Artwork by Gary Medley (FIL)
It’s that time of year again where I think big thoughts, make new plans and the year ahead is filled with possibilities. I blame the eleven days of Christmas break for all that. Being off work somehow makes me dream unrealistic dreams and think I can accomplish far more than is actually humanly possible.
I’ll realize that by January 4.
But until then, here’s my plan for 2017: The Year of the Squirrel.
More on that later.
Last year ended on a down note, with my mom passing away Nov. 10, and my book sales are all but nonexistent. Seriously, I’m making around $150 a month on seven books. It all seems like way too much work for very little reward. I made half the total income last year that I did the year before (which was the all-time high at a whopping $7K).
I’ve been trying to psych myself back up and get back into the groove. I ran some ads (spent $100) to try to respark interest and revenue, but all it really accomplished was brief stint at Amazon #1 FREE and then four new reviews. I even wrote a couple thousand words, but it’s just not happening. The motivation is gone.
I’m not saying I’m quitting writing completely. I am saying I’m going to let it slide and pick it up as I feel like it. I’m sure at least a dozen people in the world will be sad about that, but it is what it is. Ultimately, I’m the only one putting pressure on myself to make it happen. I’ve given it a good go. I’ve pushed hard for the past five and a half years but gained very little financial traction. I’ve proven I’m not a one-book-wonder and now…I’m moving on.
The beginning of a new year seems like a good time to do that. A clean break.
It’s harder than you’d think to wind down, however. Trust me. I’ve tried quitting before. Ideas don’t stop coming and characters don’t stop talking. Once Pandora’s box is opened, it won’t be closed again. I’m going to keep collecting those ideas and conversations and one day–in the future–I’ll give them the attention they deserve. I also have a few events to attend. Fun events like VisionCon in February and Ozarks Indie Book Fest next October.
Until then, I’m going to participate in the Year of the Squirrel. No, the Year of the Squirrel is not one of the Chinese Zodiac signs (I checked). Nor is it an actual thing. It’s my thing. The Year of the Squirrel will be my chance to follow all the little interests and passions that speak to me this year along with the things I must/need to do. Believe me, there are plenty of need-to-do things. Cleaning out Mom’s house is one of the biggest ones right now.
The things I’m passionate about at the moment include: crocheting, FitBit walking, reading and watching the Gilmore Girls. I think that’s a pretty good start.
There is however, actually a Squirrel Appreciation Day if you’re so inclined to participate. For real, it’s Saturday, January 21 this year. Plan accordingly.
One big goal this year is to get back into shape. Last November, I was in a good place and ten pounds from my goal weight. Right now I’m two pounds above my highest weight ever. I have some work to do.
The biggest fun thing on the horizon for 2017 as far as personal entertainment that I’m looking forward to is the Supernatural Convention in Chicago in July. Bryon and Grace gave me that AMAZING gift for Christmas. I still can’t believe it! Front row, baby! And I get to ride the Amtrack there. Bryon and Grace are going to meet me there after the con is over, and then we’ll have a family vacation in the Windy City.
It’s going to be a looooong time until July.
The good news is I have plenty of time to catch up on my review of the eleven seasons of Supernatural before I go. I’ll have a Masters in Supernatural by that time.
As is my way, I’ve started my Year of the Squirrel List so I can store a few of theses nuggets away for later. It will definintely be a work in progress this year.
Year of the Squirrel List
- Crochet all the things
- Read all the books
- Walk 10k+ steps every day
- Finish all seasons of The Gilmore Girls (I’m on S3)
- Rewatch all 11 seasons of Supernatural
- Reacquaint myself with our garden, wait…which way is it?
- Read my magazines the day they arrive
- Reorganize my recipe boxes
- Clean out and reorganize the bath/medicine cabinets
- Donate more clothes out of my closet
- Empty Mom’s house of contents and sell them
- Read, file or delete all the SAVED articles on Facebook I’ve collected
- Surf way too much Pinerest
- Can and preserve the garden bounty
- Make good food
- Eat good food
That’s a good beginning, I think.
I’m sure there will be much more to add during the year because…SQUIRREL!
What does your 2017 look like from here? Do you make resolutions?