Posted in Blog, Personal, Thoughts On Writing, Writing

2017, and what comes after.

In 2016, I did a little post about what I had learned the year before (absurdly late, which is very me, if I’m honest), and in 2017, I did a similar post, and made some plans for the year ahead (again, kind of late, but this is just who I am at this point), so it feels kind of weird to be doing this post so early, but here I am, anyway.

First, I’m going to update you on how I did with my 2017 goals, and we can go from there.

  • Sleep More

Well, no. I didn’t quite get this done. Primarily because I now have to get up half an hour earlier due to changes with transport timetables where I live. Having to get up earlier makes me anxious when I try and sleep, because I worry I’ll wake up late, so I end up sitting up, trying my best to sleep, and failing.

  • Learn A Third Language

I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, but my Welsh is getting a lot better! I have been using many of the Welsh shows on BBC Iplayer to help me practice and get more familiar with conversational language, and have been using Duolingo every day to learn new things, so it’s going pretty darn well.

  • Stop Blaming Myself For Bad Things That Happened To Me

Well, I’m working on it. It’s a work in progress. I have to admit, the Me Too movement really helped me with this, because it helped me to rationalise my misplaced guilt and realise that other people felt the same way I did. At the start of the year, I sort of knew that these things happened to me, without me doing anything to cause them, but I was still mixed up with feelings of guilt and now, in a new year, I’m a little closer to being free of that.

  • Be Less Afraid Of Conversation

Again, it’s still a work in progress, but it is happening. I am finding myself more open and conversational, both online and offline.

  • Finish My Novel

ALMOST. I’m cutting it fine (very bloody fine actually), and my elusive novel has undergone so, so many changes, so many, in fact, that it isn’t actually a novel anymore and is now a collection of short stories, poems, a film, and an album, but the story of Marina and Grant is FINALLY being told, and I’m very excited to share it with you, at last.

  • Stop Referring To Myself As Old

I want to tell you that I managed this, but just this morning, I had a little whinge about turning 26 next month. 26 isn’t even THAT old in the grand scheme of things. On the bright side, next month, I get more presents, so, every cloud.

I have stopped worrying so much about death, though, which, is always nice.

Now, I didn’t quite fulfil them all, but I did do some pretty cool stuff that I didn’t even imagine possible.

This year, I released books, music, started a podcast, and started a Youtube channel. None of these were things I was actually expecting to do at the start of 2017, so I’m really pleased that I managed to pull it together and get those done.

On the personal side of things, I actually went on dates, with real people. This only really happened towards the end of the year, and it was only three, but it is still something of an achievement, considering how bad I am at socialising and so on.

2017 was a mess, but it wasn’t too bad.

I’m not looking to set any specific goals for 2018, I just want to have a good time, and do more of what I love, so hopefully, you’ll join me in that.


J x

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Posted in Blog, Personal, Thoughts On Writing, Writing

My 2017 Goals

Hola Amigos!

2017 is here! 2016 was a trek of a year, and quote difficult to get through in parts, but it is now time to look towards 2017, with careful optimism.

My goals for 2017 are:

Sleep More

I adore sleeping. If I could list it in the hobbies section of my CV, I would. Despite it being a favourite past time of mine, I do very little of it. I tend to get caught up with writing late in the evening, and before I know it, it is suddenly 1am, and my alarm is only four and a half hours away from forcing me out of bed. Therefore, I’ve decided in 2017, I’ll be attempting to get to sleep before midnight as often as possible, possibly earlier.

Learn A Third Language

I mentioned last year about learning another language, and began courses in Esperanto, and later Welsh, but I’ve yet to master either.

In 2017, I’m hoping to continue with at least one of them, and be able to handle basic conversations without having to constantly check.

Stop Blaming Myself For Bad Things That Happened To Me

In 2016, I accepted a lot of things in my life that had happened in the past, that I had been ignoring and pretending weren’t bothering me. However, accepting them did bring on a lot of guilt for not having said anything at the time, and therefore suffering through it far longer than I could have done.

While I’m not quite there yet (it is only January…), I’d like to reach a point where I don’t blame myself for what I went through or how long I went through it.

I can talk forever on other people not being to blame for bad things happening to them, but when it is me, I can’t help but review everything I did, and think about whether it really was my fault. I have to stop doing this, because there is no way I deserved a lot of the things in my past. There is no way a person can allow themselves to be hurt or abused, because the person who is hurting them is making a conscious choice to do so, and that is their actions, not the actions of the victim. Some people will argue that staying in the situation is allowing yourself to be victimised, but leaving a bad situation isn’t that simple. A lot of the time, you can’t find the confidence to be able to leave, you may feel like you deserve what is happening to you, you may physically be unable to leave. Just leaving isn’t an option for the vast majority of people.

What I’m getting at, is that a person shouldn’t be blamed for something they didn’t want to endure in the first place.

This all seems good on paper (or on screen) but whether I make it through the year without sinking back into blaming myself remains to be seen.

Be Less Afraid Of Conversation

If you’ve ever texted me, or called me, or tweeted me, or anything, you may find that I either don’t reply, or I reply sporadically. If you’ve ever tried to have a real life conversation with me, it has probably been an even worse experience. I haven’t yet figured out why, but I am quite intimidated by one on one conversations with people. Maybe it is a fear of not being liked, or saying the wrong thing? Either way, whatever it is, I’m going to try and move forward with this, because frankly, 2016 was horrible, so I’m sure most people I meet have endured far worse than a conversation with me.

Finish My Novel

This is perhaps my most optimistic one. I’ve been writing my novel since about 2013, and it has had so many changes, rewrites and so on, that I really should be finished, but I’m not. I would like to finish it by 2018, if possible, even if it never sees the light of day, I just want to be able to sleep at night knowing that I finally finished something I started when I was still young and optimistic about my abilities, or whatever.

Stop Referring To Myself As Old

You may notice I’ve already stumbled on this one, literally one paragraph up.

I’m only twenty four, but I feel about sixty (please no jokes about my taste in men) most days. I’m not that old, really, and I honestly have plenty of time to do all the things I want, have some adventures and adopt a turtle, so I would like to stop worrying and edging closer to a mid life crisis before my time.

When I was at university, someone I knew at school suddenly died in a tragic accident, and I think since then, as self absorbed as it may be, I’ve struggled with the idea of mortality. I knew before then that I’d eventually die, because I hadn’t applied myself in science class, and would therefore be unable to invent some kind of immortality serum, but I’d never really thought too deeply about it until then. Having someone I knew dying so young made me suddenly panic about how much time I had left, and how much of my elaborate and ridiculously big life plan I could fit into that time.

I began rushing to try and do multiple things at once. I started training to be a wrestler, I got engaged, I released a book that was nowhere near ready to be published, I started planning to move to London full time. I tried to do all the things I wanted because I figured I might not have the option of waiting until I was actually ready to do them. As it all turns out, that was a terrible way of doing things, and while I’m still busy and a bit ahead of myself, I’m hoping this year to slow down, put less pressure on myself and let things happen when they are supposed to.

I’m not overjoyed at the idea of death, and I don’t think I ever will be, but I’m hoping to let my life go where it goes, without worrying constantly and trying to do a million things at once, so I can enjoy the few things I have.

I’m twenty four, twenty five next month, and that is fine. It isn’t too late for me, and it never really was. I don’t have to hate ageing, because it isn’t an automatic end of my ambitions, it just means I’m better equipped to do what I want.

What are you hoping to do this year?


J x

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