2017: Goals for the Year of Kindness

I got a little lost in the final half of 2016. It was a strange six months and once my 22nd birthday came around on December 14th, I felt like I had switched not from one age to another but from one skin to another. One world to another. It’s been painful and joyous, cautious and impulsive. I don’t know where I am, or where to go, but I’m mapping this new landscape with a fervent curiosity. And I remembered this, and I remembered what I wanted it to be, and I’ve decided this blog can claim an island on my new world as long as it stays fruitful.

I need 2017 to be more than a number. I need it to be the year I come unstuck, find a little drive. I need it to be the year I discover the full meaning of kindness, to myself and others. Kindness is the word of 2017.

Also, I need it to be bookish, and writerly. Mine is a soul wrapped in words. Words keep me safe, keep the light shining, keep me alive. In 2016 I took a writing class, wrote here and there, took up poetry a little towards the end. I read some books, stopped tracking my reading, bought more poetry and more diverse tomes. 2016 was OK to my soul. My soul deserves more than that.

So, goals.

  • Writing #1: I don’t want to pin myself down with rigid goals like “write every day” or “write 3 times per week on these days at these times” but I’d like to experiment with levels of discipline and freedom, see what works for me. I’m starting by asking myself to sit and try to write (anything) for 20 minutes whenever I have a big chunk of free time.
  • Writing #2: Find a writing group or partner. Community, and maybe a little competition, has proven itself to be so motivating for me if everyone commits to it. Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary act all of the time.
  • Writing #3: 3 finished projects: 1 poetry collection (40-60 poems), 1 zine (may or may not sell copies), 1 novella or novel. A year is a long time. Even accomplishing one of these would be a huge step forward, but I decided to be bold.

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  • Reading #1: Get down to zero unread books. I’m throwing away all of my unread books except signed, gifted, series (that I want to continue with) or anything else that I really am excited to read. That should leave me with a manageable number. I’m so excited to have no unread books and for book-shopping to be a necessary and guilt-free thing again.
  • Reading #2: Share great books, stories & poetry. I never wanted this to be a review blog and I still don’t think I’ll head that way in the usual sense. But I would like to talk about the books, short stories & poems I think deserve more attention, in an unrated and thoughtful way. (Not that the usual type of reviews are bad – they’re just not what I like to write.)
  • Reading #3: Participate in a lot of things. Read-a-thons, read-a-longs, some buddy reads with friends. I’d like to add a little community to my reading life as well. Solitary reading is beautiful, but community reading is fun, and I want to find the right balance.

I also want to see more friends, spend money on experiences rather than things, and keep blogging here and on tumblr. Feel free to comment with your goals for 2017!

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