Happy New Year, cyberspace!
Well, my friends, it is officially a new year. I don’t know about you guys, but personally, 2018 felt really . . . weird. It was simultaneously super short and really long, and I’m not entirely sure what to think of it. I did, however, have a super long list of ALL OF THE THINGS I had planned to get done last year, and–as per the norm–I did basically none of it.
Yeah. I’m really good at following through with my goals, guys. It’s great.
But since it’s finally January–and since I absolutely love portraying myself as the world’s biggest loser in Cyberspace–I thought it’d be fun to go over all of the things that I totally did not do last year.
And also all of the things that I’m totally not going to do this year, because apparently I have a really bad habit of making un-achievable goals and someone really needs to stop me, please.
So let’s jump right into it, shall we?
First things first, let’s talk about last year’s goals. Because wow, man. That was one epic fail.
— 2018 Goals — a.k.a OH LOOK, MA! I failed! —
. . . BLOGGING . . .
i. Start up Kenzie’s Quirky Crafts – FAIL
Yeah. Words cannot even express how massive of a fail this one was. I’ve been saying for the past two years that I was going to be starting up a craft series, but like??? Nope. Still hasn’t happened. Apparently I was just not made for crafting tutorials.
ii. everlost aesthetics
(and possibly some snippets?) – FAIL. again.
Yep. I failed this one, too. But in my defense, I’m still going to do a giant everlost post?? But just . . . not yet. Aha.
iii. Add more COLOR and POP – SUCCESS. . .? maybe?
I mean, I kind of tried to do this? But then the colors were super gawky and weird and I ended up trying to get rid of them again, so. But I did figure out how to put GIF’s into my posts, so I think we can call this particular resolution a success. *thumbs up*
iv. Continue with the PictoPrompter — AHA. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oops.
Okay, so this particular thing is . . . tricksy. See, I’m really bad at posting pictoprompters consistently, so . . . I’m kind of thinking about getting rid of it. Aha.
But not completely, of course! I still absolutely love posting random pictures as writing prompts, so that’s definitely something I’m going to continue to do occasionally. And if I can remember to do it monthly, that’d be amazing, but as of right now, I’m just going to let this slide a little bit and not stress over it.
not that I stressed very hard about it before, of course. *cough*
v. SCHEDULING POSTS! — oh yeah. this totally happened.
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OH HOW NAIVE I ONCE WAS. *wipes tears from eyes* What a loser.
. . . WRITING . . .
i. Finish everlost? Maybe?
PLEASE I NEED THIS — SUCCESS!. . .ish.
Okay! So I actually did finish the second draft of everlost like I had initially planned!!! Except . . . er . . . I kind of ruined the whole beta reading process because I’m an imbecile, so I’m still working on everlost. But I mean finished the second draft as intended, so?? I think we can call this a success, friends.
ii. Begin outlining a New Story™ — SUCCESS!
I actually did this one!!! Did I finish the story? AHA. NO. Of course not. Who do you think I am? But I actually started outlining a new story and even began drafting it, so I think I totally overachieved on this particular goal.
And also may I point out how I completely slayed my writing goals for 2018? Oh my word, guys. Someone needs to give me some cookies. Or a plaque. Or a plaque made of cookies.
. . . READING . . .
Um. . .aha. Yeah. We’re not even going to talk about my reading goals for 2018, folks. That’s just. . .no. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. . .
So moving on from the utter failure that I am, let’s talk about some of the things that I did do in 2018, shall we? Because that sounds like much more fun than focusing on the negative. . .
. . . What I’ve Done In 2018 . . .
In 2018 I . . .
- Finished the 2nd and 3rd drafts of everlost! . . . and while I rather unceremoniously ripped my manuscript away from my poor alpha reader before she had a chance to finish the story, I have high hopes that this year — after I finish the 4th draft — will be much different. (mainly because I will work on the whole ‘separating myself from the book BEFORE handing it out to betas’ thing. . .)
