Welcome to the last post of 2018! Hard to believe, isn’t it? And you know what the end of the year means. Recaps and reviews of 2018. Resolutions and predictions for 2019. Here at 8LW, it also means discussing our writing plans for the new year. Today, I’m keeping up that tradition, and expanding it to other important areas of life.
You might have noticed over the past year that I’ve set lots of writing goals, accomplished several of them, and missed the mark on others. Overall, I made good progress, but in the coming year I hope to do better. But I also burned out when we reached December, and next year, I’d like to avoid that end-of-year collapse. You’ll be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to learn I have a plan to do better in 2019. And it all begins with balance in a few key areas of my life.
Typically, I’m a very health-conscious and fitness-driven person. But over the last few months, long hours on the computer, a few training-induced injuries, and a pre-holiday illness have given me a severe case of the blahs. I’m beset by general malaise. I’m just plain off.
I know making better health choices will get me back on track. But in the spirit of my 2019 mantra of balance, I’m not going to go all extreme warrior on my nutrition and workout regimens. I’m just going to make better choices. More vegetables, less sugar. More sleep, less late-night TV. More moderate low-impact exercise, no high-impact training until the doctor says it’s ok. Unless he’s overly conservative, in which case we might have to negotiate the terms of my medical release back to training. (Because doing better is a process, people!)
We live in the golden age of communication. We can indulge in social interaction any time night or day. Our online lives allow for constant interaction, but at the same time leave us feeling oddly devoid of true connection. It’s like eating artificial sweeteners—all the downsides of insulin spikes with none of the payoffs of calories.
In 2019, I’m going to balance my online relationships with some IRL gatherings with friends. For January alone, I’ve already accepted invitations to no less than three social outings, each with friends from different times and places of my life. While the introvert in me is having a bit of an anticipatory nervous breakdown, I know I’ll feel happier, more hopeful, and truly connected by the end of the month. Then after several weeks of recovery, I’ll be ready to do it again. Probably.
You’ll notice I’m listing work—which for me means writing, revising, publishing, and promoting multiple books—last. That doesn’t mean I’ll put work last this year, but it does mean I’ll try to think about other things first, or at least simultaneously. I’d like to find some work/life balance.
I’ve learned a lot about being a full-time writer over the past nine months, having left the dreaded day job (DDJ) after the first quarter of 2018. I’ve also learned a lot about book marketing, and have completed the groundwork for my writing business. By avoiding some of my distractions (did I mention social media?) and focusing my marketing energy on approaches that work for me as opposed to stumbling through trial and error tactics, I hope to free up more time for the actual writing part of the job in 2019.
I have other plans for 2019 as well, like spending more time volunteering, remaining civically engaged, and reading more books than I was able to finish in 2018. But when I get overwhelmed this coming year, I’m going to remind myself of what things are important: health, friends, storytelling, and the balance among them all.
What’s on your mind as we close out 2018? What’s on your list for 2019? Share your plans with us! And enjoy a safe, happy, and balanced new year.
Free book alert! If, while mulling over your goals and resolutions, you need a good read to help you balance out all that hard work, follow this link to get some free historical romance books (available through January 5th)! You might even see a sneak peek collection of a certain Victorian Romance series that looks familiar.
I didn’t realize you’d completely weaned yourself off the day job so early in the year! Well, time flies . . . and I think you used your year very productively!
I’ve been working since October on trying to establish a more stable foundation in my life — that’s the month I started stationary biking three or four times a week, and it really has helped my stamina in a lot of areas. In December, I decided to expand my potential writing options by working on my Japanese literacy with a phone app, and I’m proud to report that I’ve got a 32-day study streak. I’m just trying to maintain an even keel in January.
Even though my writing year has fallen far short of my hopes and expectations, I did blog nearly every week, which counts for something. And the writing I did do was generally pretty good stuff. So, I’m not going to flog myself and wear a hairshirt. I’m going to aim for a Fabulous January, and see what February brings me.
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