I'm one of those people who gets really into the new year. I pull out my shiny new Passion Planner on January 1st and pencil in all my goals and plans for the coming year. Even if New Year's Eve itself is probably my least favorite holiday, New Year's Day is a day for POSITIVE CHANGE.
Image credit: bosmanerwin on Pixabay.
This year in particular is going to be a big one for me. I spent the fall applying to Master's programs in art history, and this spring is when I decide where I'll go, which could impact where I stay long-term and will definitely impact my long-term career goals. I've been saying I'd like to go on for a Ph.D in art history and become a professor, but I'm leaving my options open. It's daunting and overwhelming if I think about it too much, so right now I just need to remind myself that all I need to do is wait to see where I get accepted and then choose where to go.
Right now, I know three things: - I love Medieval art and would like to research it more, or be involved with it in some way.
- I've recently discovered that I actually like kids after working with so many of them this year, and I think it would be fun to keep working with them in my professional life.
- I really really really really really don't want to leave Italy. I've lived there long enough to know it's not some fairytale filled with Chianti and pasta and picturesque views (though there is plenty of all those things.) I mean, I've gone through the visa/permesso di soggiorno process TWICE now, consequently shaving off a few years of my life, and have dealt with the every day aspects of adult life in a foreign country with a language I'm still learning. I do miss many aspects of life in the U.S., and it is a little stressful to think about what all I'd have to go through to live there long-term or permanently. But being there has always felt "right" to me, in a way I can't quite put into words, and I can't imagine living anywhere else right now. All I know is I'm happy there, and why would you willingly leave a place you're happy in?
While that side of my life is in flux and raises my blood pressure to think about, my writing life is at least grounded in some concrete goals that I can control:
- keep querying SHORE OF DARKNESS
- finish my new WIP this spring and start/hopefully finish revisions
- draft high fantasy WIP
- write one short story a month
The short story thing is new. I've never really liked short stories, thinking that they're, well, too short. I would like to take the time to get to know the characters and flesh out their stories more. But short stories are a good way to improve writing skills and gain some publishing credits, so I'm going to try to really commit to this.
I'm both excited and nervous about the high fantasy WIP. This was the first novel I ever wrote, and after taking about five years off from it, I've decided that I'm ready to give it another go. It's been outlined, and the world-building given an overhaul, so we'll see how it goes... I miss the characters and their story, so I can't wait to return to them.
My word of the year is courage. I'm going to need a lot of it to face my goals and decisions.
What are your goals for the New Year?