- Half-outlined and begun to write The Girl and The Goblin King . . . and I am SOOOO beyond excited for this story, you guys. The first few chapters are pretty much the messiest mess I have ever laid mine eye upon, but I’ve finally reached the more magical portions of the story, and it is a BLAST to write!
(I may or may not be in love with some of my characters. this is a problem)
- Read many books, none of which were on my 2018 TBR that I listed last year . . . It’s fine. Everything’s fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me.
- Gotten engaged! . . . and you can find the entire post about that right here.
- Lied about getting engaged! . . . Lol. Oops.
- I also entered my very first writing competition of ever!!! . . . and obviously I didn’t win, but my entry — a 200 word micro short story based off the title of The Princess and The Goblin — was so much fun to write, and I am officially obsessed with writing micro shorts now. So I think we can consider that experience a success.
- Learned how to play the ukulele! . . . I got my uke, Watson, for my birthday this year, and ever since then I have been completely obsessed with learning how to play him. I’ve even created my own Poor Unfortunate Souls cover, which I’ve been tossing back and forth as to whether or not I should record it and post it on here. I’m mostly leaning towards not.
- Read some really good books . . . and though practically none of them were on my 2018 TBR, I still really enjoyed them! I’ve got a post coming out in a few days about all of the delicious reads I’ve devoured last year, so definitely be on the lookout for that if you’re a bookworm! (or even if you’re just a worm. worms are great.)
- I participated in March Hare Madness . . . #neveragain (was this seriously only i
- Got my hair cut! . . . after around 2 years of growing my lovely locks out to ALMOST near my waist, I finally asked my mom to chop it off five days ago. And OH MY GOODNESS, YOU GUYS!!! It feels so short and floppy and I am in LOVE with it. Long hair like Rapunzel is apparently not my thing. . . #shocker
and finally, one of my absolute favorite things that happened this year. . .
- I MET PHOEBE!!!!! . . . and she is literally JUST AS amazing — if not more so — in real life as she is online. I cannot even begin to tell you guys how wonderful and hilarious and amazing this precious bean is. And also I still can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I actually met her. I met Phoebe. It sounds so bizarre to say. (i’ve actually got a blog post coming out later this month about what it was like meeting her, so be sure to stick around for that, peasants!)
— MY FAVORITE POSTS FROM 2018 —
I don’t really wanna toot my own horn here, but like . . . 2018 was a pretty fun blogging year for me, guys. I mean, obviously there were some rough patches (did we really expect anything less from me?), but despite some of the late nights and late posts and late comment respondings, there were still some pretty fun posts I wrote last year that I feel are worth mentioning.
So here you go, folks! Here are some of my favorite posts from 2018!
And now that we’ve gone over some of the amazing things that have happened last year, let’s talk about this year! This beautiful, bright, glistening with promise new year. I’m honestly quite excited about 2019, you guys. I think 2018 has taught me some incredibly valuable lessons — both about writing and just life in general — and I’m really excited to put those lessons into practice, and also to just learn new things. Life can be so hard sometimes, guys, but if we just keep our pockets filled with faith, trust, and pixie dust, no mountain is too steep that we can’t climb it.
Which is a good thing because AHAHAHAHAHAHAH I CLEARLY HAVE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT MAKING MANAGEABLE GOALS.
— MY 2019 WRITING GOALS —
WRITING GOAL NUMBER 1 . . . Finish the first draft of The Girl and The Goblin King
So my initial goal for this project was to finish the first draft of TGATGK by the end of January. But then some things happened and my heart shifted loyalties and I have officially pushed this project back to March. Ahem.
Let’s just . . . let’s not talk about it.
WRITING GOAL NUMBER 2 . . . Re-Outline and write the fourth draft of everlost
I don’t want to go into too much detail on this as my plans for this story are still rather hypothetical, but I’ve got some pretty big ideas on how to bulk up the meat of this story and cut out some redundancies, so I’m extremely excited about getting back to this story this year. It’s been forever since I’ve allowed myself to think about my precious everlost, and while TGATGK is super fun to draft, everlost is the book that will always have my heart.
