I was reviewing, the other day, a list of 40 goals I set for myself in January that I was going to meet in 2015. We're about 2 months or so away from the end of 2015, and I thought maybe now would be a good time to start getting it all in. (This is how I do everything, by the way: wait until the last minute - I work on deadline. With EVERYTHING...laundry, returning phone calls, bills, grading papers, making dinner, getting ready for house guests, leaving to meet friends for dinner...EVERY. Thing.)
Lands, Internet. Per my usual, I am behind. So I'm re-posting the entire list, with commentary about how that's worked out for me. (This is more for me than for you, by the way. I think it's about time I start getting my ass in gear and re-focusing. Meanwhile, you're welcome to be entertained by my tragic inability to consistently be all that I can be.)
1. See (in a theater) 5 movies that do not involve cartoons, singing animals, or princesses of any kind. I have no idea how many movies I've seen in the theater. I know the last movie I saw was animated (Hotel Transylvania 2, wait for the DVD). I think I've seen 3 movies that are for grown ups. After work this week, I'm taking myself to see Crimson Peak, because Jessica Chastain and Victorian ghosts. So that'll be 4. I have two more months to get the last one in. I'm going to put this in the I (Almost!) Did It! category.
2. Write 1 book review, and try to take it seriously. Nope. But there's still time!
3. Write 1 movie review, and try to take it seriously.Nope. But there's still time!
4. Go back to the Margaret Mitchell House at least one time to hear a visiting author read/speak about whatever work s/he is hocking. (You do know that book tours are like press junkets for literary types?) (I used to go to the Margaret Mitchell House all the time, but then I had a kid. Margaret's house is no place for busy little kids.) Nope! And it's the Margaret Mitchell House's fault. I haven't seen an ad for one person I'd want to hear talk. So I'm putting this in the There's Still Time But It's Not My Fault category.
5. The original creator of this list idea said to read a book waaay outside your usual genre preference/s. I'll pretty much read anything, but you know what I never read? Erotica. So I'm going to read a book of Erotica. Just to say I've read one. Nope! But there's still time. I did try to read some erotica on the Internet. Internet erotica is crap, lowest common denominator crap. I would like to be a bit classier with my smut, I guess? I'm working on it. I think, right now, my plan is to write a short story or two and put them on amazon.com even though I think amazon.com is kind of diabolical. You have to start somewhere. With your classy smut.
6. I'm also going to watch one Horror movie. I'm not into Horror movies, but I'm going to see one just to say I did it. I hope I don't need Xanax after. Going to count Crimson Peak as my horror movie this week, and check this one off as DONE!
7. I'm going to write 1 short story and submit it somewhere legit. Nope! But there's still time. (Does self-submitting to amazon.com and wattpad.com count? If so, DONE!)
8. I'm going to take a weekend away for myself, and do nothing but write. Nope. But there's still time! (If I can find the money.)
9. I'm going to start a writer website. Nope. This may go into the FAILED category. Websites cost money.
10. With a logo. See #9.
11. On May 2, 2015, I'm going to shop at one (or five) local, independent bookstores. Apparently, this is now a thing: National Bookstore Day. FAIL. I don't even remember May 2, 2015 getting here. Was there a May 2, 2015? I'm sure I was distracted and/or in tears, mourning my life.
12. I'm going to start trying to interacting with more bloggers--writers and non-writers. I think I did this. I think. Mostly? Somewhat.
13. And I'm going to start trying to guest blog and host guest bloggers here. (Wanna write with me??) Nope. Maybe in 2016.
14. I'm going to interview at least one writer (famous or not) and put it up here for all the world (aka: my mom) to read. Nope. Maybe in 2016.
