So I recently did the retrospective on how 2021 went, and now I get to make the world laugh by dreaming about 2022. I said last time that I really didn’t want to get to the end of the year and be disappointed again – but I was. However, really that is my dream. I want to feel like I’ve made progress, as most of the time I feel like I’m getting nowhere and that time is running out.
BUT (and it’s a big but!) I am going to be aided in my quest for progress this year by a big life change – I’m moving house. I’ve said this before, I said it in my retrospective because once it was decided early October everything tanked as the chaos consumed me. We still haven’t sold and I don’t know when we will (but I hope it’s soon) and so we don’t know where we’ll be moving (as there’s no point in looking at houses that sell before we can buy). However, I think it’s a reasonably safe statement to make, to say that by this time next year I will be writing this post in a different house – my own house. I have big hopes that having my own space will make a lot of difference to me, but I’ve got to get there first which means surviving the process.
The blog circle topic says “tell us about your plans for the year?” and well my initial plan is to survive and stay sane. Obviously I want a lot more than that. I’ve made up my yearly goals for the progress thread and I’ve signed up for an initial 100k on WriYe. I’ve titled this post ‘Impossible Year’ after the Panic! At the Disco song because it felt fitting. I don’t know how the year is going to shake out, which makes planning the year feel impossible, as I could well be setting myself up for failure by wanting too much but at the same time it’s so sad to say I want less than I do.
I articulated this pretty well on discord when I was voicing my frustration. I said what I needed to do was find it in me to forgive myself for 2022 being another rebuilding year, to forgive myself for not writing if the chaos of moving distresses me too much. I was asked why I need to forgive myself and this was my answer:
Because I don’t work. I’m on disability and I hate it. I want so desperately to contribute something, to be able to do something that makes me a productive member of society. I struggle with the writing because I feel like I’ll never be good enough but it’s all I’ve got left – it’s like my last hope. I can’t do anything else, so if I can’t do this either… without it I’m less than nothing.
Less than nothing. Kinda says it all.
So yeah I’ve signed up for 100k on WriYe and I’ve said I want to finish 1 novel length draft. I’ve also signed up for luddite on top, so that’s technically 2 novels (although cosy mysteries are usually more akin to novellas). That’s what I signed up for but it’s not what I truly want because deep in my heart I want a lot more. Deep in my heart I dream of being productive, of being focused. I have the time to do so much and it burns how little I do. I could do so much more if I could just somehow switch off my depression and anxiety and get out of my own way.
I’m trying a new thing with WriYe this year of being more proactive in breaking the yearly goals down into monthly ones, and then again into weekly tasks. I’m hoping this will lead to greater consistency and I’ll get more of the goals completed but we’ll see. I’ve always been great at making lists – lousy at actually executing them. I know what I have to do, it’s making myself do it that’s the problem.
It’s not just writing that I have goals for in 2022. Once again I want to push forward with the art, that’s second in importance only to the writing. I want to finish the course I signed up for last summer and get a decent amount of practice in (my usual goal of 12 drawings a year). I have some other goals too about reading, exercise, lego and then even video games and TV as I figured I should be honest. These unfinished tasks weigh on me, however petty and unimportant some of them might be, so I stuck them on the list.
There’s a scene on Leverage and a line in it replays in my head constantly. It’s “We all had dreams once, Liam.” and I do, I do have dreams. I feel very defeated about the dreams, like they’ll never happen and battling that fatalism and despair is very difficult. I want to indie publish again, I don’t dream of riches but I do dream of enough to pay the bills. A not so secret dream of mine is to get good enough with the art to maybe draw my own graphic novel, or perhaps my own book covers. These dreams won’t happen in 2022, as I said I have to forgive myself for it being another rebuilding year. I guess what I really dream is that I’ll put the building blocks in place so that I can realise my dreams in 2023 (which doesn’t sound like a real year). I don’t really believe that I’ll be able to do it but that is my dream.
So to circle back to the question “tell us about your plans for the year?” – move house is my first plan, work my way through my yearly goals is my second plan. If I manage both of those then I won’t be satisfied, but I’ll have made some measure of my progress. My third plan I guess is to go above and beyond my stated goals, to feel like I’ve really made a giant leap forward – perhaps in essence what I’m searching for is some confidence in myself. I currently don’t have any but I would love to feel hope again. I want to feel like I’m on track, like I’m getting somewhere, like this isn’t all just a complete waste of time.
Good luck everyone in 2022. May we end the year in a better place than we started.