My plan for writing the fourth draft of his book is a little bit confuzzled, so I think we’ll just stay away from due dates and word count goals for this one, as well. . . Aha.
WRITING GOAL NUMBER 3 . . . A Super Secret Project??? (not the one I’ve been referring to on the Twitters, mind you.*)
I can’t tell you guys anything about this yet. And to be honest, I’m probably not going to tell you anything about this even when I start it. All I can say is that, with any luck, I’ve got a really fun story idea a-brewing in my brains, and I’m hoping to start outlining — and maybe even drafting — it this year. #fun.
However, while I had initially planned to begin drafting this story in April (camp nanowrimo for the win!) I have since bumped it to later on in the year, because of Writing Goal Number 4, which is. . .
*why, yes, I have two super secret projects. don’t you even dare judge me, peasants.
WRITING GOAL NUMBER 4 . . . Enter Pitch Wars?
This is definitely one of my loftier goals, but I’m still very determined to meet it. Some of you might remember that I tried to enter this competition last year, but — as usual — I completely failed my goal of finishing everlost in a timely manner, and unfortunately was not able to enter.
BUT. This year is different. This year I have an entire 8-ish months to prepare, and I am either going to enter this competition or die trying.
SPOILER: it will be the latter. While I’m not going to go into too much detail about my plan of attack on here yet, believe me when I say that I have made a gameplan.
This will either be my biggest success of the year, or the most epic fail of my life. I’ll keep you guys posted.
— MY 2019 BLOGGING GOALS —
These are pretty much the goals that I always seem to fail at, but is that going to stop me from making them? AHAHAHAHAHA. No. Of course not.
BLOGGING GOAL NUMBER 1 . . . More short stories
Again, you guys might remember a year or so ago when I claimed I wanted to start a Poet’s Corner here on the blog.
. . .
Yeah. You can go ahead and laugh at that.
As with every other goal I’ve made in the past, this did not come to fruition. However, in my trying to succeed with this goal, I came across a very interesting discovery–I don’t really like writing poetry. I mean yes, occasionally I like to sit down, don my fur coat, puff on a cigar and vent my frustrations out into the swirling vortex of infinite insanity, but for the most part . . . poetry just isn’t my thing.
But after having entered that micro short story contest last year, I realized that while poetry is something that I’m a) not really all that good at, and b) not very obsessed with doing in the first place, I am absolutely in love with writing micro short stories. They’re small, bite-sized, and take literally an afternoon to write and polish. And not only that, but they’re a really good writing exercise for this overwriter over here.
So for 2019, I’d really like to write and post some more micro shorts here on the blog. And who knows? Perhaps I could even submit some of them to a short story anthology. . .
*will most likely not do this*
BLOGGING GOAL NUMBER 2 . . .Restart and finish the Villain School 101 series
Words cannot express how excited I was for this series. The first episode, Villain School 101 — The One About Cliches, was even a semi-smashing success! So why did I let this idea fall right off the face of the earth last year?
Answer: because I was not yet good enough.
Here’s a brutally honest moment of truth for you all — I’m not a very experienced writer. I like to act like I am. I like to act like I have all the answers, but in all actuality, I’m about as newb as they come. I’ve only been seriously writing for a little over two years now, and when you compare that with pretty much every other writer out there . . . that’s newb.
But that’s okay! The past two years have been me trying to learn and grow and become steadily more experienced in my craft, which means that, with any luck, I’ll feel confident enough in my knowledge towards villains to continue this series this year, even if it means that I’ll have to revamp it years from now because I’ve stumbled across some new tidbits of information.
I might not get to the Villain School for quite a while yet, but eventually I will revisit this blog series and finish what I’ve started.
BLOGGING GOAL NUMBER 3 . . . Blog Makeover!
This could probably be considered cheating, seeing as though I’ve already started this goal, but like?? AT LEAST I’M OFF TO A DECENT START, HERE.
