Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Brand New Year

I have been noticing blog posts popping up around the Internet regarding the New Year.  Many are reflecting on 2013 and writing about their hopes and dreams for 2014.

As I look back on 2013, there were a lot of ups and downs, and plenty of downs. I felt unproductive from June to December when my position at hit a snag.  Work picked back up last month and I was promoted to consumer guide writer which means that I get higher paying assignments.  Now I am paid $50 per article. This may be low for some writers out there but this is a big step for me.  The days of writing for sites that pay me less than $10 for my hard work are long gone.

A new year means a clean slate and new beginnings.  There are areas I know that I need to change in my life. For instance, making healthier food choices and getting in shape.  Seriously, the muffin top is not cute. I did go on a diet back in the summer and lost 13 pounds.  I haven't checked the scale lately, but I have noticed that my faithful black size 18W skirt is getting too big for me, so that's a good sign.

I also need to be more assertive and stand up for myself more.  I don't like to hurt people's feelings, so I always try to be nice.  I also need to stop letting fear get in the way or allow people to talk me out of doing things.  There will be times when you have to listen to wisdom.  In September 2013, I did a very brave thing. I decided to publish some of my short stories on Smashwords.  When I was charging for them, they didn't sell. I decided to offer them for free since I am a newbie.  I got more downloads that way.  I'm glad I published them period. I don't know if people really like my fiction or not, but I got one nice review and five stars. So there is something to be happy about.  I even sent electronic copies to my former professor.  He said that he would read them, but I don't know if he actually did.  I wonder if he read them and wondered what was going through my head.

For instance, I wrote a story called "What She Saw."  It was about a young woman named Lena who had a crush on her former professor/workmate.  They lose contact for some time and she begins to wonder about his whereabouts. She has feelings for this guy but she is not bold enough to confess her feelings mainly because of the circumstances.  One night when she is checking Facebook, she finds out that he is married. Crazy huh?

My goal for this year is to sharpen my writing skills. My other hope and plan for this year is to finally write and finish my novel that I have been working on since 2006.  When I have shared my idea, I get mixed reactions: "oh that's a good idea" or "nobody wants to hear about that."  My protagonist is physically challenged, and I don't want her to be viewed as a pity party. She is like any other person-fictional and real who is trying to work through life's challenges.

I want to get out and travel more this year.  I want to travel out of the country, outside of North America. Some friends and I talked about going to London this summer, but that plan or idea flat-lined quickly.  I also plan to finally buy an eReader or tablet.  I have to do some research to decide which tablet is going to accessible for my vision and my wallet.

I also need to do some decluttering.  Last year, when I thought I was going to be moving out of state and cross country, I cleaned out my closet to get rid of clothes I don't wear or can't wear.  I also donated a few books that I wasn't fond of to the library.  And just today, I purchased four books from Barnes N Noble.  I barely have room to store books. However, I believe that going electronic will solve this problem.

I am the kind of person who hates to make plans because they typically don't work out.  I have decided that I need to analyze why a plan or idea doesn't materialize.  I should make more realistic goals for myself and come up with a strategy to actually make them work.

So here's to a bright new year! 

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