2017 was a disaster year not only societally but for me personally. I struggled through forced professional transition, financial stress, familial estrangement, scholastic endeavors halting, and a literal hurricane. Basically everything I touched got ruined in 2017.
While 2018 promises to be a continually blazing dumpster fire of embarrassment and greed on the political stage, in order to move forward I had to make some goals and find some things to look forward to in the upcoming 12 month period.
52 Weeks of Achievement
Everyone gets a trophy! I found this idea on the internet and since I don’t do Pinterest I made a physical list instead. The idea is you make a list of 52 things that you want to get done this year and do one of them each week so you feel like you did something. These items can be personal, professional, chores, fun, giving, etc. but you do only one each week. I can totally respect this because any more than that during 2017 and I would have felt overwhelmed and given up on it. In 2018 I will hang my hat on some of these as something I did other than wishing I was dead or screaming at the tv in despair.
Traveling and Learning
I have two events on the schedule for 2018. Apparently BlogHer has given up on the all-encompassing conference and has instead given the community a smaller Health conference in January this year, so that’s out. (and to be honest I don’t think that was for me anyway-shhh)
I will be attending the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Tampa in March. Samantha Irby, an Angry Angel Books author favorite, will be presenting at two sessions there, and I’ll be attending a few more specifically catered to writing book reviews. I am looking forward to exploring what this organization has to offer, because they also run some writing mentorship programs and other similar things throughout the year that I might want to get involved in eventually. This conference seems much more my speed than Blogher was anyway.
The Miami Book Fair is held every November at Miami Dade College, and this past year Joe Biden was there promoting his “I’m TOTALLY not running for president this is just a book I wrote *WINK*” book and I wanted to go because I LOVE Uncle Joe but I just couldn’t. This year I am going to book a hotel, take the days off, and enjoy author presentations along with the book sale. I have never been to Miami; maybe I can convince the husband to come with me. Probably not though, getting him to take days off is impossible.
Traveling and Relaxing
2018 may also be the year of my pilgrimage to Mecca a.k.a. Pat’s Pizza/Dysarts Truck Stop in northern Maine. Being from Maine means that some part of me must return to the River Styx to be dunked in the waters of a) long, endless highways lined with trees, b) lobster, and c) the restaurants around the University of Maine-Orono to restrengthen my resolve to then return, immortal, into the vast outside world. I’m like the Achilles of the Northeast.
I have to get a beef/onion/mushroom double dough pizza and some mozzarella sticks at Pat’s, eat breakfast at Dysarts, see my grandmother and get a cheap lobster down on the islands. Three to five days in Maine does it for me for about three to five years. The last time I went was in 2013, so it’s almost time to once again recharge the batteries at the source.
I have never been to Cape Canaveral and we’ve lived in Florida since 2010. 2018 may be the year to visit both the Space Coast and St. Augustine to expand my knowledge of the state in which I live. Good excuse for a beach hotel too, and I won’t ever pass up that opportunity if I can afford it.
Unlikely, But Possible
I’m just not sure if that podcast is coming back. Every time I think about doing one I get equally excited and discouraged. I think “OMG MY OWN RADIO SHOW” at almost the exact same time as I think “omg I don’t have the energy for this, I’d rather just sit here and stare at MSNBC.” I want a podcast, I like talking about things, but I don’t have a large enough following to make the effort to do BOTH the blog and a podcast right now. But maybe 2018 will bring a boost to my followers and open the door. We’ll see.
I started writing a women’s fiction novel with fantasy elements during NaNoWriMo this year and I was like, “woah, I have this entire story in me, I just don’t have the time to write it” so I was like “well maybe I’ll write a little bit each week in 2018 and see how far I get” but again, too much pressure or I fall behind and I get discouraged. I’m not saying I’m NOT going to do this, but I’m also not speaking my intentions out into the universe just yet.
May you find a way to end 2017 in a positive way and to approach 2018 with hope. I am doing my best to try the same. Let’s face it together. Keep reading, stay angry.