28 January 2022

New Year, New Goals 2022

Written by Sarah-Maree

I know it’s only January, but already the new year is picking on me. Normally, I would roll over and nap away the next few months, envying the bears and other animals that can hibernate through such gloomy weather. This year though? I finally hit a breaking point. After what feels like months of being unproductive, largely due to mental issues, family issues, personal productivity issues, and yet somehow not work issues, I’ve finally made a mental shift. I’m done blaming the weather, or Covid, or isolation, or a plethora of other things, even if they are part of the problem. I’m making a change. That’s right, I’m back to my favorite drug addiction: caffeine.

Soda, particularly the stuff in the US, isn’t a healthy thing to consume, let alone in bulk. Tea, while I enjoy the occasional cup, isn’t really my thing. I can’t down it like a can of soda, which means that caffeine boost I’m looking for comes too slow to get me up and moving. Thankfully, a writing friend of mine, Malcolm (I’ll avoid last names since I’m not sure he’s up for that just yet), has a potential solution. Thank you, friend! Hopefully the solution, which is a packet that contains caffeine and flavoring for water, will work as well or better than soda, and I can down it faster than tea.

What’s with the caffeine talk?

Simply put, I am more productive with caffeine. Most people enjoy coffee and can get their boost that way, but I don’t enjoy coffee. As I said, tea isn’t exactly my thing either, so I’m stuck looking for alternatives. While I used to love soda, knowledge on its health problems just makes it less enjoyable now.

Oh, and it is less enjoyable. I only drink soda on days that I intend to write, and I only crack it open once I’ve actually committed to that goal. It makes drinking less enjoyable, but productivity is on the rise, so I have no arguments there. I’m disciplined enough, usually, that I’m able to harness the drug's potential and shift it towards my creativity. I’ve gone from writing one to two times a month to having written on fourteen out of the twenty-eight days thus far in January, and that’s with me getting a late start on the year.

Is the caffeine really helping though?

Yes, the caffeine is really helping. My blah days have shifted from getting the bare minimum done to working on one or more chapters a day. I expect to have Ryac off to Cara Trent at Midnight Quill in the next few days thanks to that caffeine kick. Plus, when I hit a roadblock on my writing (I wanted a character to go from Point A to Point B, but I had zero ideas on how to do it. Nothing was working.), I downed a mini soda, and before the day was done, I had the roadblock cleared and a path forward. Sure, I didn’t get the chapters fully written, but progress is progress.

My mood has had an uptick as well. While I don’t think the caffeine has directly impacted the depression, it did impact my productivity, which was causing me to be depressed. There’s a reason why I called this blog, Caffeine is My Muse.

You mentioned goals?

That’s right! This gal isn’t just downing drinks for the giggles it gives, and I do tend to giggle more when I drink sodas.

Moving on from past antics of which we do not speak, this year’s goals are more ambitious than last years. Even so, I have learned my lesson from previous years. The goals must be ambitious, but they must be easily achievable and surpassable. It’s all well and good to have big goals, but whenever I’ve gone big, I’ve rarely achieved it all. In the end, I just wind up feeling bad for not doing more. Hence why they’re in the easy category. Oh, and another thing, they’re also not goals that require anything but myself to achieve.

What are the goals?

     1. Finish editing Sir Ryac and the Dark Mage 

I’m over half-way already, and I started this year. This is very doable for me.

     2. Send it off to Cara Trent at Midnight Quill for editing

Notice I didn’t say anything after this about the book? It will take as long as it takes and will be out of my hands until it’s back. Anything past this step will be icing on the cake for 2022.

     3. Begin final edits on MAD: Upload

Again, notice how I said to begin the final edits? This leaves me wiggle room on actually completing the large project. And it is going to be a project. Much of it needs chopped out and rewritten. This is the project I’ve been dreading ever since finishing the first draft. Since this book is part of a series, I have to get things nailed down before I feel comfortable moving on to book two in earnest.

     4. Keep working on Charm of Night

(This is a new project I’ve started. Well, it’s new to you, my readers.) Now, I really want to have the first draft of this book done by 2023, but I’m not ridiculous enough to put that as my actual goal. For now, progress is the best goal.

     5. Write 2 blogs a month

This one is ridiculously low in terms of what I actually want to accomplish. Twenty-four blogs is the bare minimum. I really want a blog a week, but I have to be realistic. Life can get in the way, and saying I’ll have a blog a week isn’t fair to me. It’ll only cause undo stress. So, for now, two blogs a month stands as the goal.

     6. Revamp the blogging, too

Be prepared for a blog on this as there’s a lot I’m going to do and a lot I’ve already done. Eeek!

     7. Enjoy the little things

Taken from Zombieland, this vague statement is perfect for these uncertain times. I don’t leave the house much, at the moment, and I’m sure my husband and I are some of the few people who have kept ourselves heavily confined in the US throughout the pandemic. Sure, we had two months last year where we recklessly vacationed in a hotel, ate outdoors at restaurants (and like two times indoors), and took a flight to Colorado and back again. This was during that time when vaccines were super effective, Omicron wasn’t yet a thing, and life looked like it could get back to normal.

Anyway, we’re hoping to be even more ‘reckless’ this year, but while we have plans, they aren’t concrete yet – no reservations. For now, the surest thing I can count on is to "Enjoy the little things."

What’s next?

Oh, that’s easy. Work on goals 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and maybe 7. Goal 3 is probably a year-long quest, lol.  I’ll hopefully have an update next Friday. Although, spoiler alert, I’ll be switching to emailing people every four blogs or so instead of every time I post. It’s less work for me, and hopefully it’s more enjoyable for readers.

Until next time! May your adventures be many and your inspiration be endless!

Photo by Breakingpic

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