This is Part 2 of a blog series about New Year’s Goals. Be sure to check out part 1 and its hot mess. Because that will influence this post.
So, 2021 was a crap year. Yes, stuff got done. Mostly. Sort of. But a lot of Murphy’s Law came into effect.
Looking back on that made me ponder how I would approach 2022. Would I, in fact, not have goals set at the start of the year? Would I have more structure instead of less? How would structuring the year even work?
After a lot of meditation and brainstorming, here’s what I came to…
It’s a simple, 6-letter word. Because 2022. 2 + 0 + 2 + 2 = 6. I’m willing to give numerology another chance because 5s in numerology (and especially Tarot) are kind of cursed. (Side note: maybe that’s why my Mocktaw in The Legend of Jamie Roberts often have 5 eyes.) 6 in numerology is better.
Also – Create. It encapsulates the feeling I want to embrace for 2022. I want to create a LOT of things.
This year, I won’t hold myself to the sorts of lists I concocted for last year. I have a rough list of what I would LOVE to get done for 2022. But I won’t say anything more. Part of me wants to see just what happens as the year goes on.
In addition, I spent the last two weeks of 2021 planning for 2022’s projects. And 3 projects already got done! So that’s nice. And unexpected. And part of the reason why I don’t want to say too much about what’s in store for 2022.
With that said, I’m going to do one new thing this year.
I’M ACTUALLY WORKING WITH A PRODUCTION CALENDAR IN MIND
This may sound weird, but in years past, I never actually made a calendar to determine when (exactly) projects would start, get done, go on KickStarter, etc. At least, not a calendar that encompassed ALL of my projects. Each project would have its own rough list. But this year I’m doing it differently.
I’d share my rough production calendar with you. But…
a) it’s kind of long. I included convention dates, commemorative months like National Novel Writing Month and MerMay, book projects, prints, secret projects, Sticker of the Month club, ongoing projects like webcomics… I threw a LOT into one place and gave it some semblance of order. But that order only makes sense to me.
b) it’s not set in stone. And I did that on purpose. If I have to move a project up or down the production calendar, I am willing to do that. (And that’s how 3 projects got done before 2022 even started.)
What else can I say? Well, be sure to stay tuned on this blog, and follow me in these ways:
But I want to do more than just look at my goals for 2020. I want to make some goals for the next decade.
You may remember from my bullet journal post that I stated: I overestimate what I can do in a day, and underestimate what I can do in a week.
Well, the same is true for years and decades.
I overestimate what I can do in a year, but underestimate what can be done in ten years.
If you haven’t done the decade in review exercise, I HIGHLY recommend you try it. It’s a good way to tap into not only what you’ve done, but what you KNOW you can do in the near future.
With that in mind…
I’ve thought and pondered over goals, and I’ve decided on these top 3 for next year.
Why 3? Because I’ve learned from this year that setting more than 3 goals makes it hard to accomplish any of them. So 3 AT MOST.
Here’s my top 3 goals for 2020:
Thumbnail The Legend of Jamie Roberts in its entirety.
I’m a little ashamed to admit that The Legend isn’t entirely written out. I have an OUTLINE. The first seven chapters are written. But the second half of the story still needs to be scripted.
To achieve this goal, I’m going to draw one thumbnailed page in my sketchbook every day (except Sunday). That’s 313 pages to sketch out overall. While I don’t think The Legend of Jamie Roberts will be THAT long, it’s still a good goal to have to sketch a page a day.
Read 1 new comic per week
I’ll be blunt: outside of The Legend of Jamie Roberts and commissions and freelancing, I’ve been in a creative rut. Part of that is due to… just working a lot. But part of that is also due to my not reading very many comics anymore.
Also, I started Indie Comics Hub with the goal of reviewing indie comics. And I’ve been woefully lax in actually reading indie comics and enforcing deadlines on myself.
