Saturday, January 6, 2018

2017 Achievements and 2018 Resolutions

It is important to highlight one's accomplishments, no matter how small. They could be small or minor for one person but significant for another, especially when they're unplanned; it was not a target you set, so you've made a bigger accomplishment by achieving an unset, unscheduled goal.

For 2018, I've decided to set resolutions or what I hope will be achievable goals for me.

I didn't do any resolutions for 2017 but just figured they would be an extension of my uncompleted 2016 goals.

This time, I'm planning something different. In 2018, I'm planning to focus on something – or rather someone – I've neglected for too long. Me.

Some might think it's selfish, but if you don't work on developing yourself, enhancing your skills, and doing what you want and love, who will?

The answer: No one.

While I hadn't set "solid goals" for 2017, I was able to achieve new things. Things that came out of the blue for me.

Here are my achievements:

1)  I'm very proud of my first vlog entry and interview. I attended a local startup-focused event called the RiseUp Summit and there I interviewed the co-founder of book recommendation startup SipOf.Ink (that's how they write it).
You can read the full post here.
2)   I also conducted several other interviews during the event and published them as exclusive stories. From UAE-based online fashion boutique The Luxury Closet to the Middle East's number 1 children's edutainment app Lamsa.
The experience was great and I look forward to repeating my reporting, writing, and networking experience.
3)    I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I wrote 53,000 words in less than 30 days! Find out how I did it when I had failed with smaller targets before. (Hint: You must really want it!)

4)    I completed my Goodreads reading challenge.
5)    I started Darya's story. This particular tale has been in my head for a year. In 2017, I began putting the words on paper. I don't know how far I am, but I've been able to write down several chapters. I've gone from Zero words to around 30,000 words!
6)    I've started writing about different topics. My most recent article, although based on personal experience, is an example:
What is the most "demotivational" quote ever? And how do you overcomeit?

Enough with the achievements – which I'm very proud of no matter how small – and off to the goals for 2018.

·        Focusing on my writing
Over the past years, I've been focusing on reading. Now, it's time to focus on me and my writing. Which brings me to my sub-points here:

o   Finishing Darya's story (draft 1)
o   Writing DeeDee's story (book 2 – draft 1)
o   Editing DeeDee's mystery/story (book 1 – draft 2)

·        Reading one self-help book per month
This could be self-help in writing, marketing, personal development, or any field. I am currently reading The Writer's Lexicon by Kathy Steinmann, whose review I'm planning for January. (I'll be posting reviews for each of those books I read.) I already bought several writing-help books but there are 12 months to go.

·        Personal development

I've already started working on this in late 2017 by downloading some courses via Udemy. Some are work-related, some are about things that have piqued my interest. But all mean that I will have at least one new piece of information added. Something that I can use. And that is the essence of self-development.

·        Finding a balance between writing and working out

One of the hardest things I've encountered in 2017 was striking a balance between my story-writing and the gym. The day is 24 hours long. So, if I work for say 9 hours, plus 2 hours of commuting, that's 11 hours, leaving me 13 hours in the day. If I sleep for 8, and work out for 2, then I will have 3 more hours to eat and drink and read or write or both. The theory stands but the application fails. Every. Single. Time!

So in 2018, I'll be trying out different tactics to find a balance where I can write and work out. Separate days, better planning. I'll keep testing and let you know how it pans out and whether or not I succeed in achieving my abovementioned writing goals.

·        Reducing my reading challenge
Every year I've tried to increase the number of books I read. This year, I'm shrinking that number to make room of Me, my reading and writing needs, and other courses.
For the past 2 or 3 years, I've set a goal for 36 books that's 3 books per month. This year my goal is 20 to 24 books, that's around 2 books per month.

·        Reducing the number of review requests I accept.
My apologies to authors, but I believe many will understand the need to develop one's writing and personal skills. I will still be doing author features and more on the blog, which brings me to my next point.

·        Launching StoryTeller Tours
I've been slacking significantly in launching a personal book-tour organising service. No more of that. I'm taking serious steps to launch this. Why? Because there are many authors who need to get out there. AND because the services need to be affordable.

·        Editing Services
I launched my page offering affordable book and article editing services (both grammar and developmental editing). As a book reviewer, I have been able to pick up on certain things that can help authors enhance their writing.

·        Writing new articles for the blog and guest blogging

One of the things I want to work on in 2018 is diversifying my writing fields. What does that mean? My main work is translation and editing of economic and stock market-related texts from Arabic into English. Sometimes, writing from scratch. I also wrote a bit in real estate but I want to enhance both my freelance writing and the fields I can write about. 

When I went to RiseUp, I was keen on writing about and interviewing officials from various startups so I can research them and write about them. 
I plan to do more of that in 2018 BUT I'm also looking for article suggestions of what people would like to see on my blog.
I have a few writing help articles I'm working on that I plan to publish here or see if I can guest post on other writing-related blogs. In addition, I'm open to suggestion of what readers would like to see me write about. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section before or get in touch with me via email. If you'd like me to guest post for you, please email me.

·        Repeating NaNoWriMo in November 2018
Not sure what book I'll be writing then but that's 11 months away, so we'll see.

What are you resolutions/goals for 2018? Let's help each other achieve our goals!