Hello, everyone! First I want to thank Delilah for hosting me today, for sharing her space with me. It’s always generous of her to do that, and always fun for me to be here.
I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to the end of this year. I thought I was looking forward to the end of last year, but then 2018 happened. The last couple of years have been rough here, but the challenges look like they are winding down, which is a huge relief. I’ve been anticipating the start of the new year for a fresh start.
My fresh start doesn’t include New Year’s resolutions–I’ve never had much success with those. Instead I always set goals for myself (mostly writing, though I used to include personal things on those lists) and try to break them down into smaller, manageable bites that make it more likely I’ll reach those goals by the end of the year. Sometimes life gets in the way, like it has for the past three years. Some things you simply can’t plan for.
I had high hopes for last year, even after the really lousy start we had. But if you’ve experienced loss, you know what happens: even when you think you’re good, or you think you should be better, grief has a way of pulling you under when you least expect it.
So I am looking at next week, at the start of the near year, and am determined that the last couple of things we still need to wrap up will not slow me down. I have my writing goals fine-tuned (Thanks for that, too, Delilah! I do love the goal-setting workshop each December!), and I am almost ready to go. I have a few days left this year to relax a little before we turn the calendar forward–just the direction I’m aiming for.
My list is ready, posted on my bulletin board here beside my desk in my home office, and tucked into my day-job tote bag where I will see it daily when I pull my things out to put on my desk there in the mornings. I did add some personal goals to the list this year (You know what else loss and grief can do? Screw up your day-to-day schedules, including meals and exercise.), so I can end next year in a much better place, writing-wise and personally, than this year or last year, or even the year before, before things went really haywire.
I’ve had some really ambitious lists in previous years, must bigger lists that I managed to pull off, because things went my way in every conceivable circumstance. These last few years? Not so much. So my list for 2019 is a little smaller than I would like, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. If I get more done, that can be a nice bonus when we get to this time next year. But honestly, I’ll be thrilled to check off everything on my goals list for the year, even if there is no extra.
I wonder how many others are ready for the new year to begin, for your own fresh start? Do you have specific goals? A short list? A long list? Just a reading list? I have an electronic copy of my book Hunting Medusa and a gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to give away for one commenter. I’ll do a drawing via RandomResult.com for these and include entries for everyone who comments between now and 5pm EST on Friday, December 28, 2018.
Happy New Year!
About Elizabeth Andrews
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and—though she loves horror—romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty years and two young adult sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.