So I hope that by reading one new comic every week, I not only get the creative juices flowing – I also get to write reviews to post up on Indie Comics Hub for comics readers to enjoy.
Get my friend Sean’s book to print
I promised my friend Sean that I would help him get his collection of prose and poetry to print. It’s been a dream of his to see it happen, and I know more than he does about publishing books, so I offered to help.
That said, I’ve been taking my time to help him with this. (Sorry, dude. I had a lot going on).
But 2020 is going to be different, dammit! We’re going to get these stories together, and we’re going to get them to print.
(And if we can do it without using Amazon, that’s even better in my book).
What about my goals for the next decade?
Oh, I have some big goals in mind to accomplish in the next ten years. Like…
Paying off my student loans entirely (my pipe dream is to do this in 5 years).
Saving up for – and getting – an RV to live in, and
Learning how to sew to make my own dresses.
I will certainly be doing more than this – it’s a decade, after all – but these are my top 3 picks for Goals for the 2020s.
What are your goals for next year? How are you going to keep track of them? I’d love to know!
If I have noticed anything regarding social media platforms in 2018 – from Facebook constantly being pursued because they sell private data, to Tumblr’s crackdown on NSFW content – I have noticed that social media platforms aren’t exactly held accountable. They’re also always changing.
I want to have a space online dedicated for my art, sharing the art and stories of my life, and hearing from you, the reader. And the best place to do that is… this blog.
So, in the spirit of sharing in spaces that are NOT social media platforms, I’m going to start updating this blog once a week in January.
I want to start with once a week updates for two reasons: to not overwhelm myself, and because there’s a lot going on outside of the blog. There’s Validation, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, the projects detailed in the other goals for 2019, and now I have a new job outside of the internet. So, once a week updates it is… for the time being.
Still, I want to share art, news, and stories, and I want to hear your stories, as well.
2: Launch the Lazy Diana Podcast
Lazy Diana is a zine I make. As I like to pitch it at conventions, it’s Magic and Paganism for lazy people. Because not all of us in the field can afford going to the top of a specific hill three days before the first quarter moon and stand under a yew tree. RAVEN.
Lazy Diana: The Podcast will be very much about magic and paganism for lazy people. The plan is to have episodes last ten minutes or less, updating twice a week, with each season being about 16 episodes long. There will be a two-week break between seasons, to give me time to write and record new episodes, edit them, and all that jazz.
For 2019, I want to actually make this podcast a reality! The plan is to have a website for it where people can download new episodes or listen to them on the site itself. I may pursue other platforms (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, etc), but… I’m not entirely sure how those work. More research will be needed there.
3: Launch the LGBT History Podcast/Radio Show
This has been a goal of mine since 2017, when I started Beyond the Rainbow. Beyond the Rainbow is an LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods. Because up until Ohio Valley Pride became a thing, there was no LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods.
I do still want to make the LGBT History podcast, for two reasons: a) it’s cool to read about LGBT figures in history, and b) the local radio station expressed an interest in airing it on their station. Their FM station. That broadcasts in the Wheeling, WV area. The mostly densely populated area in my neck of the woods.
This project (and Lazy Diana) had been on hold because I needed a half-decent microphone to record at home. Now, thanks to a Christmas present from my little sister, I have one!
The goal with this series is to update it once a week: this is to keep myself from being overloaded, and also because the radio station has only one time slot for this show to air. Episodes would be half an hour long, probably a little shorter to allow for advertising spots. Again, because that’s the length of time the radio station would allow.
4: Launch Indie Comics Hub
Have you noticed that there’s not a ton of indie comics coverage in the comics news hemisphere? It’s mostly Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and the like. The most indie it gets is Image comics and the occasional coverage of a webcomic that’s managed to garner more than 3000 regular readers.
Well, I plan to launch a website dedicated to indie comics.
Not Image comics. No.
I mean webcomics, small press, independent publishers, and the stuff you can only get at zine fests and comicons directly from the creators themselves.
