It’s been a few years now since I started adopting a word for what I want for my life in the year ahead. 2014’s word was “forward.” And, damn, did I move forward in 2014. I didn’t accomplish everything I hoped to, but, at the same time, I did much better in certain areas than I could have expected last December when I was planning the coming year.
I knew, in December of 2013, that I wanted to finish the HIDDEN series in the coming year. I knew that I wanted to continue to make my living from writing (at the time, most of my income came from my job with About.com) and continue to grow the small audience that HIDDEN had at the time. I wanted to get healthier. I wanted to read more.
“Better” might seem like a stupid word. Of course, the whole purpose of setting goals is to get better, right? But “better” has to be my word, because it would be all too easy, considering the year I’ve had (a year that saw me selling WAY more books, to a much more positive response, than I ever could have imagined), to let up a little and rest on my laurels.
The good thing is, I’m not very good at that whole “resting” thing.
But we all slip, and I want to stay driven. Focused. I want next year to be even better than 2014 was. I want to be better. (And, as a side note, the only one I want to be better than at the end of 2015 is the Colleen I am right now. I’ve never seen myself as being in competition with anyone other than me.)
So what do I want? What does “better” look like to me?
1.) I want to be a better writer. I want every book I put out to be the best it can possibly be, and every book after it to be better than the one before it. I want to continually grow as a writer. I want to push my boundaries, venture out of my comfort zone. I want to write things that will keep the lovely readers who buy my books up at night, unable to stop turning pages. That’s what I want.
2.) More reading. This one isn’t even that hard, because I love it, but I want to focus on reading more widely next year. I read a lot in my own genre this year, and it was a lot of fun, but I also think it would be fun to venture out of PNR/urban fantasy once in a while. 🙂
3.) Healthier. Outwardly, this is a simple “lose 50 pounds,” but it’s not just the number on the scale. The thing is, I’m quite happy with the way I look. I don’t hate my body or myself because I’m carrying more weight. I don’t have any health issues, and I know my husband thinks I’m beautiful. This is just one of those things for me. There are a couple areas of my body I could be more pleased with, and I recognize that losing weight will make me happier about those areas.
4.) More present. It is very, very easy for me to kind of get stuck in my own head. It’s very easy to obsess over parts of the writing business I can’t control. What I can control, and what will ultimately make an actual difference in my life and my overall state of well-being, is being present and attentive in the other parts of my life. Being there, really there, with my kids and husband makes all of us happier, and I want to focus on not letting myself slip into glancing too often at my phone or laptop when we’re all together.
So, that’s it. Better. That’s what I want to be at the end of 2015.
Happy New Year, lovelies! Thanks for helping me make 2014 one of the best years of my life. <3