Looking Ahead to 2017

I have mixed feelings going into the next year.

I mean, it’s going to be awful. We know that. (At least we’re prepared? As much as we can be, anyway.) I really don’t think any of us are going to get through the next few years entirely unscathed.

But I’m not entirely without hope. I still have moments of optimism. The feeling of motivation that hit me in November hasn’t gone away, even when I had to take the last couple of weeks off to focus on the holidays. And, while I’ve always had goals and plans, especially going into a new year, something feels different this time. Really, my long-term goals haven’t changed much, but they’re clearer to me now than they’ve ever been, and I’ve got a stronger sense of what I have to do to accomplish them.

And so, for 2017, my goal is to maintain that focus.

Obviously, there are actual, concrete things I want to accomplish this year. I want to maintain the writing habit I built in November, and continue to refine it into something that fits into my schedule. I want to finish the draft that I started during NaNoWriMo (it should only take a week or two), and develop some of the loose concepts that I’ve been playing with into proper story ideas. (I’m still slightly amazed that writing is a thing that I do. I really didn’t expect that to happen this time last year.) I have two different photo projects I’m starting, and I’ll be sharing those as the year goes on (though the tags on the photo below will give you a hint as to one of them). I am going to make a real effort to work on the craft of both writing and photography. And I’ve got a whole list of other things I want to do, both personal and creative.

But they’re all connected to those bigger, long-term goals.

Like I said: in general, 2017 is going to suck. Staying motivated and optimistic won’t be easy. Staying focussed on what happens next—what I want to happen next—and taking the steps to make sure it’s possible… that won’t be easy. But it’s necessary, and it feels realistic, in a way that it never quite has before.

Bring it on.