution ensuring at least one of these goals will be successful.)

The old reliable. Status: PASS

...I think I might be getting better at this? Looking back in the archives, the end of 2021 saw me post a 27.5% success rate, the end of 2022 I hit 40% and by my count for this year, I'm ending the year with a 65% success rate. I've said it before and I'll say it again: maybe the key to success is making these resolutions more attainable, but I had a pretty good year with these goals, so I'm going to celebrate it.

That's it for 2023! On to 2024!


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