The website will start with comic reviews and interviews. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember two blog post series’ I had running on this site before: Review Day Tuesdays, and Featured Artist Fridays. In fact, I did a Feature recently on a webcomic artist. Indie Comics Hub will be a website dedicated to just that.
(Plus maybe the occasional Top Ten list, and anything else particular to indie comics).
I hope to not only launch this site, but also grow it enough to bring on at least one other contributor. I hope to monetize it enough to actually pay this contributor, as well. But the first achievement to unlock is to make the dang site.
It will NOT be an online store. When I did my research, I discovered that there are roughly 6 billion online stores advertising themselves as “the hub to buy indie comics.” Indie Comics Hub will NOT be one of them.
5: Grow Patreon to $500 a month
This was a goal I had for 2018, but I neglected it. To be honest, I feel like I’ve neglected my Patreon page somewhat. I update it as consistently as I can, but I feel like I can do MORE with it.
So 2019 is the year I polish up the Patreon page and really drive for patron support. If you’re a patron on Patreon, you know I’ve already made a blog post asking for your feedback for what you would like to see more of in 2019. (And if you haven’t given feedback yet, PLEASE DO!)
If you’re not a patron on Patreon yet, why not? If you’re broke, that’s ok, there’s no pressure to pledge. But if you have the funding to pledge and you haven’t yet, I’d like to know why not. Is it Patreon as a system? Or are there rewards that are missing that you haven’t seen me offer yet?
Be honest and let me know. I want to improve my Patreon in 2019 and I cannot do that without your feedback.
6: Workout at the Gym at least once a week
(Insert joke about getting gym memberships and never using them here.)
Here’s where I disagree: I took weight training classes in high school. I was actually a weight lifter, believe it or not. My personal record is having bench-pressed 180 pounds. There was one time I did 210, but 180 was what I could bench consistently without straining myself.
Both of those weights are more than my own personal body weight. And I miss being able to lift and press things that were heavier than myself.
There’s a satisfaction I get in weight lifting that I don’t get in many other forms of exercise. That satisfaction is being able to see the progression and improvement of how much weight I can move. Being able to track that is a big part of why I like weight lifting so much.
The problem is: I can’t afford a gym membership at the moment. So the only way I can go to the gym is when my mom brings me along as a guest to Planet Fitness… whenever she decides to go. Or remembers to invite me.
However, my buddy and former Dungeons and Dragons player, Dana, was on the lookout for somebody who could tag along with her to the gym. She wants to get in shape, but doesn’t know how the equipment works. (Wee lamb didn’t even know what a bench press was).
And I was like, “TAKE ME WITH YOU, GRASSHOPPER.”
So the plan right now is, starting in 2019, I’ll be Dana’s plus-one at the gym. I show her how the equipment works and train her a bit, and I get to exercise. Win-win!
7: Start and Grow an Indoor Garden
Yes, I have a yard, but a) it’s tiny, and b) the enormous pine trees cast most of the place in shade for 90% of the day. The only space with consistent sunshine is the front of the house, and… we don’t have a front yard. We have a front sidewalk.
However, there’s a big freaking window in my living room that lets in a metric ton of sunlight every dang day. So the plan is to build a shelving unit and start growing some plants there.
I like green things, and I like having plants in a space. It’s aesthetically pleasing, cleans the air, and makes a space feel more alive.
Also, to be honest, I want to see if I inherited my late grandfather’s green thumb. He grew vegetables all year long thanks to his massive outdoor garden and the greenhouse porch he had built. He was most proud of his tomato plants – he was even buried with the tallest one that he had ever grown.
I want to see if I can start something like that.
The idea is to start with herbs and succulents – those are often the hardest to kill on accident. Especially basil. Basil is a surprisingly sturdy plant in my experience. I had a basil plant in Phoenix and it was exposed to constant sunlight. That sucker (his name was Nigel) never died. In fact, putting him in the shade was when he seemed sickly.