Something I’ve been dying to do for a very long time now is clean up my blog a bit. I absolutely adore the quirkiness of the blog theme I’ve been using, but the color pallettes for that theme were a mess. I couldn’t get any of the colors I wanted, and no matter how hard I tried, something was always a sickly yellow.
So it was time for a change.
As you can see, I’ve gotten rid of the falling cookie background for now, but I’ve started reincorporating my smol little friends all over the blog, and I’m actually kind of loving this design! (hopefully you guys are, too?) I was initially going to watercolor paint the cookies for the remodel, but after testing out some paints and realizing they would look like little mashed turds if I tried that, I figured doing the designs on the computer wasn’t all that bad an idea. Aha.
And this isn’t quite the design I want to stick with for my blog, but as of right now, it’s the best I can do. There are a couple premium WordPress themes I’ve got my eye on, but those will just have to wait until I’m finally ready to take the next step in my authorly career and get my own domain name.
*insert nervous laughter*
I’m not panicking you’re panicking.
— MY 2019 READING GOAL
I’ve got a post coming out either this month or next that’s all about reading and writing and writing and reading, but for right now, I’ll just keep it simple: in order to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. And in order to be a good reader, you need to make time to read.
So this is me making a pact with the internet that in 2019, I’m going to make time to read.
In 2018, I read some really good books (again, I’m writing a blog post on this. woot woot.), and I want to carry that streak straight on into 2019. I’ve got a 2019 TBR already sketched out on Goodreads (follow me, peasants), and while I’m not going to participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge because it freaks me out and gives me anxiety (raise your hands if this happens to you!), I am going to try and read as many books as I can this year.
My goal is to read at least one book a month, which might seem kind of skimpy and lame to some of you hardcore readers out there, but compared to my usual reading speed, which is like . . . 0 books a month . . .? I think this is a pretty good start. I’d absolutely LOVE to be able to read a book a week, but I’m not going to stress that. Reading is something that I love doing, but ever since starting this blog and finding the Goodreads Reading Challenge, it’s less of a hobby and destresser, and more of something that I need to do in order to win a challenge. I want to return to the days when reading was my hobby, not something I was forced to do. So that’s why my goal is so small. Will I exceed it? Most likely. Am I going to have a panic attack if I don’t?
. . .
. . .most likely.
— OH. AND ONE OTHER THING —
I feel like this post would be incomplete without mentioning one other thing that I’m dropping off my to-do list for 2019.
Alongside the PictoPrompter, I’m also going to be “dropping” The Little Bookshop of Whimsy. At least, I’m dropping it for right now. I was really excited to begin writing this short last year, but with all of my novel-y plans and other obligations and whatnot, it just didn’t happen. And while I’d absolutely love to revamp it this year, I’m just really not feeling this story right now.
And I don’t think it would be a good idea to force myself to write something that I’m not 1000% in love with, you know?
So for right now, the Little Bookshop of Whimsy is going to be taking a nosedive. But fear not, my friends, for if all goes well, there will be plenty of other fun things happening around Smudged Thoughts this year in its stead! I am so super excited for this new year and all of the wonderful surprises it holds, and I cannot wait to see where 2019 leads us.
I hope you all have an absolutely beautiful, magical, glorious new year, and please don’t forget to eat lots of cookies in celebration!
TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today, folks! I am officially back from my December Hiatus, and it feels SO good. Unfortunately for me, however, Christmas caused me to fall straight off the edge of the earth, and now I have absolutely no clue what’s going on in Cyberspace. SO. I’m gonna need you guys to fill me in down in the comments on all of the lovely things you’ve been doing over the past month!
How have the past few weeks been for all of you? Have you gotten a lot of writing done? Did you disappear off the face of the earth because of Christmas like I did? What are some of your 2019 writerly, readerly, and bloggerly goals? Are you thinking about entering any writing contests in 2019? (and also can you believe that it’s already 2019?? because I most certainly can’t. . .) What are some absolutely WONDERFUL things that have happened to you last year?
Let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below! And as always, until next time. . .
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*