Looking Ahead to 2018

The last few years, I’ve chosen a watchword to take me into the new year, a small mantra to remind me of my goals, both big and small.

In 2017, my watchword was “focus.” I knew the year was going to be rough, and I knew that (for me) the biggest challenge would be dealing with the sheer distraction of it all. And… I kind of managed that. It was a struggle, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. I didn’t write as much as I’d hoped (the 2016 NaNo draft is finished, but it sort of stalled after that), and I only did one of the photo projects I’d planned (I don’t even remember what the other one was…). But I did finish that 365 project, and I’m genuinely happy with how it turned out. And one of the story ideas I’d been playing with turned into a draft that I still kind of love. Even if it’s not quite finished.

Now. 2018. Still going to be awful in general, but I’ve had time to process. Not ‘move on,’ but I’ve at least figured out how to function, even when the news cycle infuriates me.

This year, my watchword is “action.”

I know what my long-term goals are. They’ve never really changed; if anything, they’ve become more clear to me as time passes. But I haven’t really gone after them, because… fear, mostly. And perfectionism, which is the same thing. And, you know what? I’m done with that.

That’s the plan for this year: I’m going to stop wasting time. I’m going to write. (Starting with finishing the draft I started for NaNo last year. I’ve only got one act to go, I should be able to finish it by the end of the month.) I’m going to take photos. I’m going to find ways to put my art, both writing and photography, out into the world. I’m going to take the little personal changes that I’ve already started (exercise! embracing minimalism!) and follow through. (Also: I kind of want this to be the year that I finally master the art of winged eyeliner. That, or figure out how to wear bold lipstick without feeling awkward.)

I’m going to take my goals—all of them—and find ways to move toward them.