15. I will look into becoming a Huffington Post occasional blogger. Because why not? Nope. Maybe in 2016. (Really, I think my issue with this is that I could send them some of the entries from this blog, but this blog has devolved into little more than a whole bunch of whiny, theatrical navel-gazing. And so I feel like I need to either start a DIFFERENT blog, one in which really just focuses on one kind of topic and stays there...and ha, we all know how that'll go...or re-focus this blog, send HuffPo something then cross my fingers and pray like crazy anyone who clicks over here doesn't start snooping around to see what else I've been writing about.)
16. I will join some type of writers' association. HA! I don't have time to go mingle at writer's association meetings. I must have been on crack when I added this to the list.
17. I'm going to enter one (or more) piece/s of writing into a contest. Maybe in 2016.
18. I'm going to return public library books ON TIME (which means M and I will be scheduling regular library visits, which means I'll have to prioritize, which means...well, just don't hold your breath on #18, is what I'm saying.) DING DING DING!!! I did this! I have totally returned aaaallll of my public library books on time. But then again, I sort of didn't do this, because one reason I returned all the library books on time was because Miss M and I didn't really go to the public library this summer, so there were no library books to return.
19. I'm going to interact more with more published, established writers (famous and not so famous) on Twitter. Sorta kinda, yes. I made some new writer friends, so I'm counting it as a success.
20. This summer, I'm going to commit to a minimum of 500 words of writing per day. June-July. Every day. sigh. No, Internet. This was a FAIL. And it's the worst fail of all on this list. I had one job. ONE JOB. But I let extraneous bullshit derail me. Like ALL THE TIME. Crap.
21. I'm going to go on a writer's retreat. You know where I'd really like to go? THISplace--that place looks lusciously delicious. But it it doesn't work out, I'm cool just creating my own retreat in a mountain cabin somewhere. (Wanna come hang out with me at a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains? We can be solitary creatives during the day, writing and taking quiet walks and contemplating Story. And then congregate in the kitchen/living room each evening to have wild hot tub parties with grilled gourmet dinners and wine and beer. But you'll have to do all the grilling because I burn stuff.) No. I did not do this. This will be a 2016 goal. Because money.
22. I'm going to find a website that's content driven and apply to write for them (I know, I KNOW! I just wrote about what a snore bore content driven stuff is...but it's part of my building my published works scheme and there seems to be no way around it). Fail. But because I've changed my mind about this. I don't want to write content driven crap for advertisers and businesses on the Internet. Saying NO to The Man on this one.
23. I'm going to find an online writing community to join. Do they have these? I'm going to change my mind on this. If I can barely find time to write 500 words per day, I don't have time to hang out online talking about writing and not actually writing with other people who are talking about writing and not actually writing.
24. And an offline community. See #16 and #23.
25. You know what I didn't do last year that I said I would? Last Spring, Jason Isaacs (Hello to Jason Isaacs!) tweeted about an organization called the Afghan Women's Writing Project (awwproject.org) that promotes rights of women to tell their stories. I meant to host a Living Room Fundraiser, but Life blew up and didn't do it. Going to rectify it. (Wanna come and hang out in my living room and celebrate freedom and literacy through storytelling?) Nope. But there's still time! AND! The AWW Project follows me on Twitter now. I really love them and what they do. Thank you, Jason Isaacs, for introducing me to their existence.
26. I'm going to randomly leave some books I loved reading in various locations, like coffee shops. Just to share my book love. Nope, because I totally forgot I said I'd do this. There's still time!
27. I'm going to promote the crap out of other storytellers, in as many ways as I can. I think I successfully did this, when I wrote and wrote and wrote and researched and researched and researched the TV show DIG. If that's not promotion, I don't know what is. And I still do it on Twitter, whenever I find a storyteller I think really rocks it.
28. I'm going to take Miss M on a literary pilgrimage. I'm not sure where, but hopefully there will also be a beach involved. Money. Money is always going to be an issue with this. I may just have to take her to The Margaret Mitchell House and call it a day.
