The lovely Franny over at The Curious Professor Z has launched Bat Fit 2017 today, and invited participants to list their goals. So here goes. My goals are quite modest, I guess, but small steps.
Basically, the post I wrote yesterday! I have set my Goodreads target up from 50 books this year to 60. I’m halfway through book no 1, The Loney. It’s awesome. That’s today planned! On a serious note, I do want to feed my mind more. So Husband Underfoot renewed my Lit & Phil membership for Christmas and I’m going to go back to spending one morning a week there for browsing, mooching, people watching and short story writing.
Reading December’s Mslexia I came across a small feature that described me perfectly. It was so close to home that I actually winced in pained self recognition. I am a ‘Creator’. As they say, how many brilliant ideas do I have lying dormant in notebooks? In my case, how many bloody notebooks do I have on the go at one time?! Roger Hamilton describes someone who is always starting a new project as a creator – good at starting things, but shocking at finishing things. The article recommends that creators need to focus on one idea for at least 90 days without getting distracted by a fresh glittery idea (Laura Leigh Clarke). Mslexia writer Lucy Corkhill calls it ‘magpie-ing’.
I like the 90 day focus rule. I have a new project(!) Lilin House in development after recovering from the bone crushingly indifferent feedback for my last novel from a literary agent. I know I flit, lose focus easily. Pledging a 90 day start up is achievable. I have a secondary goal – mid April I’m travelling to Moniack Mhor on a retreat, which will focus on work in progress. I would like to have something tangible to take and receive critical feedback on (cue more bone crushing indifference no doubt!). So, that’s the first four months of 2017 planned with a positive focus.
Manage My Physical Health Better
This old chestnut. I have a number of underlying health issues that had a new friend join them last summer – occipital migraines. It appears that these are generally hormone related. I’m learning how to manage them better, bearing in mind I can’t take medication other than paracetamol. Basically, recognise the symptoms, stay hydrated, avoid bright light when necessary and eat bananas! Not sure why bananas help, but they certainly seem to. Oh, and maintain my iron levels.
It’s Dry January – and both myself and Husband Underfoot have breathed a sigh of relief. Alcohol makes us both ill , even in small quantities. So it may actually stretch into February and beyond.
One simple pledge I’m making is to walk 10,000 steps at least 5 days per week. My I-Phone handily tracks this already and I’m not doing too badly. I have routes planned that tackle certain distances (2,000 steps on a short dog walk or the library and back, 9,000 to the neighbouring village etc). Walking makes me feel much better and less stressed, and I have the sea at the bottom of my street – talk about lucky!
I’m heading back in the pool next week but before I do I have a niggling nerve problem in my right forearm that I need to get checked out. Looks like a trapped nerve – for 2 months. When at the docs I also want a cholesterol check as it was creeping up incrementally – and I want to bring it back to a normal level. So out with the sugar! Well, other than the odd loveliness of dark chocolate…
Coping with Anxiety
I think 2016 was the first year I fully accepted my anxiety issues. This was helped by writing for Geeks versus Loneliness over at Den of Geek. They’ve been brilliant. Our little community is wonderful. I can’t say what 2017 will bring in this regard – things that cause me great anxiety are unfortunately things that will not change. And my old folk keep on getting older and frailer.
Maintaining my friend links is something I find quite hard to do. Must try harder would be my grade! So I’ll send some lunch invites out for January and get out of my comfort zone. I have lovely friends; I need to tell them that!
So, this is my starting point. Some of it’s a little woolly to be sure. But I am kind of, sort of, hopeful that this will be a better year than last. Here’s hoping it stays positive and well for all of us.