In 2015, my lucky number is going to be 12.
Ever since I took on the challenge of writing 12 books last year and was largely successful in it, I have been obsessed with pro-active goal setting and personal deadlines. It is easy enough to adhere to deadlines when they are set by your boss or when you are obligated to meet them. I think that is precisely the reason why we have many successful professionals but often unsatisfied and sometimes, downright miserable human beings on earth.
We give great respect and dedication to the deadlines set by others, but not by us. When, actually, it should be the other way around. Or, at the least, equal.
I will be frank – last year was not easy, to sit each month and churn out a book. And it was not even a novel, but just a chapter book (5k to 15k words), and it was, pardon my French, frickin difficult. It was possible only because I promised myself (and the entire world!) that I’d give it my best shot each month. Only that promise helped me experience a great educational year, one that gave me 12 first drafts – a feat I have never achieved before in my life.
So, I am upping the ante this year. FIVE challenges, instead of one.
- 12 books to read and 12 books to give away, every month (only way I can think of, to stop the habit of buying new books without reading the old ones)
- 12 manuscripts to edit (I wrote them last year, now I have to get them ready for editors to read!)
- 12 kilos to lose by the end of the year (all thanks to Fast Food Nation and a new found love of fitness)
- 12 short stories to write (as the host of Short Story Challenge 12×12, I am simply going to continue the challenge from last year)
- 12 artist’s dates (as part of Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way creativity program – I plan to do this every year, I fail to do it every year but NOT this year!)
Phew! And that’s why this update took so long… because I need all this time to identify my personal and professional goals for this year. I am enamoured with the concept that if you aim for the stars, at the least you may reach the eagle’s nest. I love the thrill of meeting a professional deadline, and let’s accept it, like all others, I love earning money. I really do. But my epiphany from last year – brace yourself for the cliché – is that personal deadlines – the ones that are not dictated by money or obligations – are good for the soul. And this year, I am all about the soul.
Am I chewing more than I could swallow? Perhaps. But there are very practical reasons for these goals, as explained above. All this year, you can expect posts on these topics – health, fitness, creativity, publishing and literature – as I try my darn best to win all five challenges.
If any of you have the same goal(s) as these, please write to me and we will go on this journey together :-). And as you can see, none involve writing one book a month, so I’m very confident 2015 is not going to be tougher than 2014!