End-of-year Reflections

I hadn’t really planned on taking a break over Christmas, but here we are. There’s no video ready for Youtube either, which makes me feel a little bad, but I suppose it was somewhat unrealistic to be able to stick to my normal schedule during those busy Christmas days.

But now it’s over, and we’re getting closer and closer to New Years Eve. I have mixed feelings about this to be honest. Whilst I’m super excited to start 2019 with a bang, I’m also a little apprehensive about my expectations and whether or not I will be able to meet my goals. I guess this is completely normal though.

What are my expectations? What are my goals? A few months ago, I played around with the idea of being able to publish my first novel in 2019. I haven’t quite given up on this yet – but I think the more realistic approach would be to aim for the end of that. It has come to my attention how much… well, preparation that needs to be done after the book is actually ready to publish. What I mean is, if I want to do things properly, I need to have the finished book printed and ready in my hand months before I can actually release it.

It’s a little bonkers, but it also makes sense.

As writers, we want to focus on writing, being creative, weaving together stories with interesting characters. But the marketing side of things is just as important as the writing side because we want people to read and enjoy our books, and if they don’t know it exists, well, then they won’t read it. With this in mind, I’ve come to realise that publishing a book – even self-publishing – isn’t as straightforward as I initially thought. But that’s okay.

To sum this up, next year will probably be quite a busy one, and I’m looking forward to it. I just have to try and calm down in my expectations, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter if I don’t finish in time to publish next year. The most important thing is that I keep going, that I work hard and never give up. As long as I do that, I can be proud of myself.

Goals – friend or foe?

I learned a lesson yesterday. It had to do with setting goals. I am, like so many other writers, one of those people who enjoy setting goals and making lists of things that I can tick off one by one in some kind of personal satisfaction frenzy. (I know I’m not alone.)

So, yesterday was Sunday. I hadn’t been writing for a couple of days and as a consequence, I felt like the most useless person in the world. I decided to give myself the goal of finishing chapter 8 that day. It seemed easy enough, I was already more than halfway through. It turned out to be the very opposite.

Am I being overly dramatic? Indeed I am. But there is a point to it. It’s the dark side of the goals, the thing called pressure, fear of disappointment and failure. This is created whenever you set a new goal you know, deep down, is too high. I’m an incredibly stubborn person, so of course I finished my goal, but it literally took from morning til nightfall – and the process was torture (it was a very tricky chapter, ok?).

I have therefore realised that by keeping my goals small and easy to achieve, I also keep my fear of failure at bay. This is all just a question of taste, really. I’m still romanticising the novel writing process, I want it to be a pleasant experience. Yes, I’m aware of my delusion, but I should like to hold on to it for as long as I can before inevitably developing a drinking problem and occasional, involuntary ticks.