So. That sure was a year that happened.

I think we can all agree that there has rarely been a year that needed to be kicked to the curb as badly as 2020. Let’s just write this one off as a loss and try again with a new one, huh?

A few good things did happen to me personally, though. I got my first short story published! (It’s in an anthology of superhero romance, available here.) I also gave my first solo filk concert at OVFF, which I’d love to return to in person next year if “going places in person” is a thing we’re doing by then. Podcast writing foundered for a while, but we’re up and running again and getting some scripts ready for Season 1. (Maybe by the time we’ve finished them, the cast will all have been vaccinated and we can record in person again…) In the meantime, I got to write some short films and Zoom plays, and you can see one of those here.

Writing 500 words a day for last year’s New Year’s Resolution went really well for me, and I’m going to try and keep that up. For this year… I don’t know. The problem is that there are too many things I want to improve all at once. There isn’t one Grand Unified Resolution that will fix my sleep cycle, keep me focused at work, help me submit more writing to publishers, get me in the habit of practicing music more often, curtail my Internet time, get me to drink more water, keep my house clean, find time for me to read more books, etc. And if I make a laundry list of resolutions it just becomes easier to ignore all of them.

I suppose resolutions to change don’t have to be attached to the turning of a calendar page. It’s just a convenient reminder to take stock, the way you’re supposed to use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to change your smoke detector batteries. And a year is a nice long deadline. You can make resolutions like “I will write my novel this year” and it seems like enough time. Whereas if you say “I will write my novel this month,” you sound like a crazy person. (Having done NaNoWriMo many times, that’s certainly what it feels like.) But with a deadline that long, it’s also easy to let a project slide again and again until it just… doesn’t get done. Do I need to make some shorter-term goals and try to improve little by little on one thing at a time? And how do I make my brain cooperate when the size of my to-do list already intimidates me on a daily basis?

I’ll have to think about it some more. Maybe have monthly projects? Or see if those books I’ve been reading about habits and brain chemistry have any ideas? In the meantime, here’s my annual recording of “Auld Lang Syne.” I’m not always sure if I can detect my progress from year to year… but I do think I sound pretty good by now. Must be all those Zoom song circles.

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