The inevitable first post of the year

Goodbye 2010, hello 2011.

Yes, dear readers, it is one of those posts. The inevitable “resolutions” blog post.

I’m pretty lousy at sticking to resolutions. The essential problem is that I’m an old, stuck in my ways, stubborn ass. Change is not something I do easily. And though the start of a new year is merely an arbitrary signal, there is something deeply psychological about the blank pages of the calendar ahead, the clean slate it offers.

Here are my aims for 2011, personal and professional.

Health

  • Run three times a week
  • Run 1000km in 2011

I ran the half-marathon in 2010. That was quite an achievement for me. It would have been an even greater achievement if I’d stuck with my running schedule! So long as I run at least 3 times a week, and run an average of 20km every week, I’ll reach the goal of 1000km by the end of the year.

And running will help to take care of any other resolutions about losing weight!

Art

  • Paint once a week
  • View and complete the botanical art and landscape art course DVDs I got for Christmas

Last Christmas I got an easel and brushes. The easel was assembled on Christmas Day, then never left the house. Nor did it leave its case. The brushes got their first use in September. That’s not so good.

This year I got many more brushes, many instructional DVDs, and an art workstation. I’m not going to let them go to waste. I loved painting at school, I’ve become fascinated with botanical art, and I think watercolour is a fantastic and relaxing hobby to indulge in. And I need a hobby. So this year I’m going to unleash my creative side, and not neglect my inner artist.

Reading

  • Read a minimum of 3 books a month

The last time I set a reading goal, I made it two books per month. Given I managed to read all four of Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch novels this past week, I’ve managed to re-ignite my reading and upped the ante on this goal. Once I start back to work my reading time will be cut into (four a week may be out!), but three per month sounds good to me.

Writing

  • Complete Write 1, Sub 1
  • Enter 1 writing competition per quarter
  • Be more organised!

I signed up for Write 1, Sub 1. That should be interesting.

And as Write 1, Sub 1 will divert my attention towards submitting work for publication, rather than competitions, I think it is only realistic to scale back the competition entry aims. Competitions may appear more financially lucrative, but getting work into magazines and journals builds a portfolio that can help open doors. Much smarter.

Professional

  • Paperback publicaiton of Chinese Whisperings books
  • Tie up 2010 projects

The paperbacks of the Chinese Whisperings books have been a long time coming, and there’s always something that arises to frustrate our intentions to get the paperbacks out. I want the existing books out, and the 2011 Chinese Whisperings project also out in paperback at the end of the year.

As for the 2010 projects, there are a few, and I’m massively behind on them. In hindsight I have taken on too much (need to learn to say no more often), and October/November/December are lousy times for getting writers organised (NaNoWriMo prep, NaNoWriMo itself, Thanksgiving and/or Christmas).

My organisational skills need a kick up the arse this year. Less procrastination, more “do the damn thing”. In fact all my resolutions could simply be summarised as “just do the damn thing”.

So here we go.

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