This will be short and sweet since it’s so belated, but I meant to do this at the beginning of the month: writing out some personal and professional goals for the new year.
This year, I’d like to:
1. Read more. To that end I will try to read 30 books this year. I figure that’s more realistic than 52, since I’m in grad school and freelancing and reading a lot of articles and single poems and criticism for classes that don’t necessary = a book. I’m currently finishing Langston Hughes’ autobiography and Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her, which is a wild, wonderful book about relationships that I feel stubbornly wouldn’t have gotten as much critical acclaim had it been written by a woman, and to that end, I want to strive to write about relationships in the searing, blunt way Diaz does to defy the “chick lit” category.
2. Eat healthier. To that end, I will try to avoid processed food and eat more naturally. That means good bye snacking and take-out/pizza, hello veggies. So far, so good, actually, thanks to my amazing chef boyfriend.
3. Publish at least one poem in a literary journal I admire.
4. Maintain my Twitter on a daily basis. I suck at this currently.
5. Graduate from Bread Loaf’s School of English in Oxford this summer. Already in motion.
6. Pitch my paper on silence and contemporary women’s poetry for publication in an academic journal. I will be presenting it at my second conference this summer in Cornwall, England, and will have plenty of opportunity to pitch to publishers there.
7. Write two fiction stories. I’m terrified about this, as I haven’t written fiction since high school, and some of, embarassingly, was fan fiction. I’m enrolled in a fiction workshop, so this will not be a problem–though writing two GOOD stories might be a stretch.
8. Be a better friend/family member–calling more, writing more, setting up dates.
9. Do yoga 6 days a week. So far this has been hard given my crazy schedule, but I really do feel better when I do it, especially since the majority of my day is spent at a desk. I somehow manage to stick to a running schedule just fine; I resolve to get better at a yoga schedule, too, even if it means working out twice a day.
10. BUDGET BETTER. Seriously. Money is the worst and I spent it way too frivolously. No more, especially since I have a UK summer lined up.
11. Be a more attentive and creative teacher. I’m already having so much more fun teaching this semester than in semester’s past now that I’m using blackboard in more nuanced ways having taking my training courses last semester.
12. Continue to be open to my wonderful, loving relationship with my boyfriend, whatever comes. He’s already taught me more about how to be a partner in the last six months than I’ve learned in my entire preceding 27 years.
13. Write at least 50 new poems this year.
14. Develop a weekly editing routine for old work.
15. Get quicker/less self-conscious at writing blog content. I seriously tinker with them, especially the pshares ones, for way too long.
A lot of these resolutions add up to spending more quiet time at home cooking and conserving cash and reading/writing– I can’t wait. I’m seriously excited about that prospect, especially since I feel so at home with myself lately. Our program director started off my first year of my MFA telling us to not be afraid to stay home on weekend nights while everyone else is out partying to do your work–at the time, I was like, uh, no, but now I get it. To that end, I’m so glad this is a three year program rather than a two year, as I feel like I’m finally producing the kind of work I want to with my MFA.
I don’t think I’ve started a year as contended as I am now–the lack of my usual anxiety is so freeing. 2015 feels like my year–though 2014 was the year of six weeks in Santa Fe, winning the Haiduke poetry prize, landing a paid gig blogging for Ploughshares, running a half-marathon, landing my first yoga teaching gig, learning how to teach online, presenting at my first academic conference, surviving heartbreak and finding new love. I’m excited for what else may come my way!