It’s almost the end of the year, so probably timely that I do a goals/reflection post.
It’s pretty safe to say that I did not achieve my writing related goals in 2014. I haven’t published any new material (it’s close, but not quite ready, and won’t be out before year-end) and I haven’t written nearly as much as I wanted. University was a huge time and energy-suck (I did a Bachelor of Arts as my undergrad- I wasn’t quite prepared for just how busy and draining doing the Master of Teaching would be!)
I did reach most of my goals for my university life though – I kept all of my grades above 70% (Distinction/H2A-B level), and in second semester all but one was above 75%, with 3 being above 80% [H1/High Distinction] (one subject in first semester was above 80%). It was by far my best academic year on record… it’s amazing how much of a difference actually handing in your assignments on time makes to your marks 😉
I definitely think going back to study when I was older was beneficial for me (I’m 29 now – was 28 for the academic year). I know I would have struggled if I’d gone straight from my undergraduate studies to post grad. I needed that 6 year break to travel, work, mature…
Financially… I haven’t been this poor since the end of my first year of university in 2005 when I stayed home alone on New Years Eve because I couldn’t afford the measly bus fare to my friend’s party (I didn’t realise that public transport was free on New Years) and was living off rice, porridge and some frozen corn I found stashed in the freezer.
But that will hopefully change come February when school goes back and I can get some days relief teaching to tide me over. In the meantime, The Lovely Boyfriend and my brother (he moved into our spare bedroom – win-win for all of us) are covering the rent and living expenses, which I am trying to keep as low as possible.
I’ve been able to do a bit of gardening. Not as much as I’d like, due to space and the fact that we don’t have our own garden or balcony, but I’ve still got a bunch of herbs growing in pots on the kitchen window sill, a variety of plants scattered around the flat and have taken over a section of the common garden with six tomato plants and more herbs. I grew some garlic for the first time, albeit at Mum’s. Planted it at totally the wrong time, but we harvested the survivors a few weeks ago. Such deliciousness. It’s amazing how much more fragrant and flavoursome the home-grown, fresh garlic is. I really want my own garden! Can’t wait to grow my own garlic, onions, potatoes, EVERYTHING! I WILL GROW IT ALL, I TELL YOU! ALLLLLLL!!
Okay, deep breaths.
Our lease is now month-to-month, so that gives us a bit more freedom with moving whenever we want, but I think we’ll probably stay here for the next year, at least. The lack of proper garden is grating, but the location is great, the price is right, and the landlord is good – he lets us keep our cat, and is prompt with repairs and requests.
Back to fiction – sales this year have been slow. As of today, I’ve sold 115 copies over the entire year. That’s about a quarter of what I sold last year, but I haven’t had any new releases, so to be expected I suppose, and it’s only for one little novella, so I suppose it’s not too bad! But 2015 needs to be better.
So, on to goals for 2015!
- Writing: I won’t have as big of a work load with university next year. I’ll be taking 2 classes a semester (I was taking 6 classes per semester this year) and none of them will be placement, so it won’t be nearly as time consuming or exhausting. I aim to write at least six new novels/novellas. That’s one every two months. I can do that if I don’t procrastinate my life away.
- University: As I stated above, I’ll just be taking two classes per semester. I’d like to achieve a H1/High Distinction average for my final four subjects. That’s marks of 80% and above. Also, get all assignments in on time, and don’t leave them to the last minute!
- Reading: I didn’t read much fiction this year, which is strange for me. I did read a lot of articles on educational research and theories, but yeah… I’d rather read fiction haha. So, make sure I read at least 2 new books per month. I used to do that in a weekend, so yeah. Shouldn’t be too hard.
- Savings: Like I said, I’m broke as broke can be (not in too much debt though, thankfully!) I’d really like to end 2015 with AT LEAST $10,000 in the bank. I plan to get that through a mix of relief teaching ($250 a day) and publishing income.
- Travel: The Lovely Boyfriend and I moved to Australia a bit over a year ago, but since moving to Melbourne in January, we really haven’t travelled much or seen much. Part of this is due to how busy I was with uni, part with how tight money has been this year. But next year I would like to do more little day/weekend trips around this beautiful state (Yarra Valley, Grampians, Mornington Peninsula, Wilson’s Prom, Daylesford, the Dandenongs, Gippsland…. there is a lot out there), and hopefully some interstate travel as well. It would be nice to visit my best friend up in Queensland and see her new house and play with her dog, and The Lovely Boyfriend hasn’t been to Sydney yet. We’ve never been to Perth, or Adelaide, or Darwin, or Tasmania. There is a hell of a lot to do and see without even leaving the country… but The Lovely Boyfriend needs to go home. We were hoping he’d be able to get home for a visit this year but it didn’t happen. Now we’re aiming for April or May. I’d love to go back for a visit too, but he’s the priority. We’re also thinking about having Christmas overseas – Mother Dearest will most likely be in France with a girlfriend, so we might take the opportunity to spend it with The Lovely Boyfriend’s family. Getting back to Canada at that time of year is crazy expensive though… I wonder how they’d feel about meeting in Hawaii?!
So, to recap: Write (a lot) more. Publish more. Read more. Earn more money. Travel. 🙂