Saturday, January 7, 2017

Resolutions in a Time of Uncertainty by Jane Kindred

I know it’s not popular these days to make resolutions, but I was never one of the popular kids. I don’t generally write mine down, but I do usually go into the year with specific goals in mind, large and small. This year is beginning with a lot of uncertainty, so, for me, it’s crucial to make specific plans and give myself something to look forward to. So here are my five resolutions for 2017:

1.     Stand Up to Oppression of All Forms
This is more of an ongoing life resolution, but this year it’s more important than ever to take a public stand to reject any and all acts of hate and the policies that drive them. I intend to work actively to oppose any agenda that promotes hatred and oppression of people of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ+, immigrants, women, the disabled, and any other group that may be targeted.

2.     Write Daily
I used to write daily, but it’s been very difficult lately. This year, I plan to finish Book 3 in my Sisters in Sin series, and write Book 4, at a minimum. Book 3 was meant to be my NaNo book last November, but I’d barely written 3,000 words by the end of the month. Quite frankly, I’ve been so frightened, anxious, and sick at heart that it’s been difficult to do anything, but I managed to get the proposal for Book 3 done and sent off to my editor today, so I’m motivated. I’m also motivated by the prospect of my characters kicking modern-day Nazi ass. (And having a hero who looks like Chris Hemsworth’s Thor doesn’t hurt motivation either.) I don’t have a clue what Book 4 is going to be about, but each of the books in this series tells the story of one of my Lilith-descended sisters and the serpent/dragon shifters who love them. I’ve done Aztec, Sumerian, and Viking dragons so far, so the next dragon will come from yet another mythology.

3.     Read More
“More” is kind of vague, I know, but last year was a tough one for my ability to read. When I’m depressed, I can’t concentrate on any writing but my own (and concentrating on my own is difficult enough). This year, I’m not going to set a number for how many books to read. I chose 52 one year and managed (just barely) to do it, but I didn’t really get much enjoyment out of it, which is kind of the point of reading. I know some people read far more than that, but we’re all different, and reading more than a book a week while writing books (and blog posts) would be impossible for me. So I’m just going to resolve to read something this month to start off with, to get myself back into the joy of reading, and see where it goes from there.

4.     Move More
Depression isn’t really conducive to getting adequate exercise either, but I’m going to try my best to develop a routine and stick to it. Probably a combination of walking, yoga, and some kind of strength training. I’d really like to learn krava maga like my character Ione in the Sisters series, but I have some chronic pain and mobility issues from disc injuries so I’m not sure it’s possible for me. A weekly therapeutic yoga class I started attending a year and a half ago has helped immensely with the pain and mobility, but I’d like to make my yoga practice an actual daily practice. Also, I’m standing on a treadmill in front of my standing desk as I write this that I could actually be walking on instead, so at the very least, I’m resolving to walk on it for at least 30 minutes a day. Starting tomorrow. Ha.

5.     Treat Yo Self
Self-care is important for everyone, but writing can be a lonely and demanding business that doesn’t particularly promote treating yourself well. My disc issues were exacerbated by my writing habits, for instance, causing long-term pain, and my desire to be a hermit who rarely wears pants has not helped in my goal of becoming physically fit. So I’m going to make a plan for a series of rewards for meeting various goals this year. Rather than bake and binge on my favorite cookies right this damn minute because I want to, I’m going to treat myself to those cookies when I’ve accomplished a certain number of words on the WIP.

I fear I may already fail in my resolve not to bake those cookies right this damn minute though.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are yours? Do you think you’ll keep them?


Diane Burton said...

Great goals, Jane, esp. #1. I can't believe the horrific things people do to each other today. I thought we were better than that. Chronic pain easily leads to depression. I empathize with your back pain. Me, too. Good luck with your writing this year. I hope it's better than it has been. And reading, too. How can we expect to write when our well is dry? Reading helps me refill my well. I want some of those cookie, too. :)

CJ Burright said...

Those are awesome goals, Jane! I'm not much of a resolution maker (I'm more into writing a list of goals and keeping that list until I make it there), but my main goal this year is to declutter my closets and drawers. When you can't stuff another T-shirt into your drawer...yeah, it might be time to get rid of those T-shirts from the 80's. :)

Jane Kindred said...

Thanks, Diane! I still haven't succumbed to the siren call of the cookies, but I'm weakening.

CJ, I just bought myself four new Henley shirts for Christmas and discovered I literally cannot fit four more Henley shirts in my drawers. (And I have two dressers!) I'm impressed that you still have T-shirts from the 80s. I kept mine for a long time, but finally cleared out a bunch about four years ago. And yet I still can't fit four Henleys.

Maureen said...

Great post and it sounds like you've got some wonderful goals. I think just taking the time to sit down and analyze the past year and how you want to experience the upcoming year is rewarding and makes such a difference. Happy 2017!

Nancy Gideon said...

Cookies . . . Oh, sorry, Jane. Got distracted for a minute. I'm impressed by your goals and am reminded to get my own in order before my post on the 25th! Depression, anxiety and pain are a devastating trio to write through and I applaud your ability to do so. You remind me to take more preventative measures so I don't limit myself in the (near) future. Here's hoping for a strong, healthy and HAPPY new year for you!

Francesca Quarto said...

loved your insights, humor and way with words and cookies. Nothing should inhibit the use of words and the eating of the later. However, I have learned in life, I often end up eating both!
So glad you are here with all these other fine authors and I do look forward to sharing some time with you each month in this Magical Space!

Francesca Quarto

Victoria Craven said...

I feel your pain (literally). It seems back pain and depression go hand in hand. I too have made New Year's resolutions, some more ambitious than others but I'm hopeful. Losing weight is a big one, doing social media everyday is another, and sitting down at the computer and writing more. I'd like to get 3 books done this year. Like I said, ambitious. I wish you the best on yours.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Good luck with your resolutions. If you spend as much time trying to achieve them as you did conceiving them and writing them down, you should move mountains.