As we slowly roll towards the end of the year it often comes to us to start looking towards the things we might want to achieve in the coming year. It’s a time for making plans, dreaming, wondering how we can shape the future; it’s time to spring clean the mind.
I’ve always found the best place to start with that is to take stock and look back at the year thats just passed. What plans did I have in place? Did I achieve them? What went wrong? What went well? What impacted those plans and skewed them off course? What could I have done better. It’s a time of reflection.
So, with that in mind, it’s time to roll out my GDRs (Goals, Dreams & Resolutions) review for 2018 and check out the stats. I already knew before I did this, they weren’t going to make for pretty reading:
- Of 9 Goals: 2 were completed
- Of 3 Dreams: 1 was completed; 1 partially completed
- Of 3 Resolutions: 1 was completed
Not great. Not great for a full year of work.
It’s pretty much taken as red that the goals you set out will be, with a bit of hard work and application, achievable. So to complete only two is really quite poor on reflection. After what was a great start to the year, everything just changed from the end of June onwards. I’d published a new chapbook as Chas Stramash (DIGITAL PENETRATION OF A TICKET MACHINE), published a new thriller novel (HUNTING JACK), and taken the first draft of a new novel through to completion. Things were looking good.
Then I received an opportunity within the sphere of my day job (linked to one of my dreams) and I simply had to take it. It would mean (hopefully) a happy and rewarding working life and so far this has proved to be the case. It has also meant fully committing myself to the my new career, which in turn has meant taking on a lot of new things, learning as I go, and a lot of days packed with hard work. Fulfilling, yes. Conducive to writing novels, absolutely not.
Dreams are tasks one would complete towards turning life dreams into actual achievable goals, so to complete one and move to forward partially, is something to be applauded. I’ve got to be happy with that no matter what else has or hasn’t happened to plan.
The failure of my Resolutions — which were mostly life improvement resolutions — was mostly down to my own laziness, pure and simple. The best it got was when I almost achieved one then more or less gave up after I’d got it into a good place, so this was particularly galling. The one I achieved is, however, very significant so I’m delighted with that.
One year ago when I wrote my GDRs for 2018, I had no idea what was in store in the coming months. I was also coming off the back of an extremely successful 2017 and maybe I got a bit carried away with what I imagined to be achievable. Maybe I was already biting off more than I could chew, or maybe I just hadn’t considered things might come together in the way they did. Either way, going into 2019 I realise I have to be much more realistic in what I can achieve, and more importantly, can’t. I am going to have to fight to find a balance between my work life and writing life, that has swayed back and forward to both extremes in the last two years.
It is time to balance the boat and ride the waves.
And to finish up, here’s my BEST OF 2018:
Best Album Bought: Call the Comet, Johnny Marr
Best Live Gig: Mogwai at Leith Theatre
Best Musical Discovery: Willie Nelson
Best Film (cinema): Solo
Best Film (TV/DVD): Roller Dreams
Best Series (TV/DVD): The Sinner (Netflix)
Best Fiction Book Read: A Day at the Office, Matt Dunn
Best Crime Fiction Book Read: Follow You Home, Mark Edwards
Best Non-Fiction Book Read: Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
Best Poetry Book Read: N/A
Best Author Discovery: Mark Edwards
Best Meal: Amanda Galbraith’s Summer Tasting Meal
Best Sesh: Diners Xmas Day Out in Paisley
Best Celebrity Encounter: When the Group Captain won a St Mirren signed football from Saints Club Captain, Stephen McGinn
Single Most Embarrassing Moment: Fake fall in the packed lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, Washington, Tyne & Wear
Saddest Moment: Death of our wee Crumble in my arms
Single Most Memorable Moment: Success of new career gamble