Artichokes and Salsa: A New Year

Hello, 2017.png

2016 ended with me eating artichokes and salsa while watching Gargoyles, a silly animation show for kids that aired in the 90s. It wasn’t really planned — in fact, I’d been thinking I’d be asleep by 10 — but there I was, awake to usher in the new year.

As most of us writers here on social media agree, 2016 was overall a dumpster fire. Which is unfortunate, because with my weird thing about numbers, I really like the number 2016.

But anyway, here is the obligatory New-Years-Resolutions post.

As stated in my post from early 2016, my writing goals for last year were:

Finish Dragon Immortals Book 3 (working title Occultum)
Develop a kick-ass, intelligent marketing plan for Initium (the first book!)
Consistently query

So, all right, I didn’t complete the first one. Which sucks, because it ruined my pattern of finishing a book a year. Occultum is about a third finished right now — which can be directly connected to my lack of consistently working on it. I’ve actually been working on it more in the past month than I have all year, after the inspiration and good habits that arise from NaNoWriMo.

Though, even as Occultum isn’t finished, I do have another book that’s almost completed in another series (the first of the Fertility Daughters series I wrote for NaNoWriMo).

Also, I did write quite a few short stories.

(… Huh, it seems like I didn’t write a ton, doesn’t it? It’s weird, I feel like I wrote a lot more…)

Well, for my second goal, while I’m figuring out I may never feel like I’m ‘prepared’ for marketing, I know a ton more than I did before. I’ve got quite a few ideas in my head, an author platform I’m keeping up decently, and some semblance of a plan. So that, I believe, is a success.

Ha, and as for consistently querying — that was true until June, when I got my amazing mentorship and Glass House Press snagged up my current series.

I also had some personal goals I wanted to strive for:

Go to three new places
Get an “adult” job
Read 6 books from list

Definitely check on the first one, all thanks to my family. We decided that instead of Christmas presents this year, we’d travel. We ended up going to Mont-Tremblant, Canada, Poughkeepsie, NY, and NYC. It was an amazing two week trip — and so much fun!

Ehhhh not so much on the adult job. I mean, I suppose if you count retail. But I really mean something fulfilling with a salary that does something to make the world a better place… which, perhaps was a little ambitious of me. But until I’m a world famous author, I’ve got to make money somehow, right?

Read 6 books from list. Ha. Well, I definitely read 6 books (a lot more than six), but I have a specific list of classics and good literature that would help improve me as a person and a writer. Really, the list is about expanding my reading horizon and choices.

For example, War and Peace is on there, as is 1943A brief History of Time, and Guns, Germs, and Steel. 

I managed three from that list. Two from Orson Scott Card (I know, similar-ish genre to what I write, but he writes so differently than me and is such an iconic author), and one book about Ooparts (out of place artifacts) and how ancient society may have been much more technologically advanced than we believe. (That, actually, resulted in a new series idea that I briefly describe here.)

Basically this means I need to be a lot better about picking up books outside of my comfort zone. The goal continues for 2017!

On that note… let’s talk about 2017, folks.

  • MORE BOOKS FROM THE LIST. Let’s aim for 6. Double what I did this year. Yes? Yes.
  • Finish Occultum.
  • In fact, since my NaNo project is only a few chapters off from completion, let’s make that a priority too. Finish two books in one year!
  • I’d really like to write a short story that gets published in a magazine like Asimov’s.
  • Build a majority of the marketing content I’ll need surrounding the release of Initium. Short stories, excerpts, meet-the-characters, behind-the-scenes stuff, fun contests…

I also have some personal goals, but those aren’t as fun. They mostly involve things like getting more involved in volunteering, changing the world, etc… you know, easy stuff like that.

2016 may have been a dumpster fire, but the only way 2017 is going to change is if all of us strive to make it that way. Maybe it’s the millennial passive problem, but I’ve never felt the phrase ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ so keenly before. Or maybe it’s that I’m simply growing up, and now see I can’t wait around for someone else to make it better. I’m taking control of my writing destiny and making it happen through hard work; why can’t I do the same in the world I live in?

As much as writing is an escape, seeing the world as it could be, and we all joke that writers don’t tolerate reality… I still feel driven to do something. I may not tolerate reality well, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a duty to try to make it better.

We live in a democracy. It gives us the right to not care… but we’ll only remain a democracy if we act like democratic citizens, and engage.

So. I have my writing goals for 2017, and personal goals for 2017.

Let’s do this.

Tell me about your goals. What are you looking to achieve in the coming year?

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About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. My characters are pretty much always clamoring for attention, and if I don't listen, they plague me with insane dreams and nightmares until I start writing. I also raise dairy goats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. My debut novel -- an alternate-history fantasy -- it set to come out in 2018, probably Fall time. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

4 responses to “Artichokes and Salsa: A New Year

  • Nicole Evans

    First off, Gargoyles was the best TV. That was childhood. YES YES YES. How did you find it on TV!?!?!

    Second off, I laughed in quite a few places in this post. I love your humor and writing style.

    Thirdly, I am so stoked for all that you accomplished and everything you are setting out to do this year. I’m going to be cheering right there beside you and don’t you forget it!

    *goes back to twiddling her thumbs waiting for Initium to be published*

    PS: War and Peace is a beast, but also, awesome (says high school me who read it and didn’t understand it, but still enjoyed it).

    Liked by 1 person

    • R. K. Brainerd

      I’m remembering watching some of this but most of it I don’t remember and it’s kind of amazing rewatching! Lol. I didn’t find it on TV – we’ve been renting it from the library. ^.^ (*gasp * so old fashioned!)

      I’ve been trying to hit that humor note quite a bit, so I’m glad it’s working. 😉 I’m so glad you’re cheering with me! You’re the best.

      HA! Yeah. Sometimes, I can be a really lazy reader. X-/ I don’t like that about myself…

      Like

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