29. Apparently, Twitter has pitch fests. They're online pitch conferences where writers try to get people to buy their ideas so they can write them. I'm going to participate in one. If I can figure out how to do it, and when they take place. Nope. Because I have no idea (A) how to do it, (B) where these take place, or (C) any ideas.
30. I'm also going to participate in artsy-oriented twitups, which are like meetups but on Twitter. Nope. Because I have no idea when/where these twitups take place. But there's still time!
31. I'm going to travel somewhere outside the U.S.A. I've just decided to do it. And it may not be until 2016 when I actually board a plane, but I'm going to do it. Just ripping off the band-aid. Going abroad. (And NO, Mom, I will NOT actively avoid the Middle East. I don't think I'm going there, but if I do, I won't tell you til the plane lands.) Again, with the money thing. (At this point, I'm starting to see a pattern - are you? this song is what's going through my brain. Hope it sticks in your brain now, too. You're welcome!)
32. I'm going to think of my writing as a business--it's been suggested I set up a bank account and pay myself for writing, and use it to save any money I earn from writing. I wish you could see how hard I'm laughing at me right now: clearly my 2015 theme was: Champagne Goals, Beer Budget.
33. I'm going to create a vision board/s for a story/many stories I want to write. I love vision boards. Why don't I do these all the time, for everything? Putting this in the There's Still Time! category.
34. I'm going to see at least 5 plays. In real theatres. With actors and stages and...and...everything. And if I can finagle it? I'm going to go all groupie and see if I can get backstage. Tell them I'm with the band. (Actors can have groupies, right?) (Really, I just want the actors to teach me how to project my voice so I can scare kids.) Nope. There's still time, but not for 5 of these. Can I revise it to just one? Maybe 1 play in a theatre, before December 31. A cheap play. Or on a date with a rich man who pays for everything. Since it's a rich man's world.
Edit: my sister-in-law just reminded me I saw a high school production of The Wizard of Oz earlier this year. But of course! Okay, I'm counting that as 1 live theatre play. Now I'll try to see 1 more live theatre production.
35. A lovely writer who taught me in two writing classes has a writing business now called Under Over On. I'm not sure I can afford the actual classes, but she often hosts Saturday writing sessions for creatives--you meet in a location that's inspiring in some way and you...just...WRITE. Nope. And this is a time issue, in that I've had Miss M on all the weekends. (How did THAT happen? Weekends are prime time...we're going to adjust that schedule.)
36. I'm going to take Miss M on a MARTA ride. Because character fodder. And it'll get her out of the house. I can do this! I totally forgot I said I was going to do this, and this is a super easy and cheap goal I can totally do before December 31 gets here. There's still time!
37. Planning to take a wine tasting class. Or an acting class. Or both. (Do you think they have acting classes in which you drink wine while you study? I'd like that.) Well, I've done a lot of wine tasting myself. And had a lot of dramatics. Just nothing formal, in a classroom. Will stick this in the Revisit in 2016 category.
38. I'm planning to find an online class to take--I'm not sure of what, but they sound much easier than having to go out into the elements. I'd have needed to find a FREE online class. Most people want like $350 per class to distribute information I bet I could locate online myself. And that makes me smell suspicious charlatan.
39. Though I'll miss the camaraderie of sipping wine and talking shop with other storytellers--so now I'm thinking meetup.com...I'll just start my own talk shop/sip wine meetup. I have a meetup.com account. The problem with this is (A) time - coordinating when I will and won't have Miss M, and (B) finding a group that seems like it'll fit me. I may have to start my own, but meetup.com wants money. Money, money, money...it's a rich man's world.
40. I'm going to write a poem or short story and read it out loud somewhere. It may end up being just on YouTube. But it'll be out loud. For an audience. I did this! Does reading a Mary Oliver poem count? I will write a poem and read it out loud on YouTube. Or read the one decent poem I've written. Or the poem about my brother I wrote decades ago, which will embarrass him (win win!). I can totally do that, before Halloween even gets here.