Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Some 2015 Goals

Here are some of my mostly writing-related goals for next year as well as those for this year and how I did and what I can do to do better next time. Also, my favorite books and stories of the year.

2014

  • Read 40 novels, 40 short stories
  • Write 3 drafts a book/novel, 3 short stories, 6 poems
So I did not read 40 books in 2014. I read about 24, having devoted about an hour a day to read. The problem was working and writing taking up a lot of my time - and then there's the time I spend on language learning. There are only so many hours in the day! Nevertheless, I can do much better. I will devote an hour and a twenty minutes each day, though I know now I will not have time on some days. I will have to manage my time a lot better. I did exceed, however, my short stories reading goal. I've read about 41. 

My favorite novel of 2014 is a tie between Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Both magical in their own ways. Murakami's makes me think about the inherent flaw of life, how we are all doomed to either die or, theoretically, live forever. Diaz's book is a tour de force, a wonderful love story, and, yes, I did identify a lot with Oscar.

My favorite short story this year: "Hello, Again" by Adam Johnson. I had written a similar kind of story, based on the end of the universe, read his, realized how inferior mine was in comparison, and rewrote mine, which is still inferior - but I cannot do any better! This one makes me think about the same things Murakami's book does, the dilemma: live forever or die. You can't have it both ways. And neither is completely satisfying.

Writing-wise, I wrote four drafts of my first novella, as well as one draft of a quarter of my second novel (an sf future thingie). My first novel is now essentially finished. I will write stories, then decide what to write next book-wise. I also wrote two stories and something like ten poems. I keep sending stuff out and they keep rejecting. I will keep sending stuff out.


2015

  • Read 40 novels, 40 short stories
  • Write 3 drafts a book/novel, 3 short stories, 6 poems
  • Reach level B2 in Japanese by the end of the year
Same for reading and writing next year. I think this gives me a good balance. As mentioned, I will dedicate more time to the accomplishment of these goals and believe I will be more successful than I was. I try not to set goals for things I can't control, yet I will try to get my first novel published next year. Also, these numbers are the minimum for the year I'm aiming for.

The one thing that's different is a specific goal for language learning, which I love. I'm learning about six languages (Spanish [I'm a native speaker but would like to improve], French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi), plus considering others. Japanese is a language I'm taking seriously. My current level in Japanese, according to the CEFR, is about A2. I have no specific plan: like study 2 hours a day (I don't have the time). I will just study hard using as many resources as I have, which I'm already doing, but I will increase my dedication. I learn languages because it's fun to do, so it was initially difficult to set a specific goal. However, I really do want to be fluent in Japanese for the sake of travel, watching movies and shows, and my genuine interest in the culture.

I have other goals, but this is what I'm willing to share with the world. Follow the blog to find out about future writing projects, publications, reading events, and so on. 

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