A Malkuth of Me,  the writing life

2019 Affirmations – Goals

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. As a matter of fact, the last resolution I ever made (many years ago) was to never make another New Year’s Resolution, and it was the only resolution I’ve ever been able to keep.

Resolutions tend to set some folks up for failure, and admittedly, I’m one of those people.

Instead, I set goals and I make affirmations.

2019 is going to be my year of JOY.

Somewhere along the way, in the past few years, I became perpetually busy and forgot to enjoy myself along the way. I found myself living from event to event, not looking forward to anything, just anticipating everything being over with. That’s no way to live. It’s exhausting and frustrating and it results in… you guessed it — BURNOUT.

I literally said YES to so many opportunities and volunteer jobs that I became exhausted and burnt out. It was mid-2018 when I realized I finally needed to do something about it because I couldn’t keep moving forward feeling like everything in life, even the fun stuff, was an obligation where I just needed to “get it over with.” Mind you I’d been in this place for over a year before I finally figured it out.

My key problems were:

  1. I was taking on way more than I could handle, thinking I could handle it. And while I was able to handle it all, I dreaded every minute of it and was an anxious, stressed out mess. Everything had to be PERFECT and when something went wrong, I would obssess on what went wrong and not all the things that went well.
  2. I forgot to enjoy myself. A lot of what I was doing were things I’ve enjoyed emmensely for years, but suddenly they became these lifeless, painstaking tasks.
  3. I no longer looked forward to anything.
  4. I was spending so much time volunteering my time to helping others and organizations, that my writing productivity just wasn’t there. I wasn’t working on MY GREAT WORK, I was too busy doing other things and socializing with my tribe. While socializing with the tribe is fun, educational, and a wonderful experience overall – when all you’re doing is socializing, guess what isn’t getting done? Yep. That’s right. Very little writing.

I needed to make some serious changes. Here is my rather extensive list of do’s and don’ts for 2019.

  1. I WILL BE SETTING TEACHING LIMITS TO 2 Major Classes (Potentially only 1)1 Minor Class for Temple Only
  2. I WILL NOT BE DOING ANY 30 DAY CHALLENGES OR WORKSHOPS (minus existing commitments) IN 2019 – While these are highly educational for readers, they add an extra layer of stress to an already tight schedule.
  3. I WILL BE LIMITING MY INVOLVEMENT IN GROUPS, just because I find myself minding other people’s business more than my own when I get overly involved. I really need to mind my own business this year, quite literally.
  4. I WILL BE LIMITING MY VOLUNTEER TIME to specific events and prior commitments. For example, I can commit to Novelrama and specific events for my temple. I cannot commit to all the things. Just a select few.
  5. I WILL BE LIMITING BOOKSELLING AND WRITING EVENTS. I have been going gangbusters on writing events the past three to four years. So beyond the writing retreat in March and the Comic-Con, I am taking this year off from Colorado Gold, and other bookish events. This also means I won’t be accepting any nominations for recognition or accolades if it requires me to attend additional events. I need some rest and recovery and I need to give myself that. Not to mention the events take away from my writing time, which I sorely need.
  6. I HAVE HIRED OUT MY SOCIAL MEDIA AND RETAINED MY PA. That means my PA will start answering PMs and Email for me (unless it’s a close friend or business related) and my Social Media will be dealt with as scheduled, freeing up more time. I want to concentrate on writing, editing for friends, family, and my home this year. I have a sick cat that needs daily meds, I need my daily yoga practice, and this could finally be the year THE GREAT OFFICE PURGE is finally complete. Remember I got sidetracked on that back in 2016 and never really got back to it.
  7. I AM RECOMMITTING TO MY OFFICE HOURS and going to work hard to stick to them. Email that only I can answer will be answered in the afternoons between 3-4PM. My PA answers email once a week, and will be scheduling readings.
  10. I AM COMMITTING TO GET MORE SLEEP. I’ve spent a lot of years running on 6 hours of sleep a night, but I have some sleep goals – 8 hours a night at least 4 days a week. Ultimately I’d like to get 8 full hours nightly. We’ll see.
  11. MAGICKAL PRACTICE GOALS – I am currently quite pleased with my existing daily magickal and spiritual practices and will be retaining those as well. Some modifications will happen, like adding some qigong and breathing exercises to my meditation, but nothing drastic. If anything, I’d like to increase my dedicated temple time by 4 hours a week (from the current 8 hours to 12 hours)
  12. THE PUBLISHING SCHEDULE IS FLUID – While I have goals of what I’d LIKE to get done, I am NOT going to beat myself up if it doesn’t get done. I want my creative process to be a joyful experience, not something I don’t look forward to every day (due to too many distractions and administrative to-dos).
  13. MY FIRST PRIORITY WITH MY WRITING IS WRITING and I will write something EVERY DAY. Even if it’s just a paragraph. I started this in December to kind of get myself into the habit. So far it’s working well. I don’t always succeed, but then I don’t always need to. Some days are still more productive than others, and that’s okay.
  14. IT’S OKAY TO TAKE A DAY OFF AND DO NOTHING. This is the one thing I need to remind myself of. Being a workaholic means feeling guilty if you’re not constantly doing something. I’m tired of being a workaholic. I’m tired of being constantly busy.
  15. IT’S OKAY TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE WAIT (ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE NOT GETTING PAID). I have a bad habit of being a people pleaser and putting others ahead of myself and even my family. That is not a healthy habit at all! My family puts up with it only because they love me. 🙂 I realize this is a problem and have decided to do something about it.
  16. I AM GOING LIGHT ON INTERVIEWS/PODCASTS/WEBCAST invitations from others. I’ll do a few, but they will be sporadic.
  18. I AM CUTTING DOWN ON THE NUMBER OF DARKERWOOD PUBLISHING AUTHORS by eliminating the existing anthologies. I just don’t have the manpower or time to manage the administrative paperwork the anthologies generated. Cutting things I’m no longer passionate about gives me more time to make time for the things that bring me joy.

Yes – it’s a pretty big list and I’m sure I’ll modify or add to it as I go. I’m sure I’ll slip up and do stupid things. I’m still learning how to best cultivate my joy and get my head back in the game. I’m proud of my plan, my goals, and my quest to reignite my joy.

What is your keyword for the year and how do you plan on making it come true for you?

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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