Getting ready for the New Year

The time has come to get ready for another year.  

All of the Christmas decorations at my house will come down this week, and the house will look bare.  The lights make things glow, and I miss them after they are packed up and put back in storage.

I am not sure where I picked up the tradition, but I like for the house to be clean and sparkly for the New Year.  Everything gets scrubbed.  Mail filed or shredded, carpets steamed, cabinets wiped out.  The days before New Year are super busy around here as everyone pitches in to make things shine. 

I have a superstition.  Anything left undone before the stroke of midnight follows me into the New Year.  I try to start things off on the right foot with as many things completed as I can.  Why borrow trouble?

Somewhere around the turn of the century, I decided I wanted to write.  I wrote a book.  I have no idea where it is.  Ten or so moves later, and I have lost track of many things including my first stab at putting a long story on paper.  I think it involved a male potter and a girl accused of murder... 

I stopped writing for a long, long time.  Well, never entirely.  I can't help myself.  I have written a blog for eight or so years, and I journal, but fiction stayed on the back burner.  I didn't want to access what was required to put down the emotional journey needed to make a good book.  So, I didn't.

One of my goals for 2015 was to write again.  It took me until September to get my rear end in gear, but I finally wrote.  I completed one 60,000 word category book fast draft, and about 50.000 of another.  I'm on fire.  I started this website, rejoined a fabulous professional organization, attended some local writing meetings, and completed my first NaNoWriMo.  I've been busy.

Delving into a well of thoughts I've let percolate for too long has afforded me more story ideas that I know what to do with.  I've written a business plan for 2016.  I think I am going to concentrate on craft.  I'm planning for 4 fast drafts in 2016.  One will be a NaNo book.  I don't know enough yet to know how to know how to revise well.  I am looking to join a writing/critique group to help me stay motivated, and so I can learn.  I also don't know if I can revise and write new pages at the same time.  2016 will be a year of trial and error.  I will need to be patient with myself as I try on new things.

I'm using a spreadsheet to keep track of my writing word count as well as the other time I spend doing administrative tasks or in a class.  I have so much to soak up from other writers.  I am hoping my brain has room.

Goals and business plans are all well and good, but what I hope most for the New Year is to be more gracious, kind and loving to people around me.  When I open up to people, they open up to me.  While I am a true introvert, I need to allow myself to be friendlier.  This will be very challenging.  Quite frankly, it makes me break out in a sweat, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

2016 should be a great year.  I will remain busy, and I hope, passionate about what I do.  What do you have planned for the New Year?