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    1 In Goals/ On Creating/ Personal

    2023: Reach For The Sky

    Sculpture of tall poles that taper at the top like hair against blue sky and pink clouds. Text says "reach for the sky"

    First and foremost, Happy New Year to you, my readers and supporters – without you, I’d just be yelling into the void and listening to these voices in my head instead of writing their stories down to share! You are the reason for everything and I hope your year to come is filled with everything good and fulfilling. 💜

    Even before this time of the year – the annual musing on endings/beginnings days – got here, I’ve been thinking about what I want to change about how I’m living. It’s reflected in my Word of the Year, which is Embrace. I’ve been living a life with many restrictions since before the pandemic started, when I had my first emergency surgery and subsequently had my diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Basically, I was out of commission from the end of August 2019, then when started to get healed to the point where I was able to live a life again, everything went into lockdown. Surprise! Then my health began to spiral downwards again, so I wasn’t interested in doing much anyway.

    Ironically, during this time I did write and publish two books, the first ones in the Eleriannan series. So despite being restricted, I continued to create and grow. However, 2022 has been the most challenging for me since the end of 2019. I was sick and miserable, unable to do much or feel safe in leaving the house for anything but short errands. In fact, the last time I did anything fun or challenging was when I was a vendor at the Baltimore Faerie Faire back in April. That was a blast, and I’m so glad I did it, because not long after my body went into a Crohn’s flare and there I stayed until my eventual surgery in September. Then there was the second surgery in November, and a recovery that’s felt like an uphill climb.

    Finally, finally, I feel like myself again. Well, mostly? It’ll take time to regain stamina and strength, but I’m feeling re-energized and more alive than I have in ages. That bodes well for you as a reader, because I’m back to writing daily, making steady progress on Stories of the Eleriannan #3, which I’ll be talking about more in coming days! My writing schedule has been kinder and more in sync with my current abilities and energy levels.

    Image of Min Yoongi aka SUGA of BTS dressed in white in front of a grey wall. Text/caption reads "I think I'm also gonna try something really big this year"
    I’m following your lead, Yoongi.

    Back in August, I wrote a list of Reach For the Sky Big Achievements that I want to happen in my writing career. These are goals that the parts of my mind that are rational and nay-saying look at and just bust a gut laughing at my audacity. But you know what? I’m a huge believer that if you don’t put it out there, it won’t happen.
    I think I’ve written about these goals somewhere in public before, but again, it hurts nothing to put them out there again. I mean, I’m sure some people will read this and also laugh at my audacity. It’s cool, go ahead! It is audacious, and that’s the point. If you don’t dream about a seemingly unreachable future, how can you even get halfway there?

    So in no particular order, here is my List of Future Achievements:

    • published short stories that I’m paid for
    • several bestsellers [by some unidentified metric]
    • to be a panelist at cons [ult goals are Balticon, Nebula Conference, World Fantasy Con, Worldcon]
    • to be a Guest of Honor at any of the above
    • to win a Nebula and/or Hugo
    • to run a writer’s class and be paid fairly for it
    • to get 50+ positive ratings on each of my books
    • to have created a body of work

    Reminder: I said these were reach for the sky. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t out of reach. The important thing, in my opinion, is to create goals that are HUGE and RIDICULOUS. Aim for things that seem impossible, then structure your plans so that every step in that direction brings growth. Even if you never make the big goals, you’ll have an amazing outcome.

    And let me say this, because it’s important: this is what works for me. You don’t have to have goals like these, or goals at all! I am a very goal-driven person and I use manifestation energy to great success, but I know not everyone works like that. For every method there’s a bunch of people who do it differently, and it’s important to use what works for you.

    So how do I plan to work toward these goals? I’ll be sharing my steps with lots of personal detail and insight over on my Ko-fi, in the Writer’s Life and Craft tier. Successes and failures included! I hope you’ll join me over there. Even the free tier often gets updates that I don’t post over here!

    Do you have any “Impossible” goals? I’d love it if you’d share in the comments!