Thursday, 1 January 2015

Assessing the Resolutions, and New Ones for the New Year

Happy new year, everyone!  I hope you kicked it off in style, whether that style is staying up and drinking or sleeping the event away (which honestly seems like the better plan--it's a lot warmer, for a start).

It's time for the obligatory retrospective and wild delusion that characterises... you guessed it: new year's resolutions!  Well, it's more a case of looking back at last year's pitifully short list, seeing what I missed by miles and making much the same list that I'll again probably fail miserably at.

So, in short, a standard list of resolutions!

This is last year's list (if you want to read them in their rambley entirety, this is the post):

  1. Read at least 20 books this year.
  2. Write one story a week.
  3. Finish some of the story arcs I've left hanging.
  4. Finish five computer/console games.
  5. Try not to be such a whiny and self-pitying shite.
How did I do?

1. Well, according to my Goodreads page, I managed a fairly respectable 82 books last year, though that does include graphic novels.  It does however knock the spots off the year before, where I pledged to read 10 and managed 22.  Ebooks and having ereaders on basically every device and computer I own certainly helped there.  Overall conclusion: success.

2. This did not go so well.  I wrote about 13 or so, if you include my flash fiction pieces, but very few longer pieces.  Whether you count them or not, it's still a long way off a supposed attempt at 52.  To be honest, I'd entirely forgotten I'd made the resolution in the first place.  Overall conclusion: dismal failure.

3. The story arcs I specifically mentioned in my previous post were Spectrum, the Unravel AUs and the last chapter of The Destruction of Kirill.  To date, I've not finished Spectrum or either of the Unravel AUs, but writing later scenes about Niko and Kirill did get my arse into gear over the last chapter, which finally got edited and released mid-year, so there is at least a partial success.  Overall conclusion: slightly better than expected.

4. I've honestly lost count on this.  Ever since I got Echo I've been getting more PC games, because all those memes that went over my head about the Steam sales because I couldn't get and play any games on it?  I understand now just how dangerous Steam sales actually are...  Add to that 3DS, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games and it's a losing battle.  What doesn't actually help are the games I play that don't have defined finish lines, like Melody's Escape, Audiosurf 2 and Minecraft and I'm a little doomed.
I have finished: Octodad: Dadliest Catch; Transistor (twice); Analogue: A Hate Story (three times), Kentucky Route Zero (up to the newest release); Halo 1 (a week ago); Castle Crashers (yet again); and I'm totally claiming Melody's Escape despite it being a rhythm game because I've maxed out all the achievements.  So... Overall conclusion: success.

5. Overall success: crashing failure.

So with what seems like a 50/50 success/failure rate, we move into the new year and new resolutions which... for the most part look remarkably like the old ones.

1.  Read at least 30 books this year.  Yes, it keeps going up incrementally but I always live in fear that I suddenly won't get the time to read (like the year before last).

2.  Write one story a week, or at least 20 stories for the year.  I've been talking about actually doing this one now, so hopefully this time I'll actually remember I'm supposed to be doing it, but if I don't I'll shamelessly borrow from one of my NaNoers, FrankieDWrites', resolution to write 20 short stories in a year.

3.  Finish outstanding projects.  This year those include The Palace, The Reconstruction of Kirill (which I have no excuse on, I will freely admit), The Rose Queen and Dust & Ash.  And who knows, maybe even Spectrum and the unfinished Unravel AUs...

4.  Finish 5 computer games.  Eh, I've had it as a resolution for years.  It's the only one I can remember off the top of my head any more.  Maybe this year I'll even finally finish Borderlands 2 and Virtue's Last Reward...

5.  Handwrite more and practice calligraphy.  Pretty self-explanatory, but I began to learn to write with dips pens this December and I'd like to not be so terrible at it.  I'd also like to get more use out of my gorgeous fountain pens and inks beyond making notes.

6.  Make more jewellery.  I started doing this around the launch of TDoK and I've learned a whole lot, like various chainmail techniques, making jump rings, wire wrapping.  I'd like to expand my skillset a little.  Who knows, maybe I'll even invest in a soldering iron.  Maybe, unlike my childhood, I'll realise prodding metal that refuses to melt with my little finger is not the best way to find out why.  (It was a paperclip fragment, for the record; the scar finally vanished from my fingerprint in my very late 20s.)

7.  Try to be better at advertising myself.  I need to figure this one out though, which may take some work.  Ultimately, I think 3. might help as much as anything else here, so maybe tying them together will help.

8.  Stop being a whiny self-pitying shite.  Self-explanatory really.

So, have you guys managed to keep your resolutions?  Are you making any this year?  I'd love to know, particularly if it's been a struggle for you too.  What can I say?  I'd just like to know I'm not alone.

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