The other cool thing about growing plants indoors: FOOD. I want to be able to literally eat the fruits of this labor.
So those are my goals for 2019. There’s smaller ones, too, like drawing one sketchbook page a day, and writing one page a day. Those are connected to the larger goals for the year.
There may be a secret Part 3 of this post series. It would highlight my bullet journal and how I’m going to track all of these goals. But I have to get a bullet journal set up for 2019 first.
What are your goals for 2019? Let me know! I’d love to hear about them. Also, we can be accountability buddies – I want you to achieve your goals, too!
Alright, first blog post of 2017, almost a full week after the new year has started.
First, I want to catch y’all up on what’s been happening.
For the last two to three weeks of December 2016, I was not only celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with the family, but also…
mailing out Thoughtful Dinosaur rewards,
finishing a gig I started before Halloween,
finishing a private commission, and
preparing to transition to full-time freelancing for 2017.
You read right – due to some surprise circumstances from just before Christmas, I will be transitioning to full-time freelance work by the end of February 2017.
As such, when I thought of my New Year’s Resolutions, I thought about what would help me not only stay on track for work, but keep me happy and healthy while working out of a home studio.
(Not to mention that with the ACA being repealed, I would have no health insurance, meaning one of my safety nets would be gone. Gotta stay healthy so I don’t bankrupt myself on the Right-Wing Reich’s medical bills.)
With all this in mind, I came up with three goals to achieve daily: everyday I will
Draw one page in my sketchbook,
write 500 words.
These are to help build up to my big goals of the year:
make more art to compile into books, print series, and sketchbooks,
edit/rewrite 3 comic scripts to completion, and
de-stress more easily,
There are other goals in mind, but most are finance-related and I don’t want to go into those (unless you WANT me to talk about personal finance, in which case leave a comment below and let me know).
There is one other goal I have, but it has a bit of a varying schedule. That is to keep exercising and stay in shape.
My current day job keeps me active, but when I go freelance full-time, that day job activity is gone. I’ll need new ways to keep in shape.
This is going to sound like a sponsor but it isn’t – thankfully I have an app called 7 Minute, which times you through a 7-minute long workout. There’s the classic, abs, legs, and butt workouts to choose from, which is quite the change – back when I first had the app, the last two workouts had to be purchased or unlocked by doing specific circuits. Now that I uninstalled the app, then installed it again, the workouts are just there.
Another goal I have (because I’m an overachiever but also like incorporating new things into my routine) is to write songs on the ukulele.
This adorable cutie is my new ukulele. Her name is Freddy.
I’ve played ukulele before, but only memorized four chords to heart. Not only that, but I know near-nothing about music theory or how to write songs.
To correct this, I’m going to practice more chords more often, and train my ear and musical ability with a new app that is also not sponsoring this, Perfect Ear.
Keep in mind, though, that my musical background up to now has included a brief stint in concert music in middle school, a failed stint at learning guitar, a successful gig learning to play Taiko drums, and playing ukulele for a year before leaving it for nearly two and coming back to it now.
So, if you have tips or tricks on learning to play instruments and get better at them, or how or what to practice, please leave a comment below.
The other goals I have (drawing, writing, and meditating everyday) I have done before. Now it’s just a matter of getting back into the swing of it.
Next blog post I’ll be talking more about what to expect when I break out of the day job in February.
However, I do have a new pastel sketch to share with you:
There will be new pieces made soon – especially in the realm of T-shirt designs and other illustrations. Keep an eye out over at my RedBubble.
Also, I am considering making a few blog posts about either of these two topics. Which would you like to read about more?
The history of American comics
A beginner’s guide to freelancing
I want to hear from you. So please let me know in comments below.
This year has been ridiculously crazy for me: new boyfriend, a car accident, a broken wrist, moving to Arizona, and going full-time freelance. But next year I’m looking forward to more conventions, more books published, more comics, and more friends!
Let me know in comments: How did your year go? And what are you looking forward to the most?