& Fridays: Resolutions, Book and Otherwise

Well, happy 2016, everyone!!

This is going to be a good year. I can feel it. It’s something in the air. Or the water. Or the piece of chocolate I’m eating right now.

Whatever it is, I think it’s good. And I hope you feel the same!

In the past couple of weeks, I have given some thought to what I would like to accomplish this year. I am pretty proud of the way I handled 2015. I did join a gym, and I did go (although December was a joke – I let the holidays and planning my party get in the way of working out – oops!), and it did make me feel better about myself. So more of that! There is a yoga studio near my new workplace, so a couple of those classes might be in order. When I thought of something I wanted to work or focus on in the new year, I wrote it down. It helps that I’m still old school and keep a paper planner on hand to keep my mind and days straight. It’s great for the writer and visual person in me to physically write it, to see it on the page.

But before we get to those, let’s recap what I wanted to do last year!

2015 resolutions:

1.) Keep up this blog all year.
Hey, I’m still kicking! Again, after National Novel Writing Month this year, I lagged a bit in the blog writing department – I was so done with frantically writing things! This coming year, I think I should push to have all of November and most of December’s posts planned out before November even begins.

2.) Attempt to write, every single day.
I wrote for a good, solid, 4 months or so, every day. I filled two and a half notebooks, and I wrote it all by hand. And then I stopped. I don’t think for any good reason, really. I picked up again in November, of course, but I actually found the commitment to write every day to be a little stressful. I felt horrible id I didn’t write for two days in a row. And if I wrote a small amount, it was just as bad. My writing goal this year is a bit more lenient this year, while still making me put pen to paper (or mouse to computer screen).

3.) Don’t buy any more writing books.
I don’t think I did? Oh wait, I did but one about writing a book in a month. I featured it in a blog post right before NaNoWriMo. But I did read that one and use some of the worksheets for my novel planning!

Ahhh, my lovely paperback collection...waiting for me on the shelf...calling my name...

Ahhh, my lovely paperback collection…waiting for me on the shelf…calling my name…

4.) Re-read Harry Potter.
Ooooh, didn’t do this one, either. I had forgotten that I resolved to do this! (probably because I didn’t write it down…) I WILL write it down for this year, how about that?

5.) Read 50-60 books.
I read 55! Even when my life is busy and stressful, I find time for books. They relax me. Even when it’s late at night and I should be trying to fall asleep in order to be fresh for work in the morning, I read a chapter. It’s my reward for the day, the thing that makes me feel normal. I will set my Goodreads 2016 goal for 55 books. Let’s see how it goes J

Whew! Not too shabby, I must say! A lapse in writing, and forgetting to re-read Harry Potter…overall, not too bad!

This year, it’s about maintaining and increasing – bring it on!

1.) Grow the blog.

I love all of you early readers, but the truth is: I did nothing to earn you (besides write posts, I suppose!). I have not gone out into the blogging world and commented or linked to my blog. Twitter is set to automatically post a status when I write a new post, but I haven’t done anything to it other than that (I’m not a big Twitter person, but that is neither here nor there). I am getting to the point of really liking what I post here, and keeping it up semi-regularly. I want to share that with more people. And you know, start giving away cool stuff to those of you who read. Yay!

2.) Write 52 stories in 52 weeks.

I think this originated with Ray Bradbury’s quote/challenge: “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” I like this idea for many reasons. I won’t feel as much crazy pressure to write every single day, even when my day has been busy or I’m cranky and/or exhausted and just want to sleep, not read. Also, a story can be any length. Not that I intend to write 52 one-paragraph stories. But if I churn out a shorter story one week, and a longer one another week, that’s fine. But this is a commitment to writing that I think I’ll find more manageable, and more fulfilling: more to show for all of my work, still requiring me to write on a regular basis.

3.) Read at least 7 “classic” novels, or novels from 1970 or earlier

Those numbers are pretty loose and random. But when I look at the statistics of the books I have read on goodreads, nearly ALL of those are from the last five years are so. Not that everything on goodreads is everything that I have ever read. Only the past few years are chronicled accurately there. But that is still a little sad. Not all good literature was written since I have been a bookworm! I need to broaden my “have read” repertoire. What are your favorite “classic” novels? Or simply a novel from the past that really struck you as amazing? What do I absolutely need to read?

I volunteered and organized book drives with Better World Books! Check it out!

I volunteered and organized book drives with Better World Books! Check it out!

4.) Volunteer more.

In high school and college, I devoted a lot of time to community service. In college, I really found a program I loved that benefitted a literacy cause, and I did great things with it and within the community. I loved giving back, but since graduating, I have done very little in terms of community service. I want to change that. Whether it is for a literary or literacy cause, I want to start volunteer again. I have had way to many fulfilling and life changing moments because of it to just stop.

Alright! All that, and re-read Harry Potter, of course 😛 What are your resolutions, my readers? Remember, I go Pirates of the Caribbean style with it: treat them like guidelines, things to keep in mind all year and to strive for, not strict requirements in stone that you must complete to have a successful year. And again: HAPPY 2016!!

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