My 2013 Resolutions

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I usually am not a New Year’s Resolution kinda guy, as I’m not terribly goal-oriented.  I’m results-oriented, in that I like to get things done, but I get no particular satisfaction from checking off boxes.
This is never clearer than watching my wife get fit.  She needs something to motivate her: a 150-mile bike ride, a triathlon, an upcoming race.  Without that finish line to cross, she barely sees the point.  Whereas for me, I’m like “God, I’m pudgy,” and that’s all the vague motivation I need to get downstairs on the fake-bicycle.   It’s kind of how I view my writing; I write every day, but there’s no firm goal of “Finish X stores by Y.” I just plod along with no particular end in sight.
But!  This New Year’s, I have some sturdy goals I want to get around, and so I’m going to list them as a form of public art.  If, perhaps, you’re reminding me of these goals, I’ll get ’em done.
GOAL #1: Read A Story A Day.  Review It. 
My reading has gotten lax ever since I got a phone, and realized I could text people on demand.  Suddenly, my attention has become fragmented, as I carry on chats with friends, and I don’t seem to have the time to sit down and just read a book for several hours the way I used to.
(I still read like 40+ books last year, but that’s way down for me.)
In addition, I’m eligible to nominate works for the Hugos and the Nebulas, and every year I have this horrible guilt about not having read enough to nominate properly.  I read selectively, because my friends publish stuff and I read that, but then I fear that I’m not actually nominating the best stories but rather the best stories my friends wrote.  That’s not fair.  I want to be more like Rachel Swirsky and Matthew Bennardo, who read widely and thoroughly.  (This constant reading may also have something to do with the fact that they’re also kick-ass writers.)
So what I’m going to do in 2013 is read one short story every day, then blog a review about it.  That review may not come on the same day as I read it, but I feel there’s all sorts of wonder out there, and I’m not seeing enough of it.  Feel free to bug me about the story reviews; I should be doing them.
GOAL #2: Write Letters To The Troops. 
My friend Kathrynrose clued me into Operation Write Home, which mails letters to our troops to buck them up for the holidays.  I meant to do this for Christmas, but missed the fact that there’s a 6-8 week lead time, and so blew it.

However, I think it’s a worthy goal, and one that Kathryn is very vocal about, so my goal will be to start writing Winter cards (and semi-personalized letters) by January 15th.  Because I really don’t do enough to support the folks in the military; I don’t always agree with the military’s goals, but I do respect the people who lay their lives on the line for our country.
I’m not arty.  But I’ll do what I can.
GOAL #3: Train Myself To Eat Healthier.
If you’ve been reading, you already know about my attempts to learn to like fruit, and fish.  I’ve been eating berries (guh) in an attempt to get used to the texture and taste of fruit.  Already, over a one-week Christmas vacation, I ate more fish and fruit than I did over the summer.
This will continue.  Already, it has some mild benefits.  I have come to actively enjoy clementine oranges, for one.  If I can get to the point where I’m eating fruit voluntarily and enjoying at least some kinds of fish, things will be better.  I had a really good halibut at a French restaurant, so I can hope.
(I also plan to exercise more, and this is already paying off with some mild weight loss – but not being goal-oriented, I’m not going to go, “LOSE 50 POUNDS.”  It’s more of a “Get in shapeish” kinda thing.  Also more of a “Let’s see if I can get women to find me cuter” kinda thing, if I’m honest.)
GOAL #4: Read Moby Dick
One of my favorite authors, Joe Hill, said that he was going to start reading it on January 1st.  So is Kat Howard.  And dammit, I’ve been hearing for years about how good it is, so I’m gonna start reading it too.  Hopefully I can finish.
GOAL #5: Fix My Secret Shame
I do have a large uncompleted project I need to finish before the summer, and I’ve been ridiculously lax about that.  So I promise, publicly, that I will unfuck this project by February 1st, 2013.  Absolutely and unconditionally, I’ll set it right.  Yell at me if I don’t.

1 Comment

  1. Alex in Leeds
    Dec 31, 2012

    I’m a goals/stats geek so yay for goals! I love the short story goal, it seems like a great way to sample what’s going on across a genre or how things link up at the back. I found that carrying a pedometer in my pocket every day became a bit of a talisman – reminding me to go for a quick walk in the evening or to eat a bit healthier at lunch. Not bad for the equivalent of about $10. 🙂
    All the best for 2013.:)

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