Thursday, January 02, 2014

There's gonna be some changes around here...

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

New year, new life.

One of the things I regretted most about last year was my inability to write something creative. Sure, I could bang out an article or two, no problem (in fact, I'm in the middle of doing so right now) and as long as it's a project with a clear beginning, middle, and end, then I can work with it just fine. My problem was hitting this massive wall of writer's block that just stopped me from writing what I wanted to write and instead my brain goes into this massive merry-go-round of "Will they like it?" or "Does it work?" or "Is this stupid?" and so I end up just not writing at all and instead just marathoning episodes of Top Chef. Which isn't a bad thing (I think) but it also eats into your writing time.

So one of the things I want to work into my weekly routine is writing at least one post a week. It's not going to be a personal Oh-This-Is-What-I'm-Doing kind of thing, although there will still be some of that. Rather, I'd like to start talking about the things that I read, or the places the Boy and I go to eat (and we eat quite a lot, which explains the matching tummies), or little pieces of poetry and narratives that might find their way into longer projects. I also want to talk about the wider world we live in -- I read a lot of online content, and many of them are interesting and provide a great viewpoint and perspective on things that are important to me, or things that I am curious about and want to learn more about.

After all, if there's one thing that I've learned in the past three decades, it's that you're never too old to learn.

On Turning 30

So apparently, I'm turning 30 this year. Three decades. It's weird -- I always thought I would have figured out my life by now, or at least have settled down into a routine. I was telling the Boy the other night, while we were having dinner, that it felt like I was finally settling into adulthood. I'm done with the crazy life choices and the living for the present but not the future. And it's scary (aaaaaaaah) and expensive (double aaaaaaaah) but I think I'm finally figuring it out.

And because it's also the new year, here's a bunch of resolutions that I am wishing, praying, hoping that I can fulfill this year. It's all about becoming better, right?

1. Write at least three stories. There are two deadlines coming up in January and February, and I want to make it to those publications, as well as figure out my own collection (CROSSING ALL THE FINGERS I OWN, AND SEVERAL THAT I DON'T).

2. Save money. I have a minimum amount and I want to stick to it. I'm tired of looking at my bank account and wondering if I have a contingency plan in case of bad, awful, terrible things. And I don't have a contingency plan. So now's the time to start thinking about it.

Also, I want a new laptop. This baby's been with me since 2011, and I'm worried that it's getting old and temperamental.

3. Lose weight. I don't want to lose all the curves, oh no. (The Boy will not like it very much.) But I do want to bring my weight down to a manageable number and reduce the risk of sickness and other health problems while I still have the time and energy to do so.

4. Spend more time with the family. I haven't been around for most of 2013, and I really want to try and reconnect with my family, especially since I was away from most of my 20s. I want to be at home more, and to talk to my siblings more, and figure out each other as people that I want to know.

5. Travel more. Now that I have a fairly stable job that pays the bills, I want to get out and travel more. While I was living abroad, I wasn't able to move around geographically because the person I was with at the time didn't really want to travel - too many issues, too little time. But now that the Boy seems to be as interested in exploring the world as I am, I'd like opportunities to go and see the wild and wonderful world we live in.

Trending on Twitter

I'd like to (hopefully) keep this up as an ongoing linkety-click section of the blog that focuses on the stuff I've been reading online -- mainly on my Twitter feed (@sundialgirl if you're interested in following me there) -- that you might be interested in as well.

James Bennet's essay on his problem with long-form journalism is an interesting jumping-off point in the discussion of the form and the labels that we have with the things we write. I am a fan of the essay, though I can't write as well as many of the contemporary luminaries in the field (Alain de Botton is a personal favorite) and this is a perspective that not many people usually take.

Another one I enjoyed is something about my fandom, Doctor Who, and how important the fan culture was in keeping the show circulating within the cultural consciousness. Though now it's becoming more mainstream than cult favorite, I've always identified with Doctor Who strongly and while the current season's not my favorite, I don't think I'll be stopping anytime soon.

And finally, for those who are still writing their New Year's Resolutions, the New Yorker talks about fresh starts and why it's so hard for us to keep our resolutions. Though the article cautions us against blind optimism, I'd like to look at things from a glass-half-full scenario and think that there might be some room for cautious optimism around.

And that's it! I still need to finish another article and then catch a couple of hours of sleep before I head out with the extended family on vacation. One last hurrah and all that, although I'm bringing work along because my life is sad like that.

See you around.

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