As this time of year is all about resolutions, I thought I’d throw mine into the mix. BUT…with a little twist.
Rather than trying to change my behaviours, I’ve decided to expand on what I already do, pushing myself further. To do this, I’ve set myself a series of challenges.
- Read 26 books. This one has been a goal of mine for the last few years and last year (aka 2016) I finally cracked that nut by reading 33 books! To achieve this, I carried a book with me everywhere, used all my spare minutes to read and may have significantly cut down on the amount of television I watched (there wasn’t much on anyway, or so I’ve been told). I may have also re-read a few books, including the Harry Potter series. This did speed things up a bit and while I wasn’t originally going to count them someone did remind me that they are still books, and not exactly short ones either. So this year, I’m going to try once again to read 26 books and will especially try to stay away from the Harry Potter books (unless I’m give the illustrated version of The Chamber of Secrets for my birthday at which point, I make no promises).
- Get 26 rejections. This may seem harsh, but I recently read about someone who aimed for 100 rejections each year. There are many reasons for this; the first is that to reach a high number of rejections, you have to send your work out there a lot. If you’re sending out applications, short stories and manuscripts all over the place, you get more practice at writing applications, short stories and manuscripts and therefore are more likely to get an acceptance once in a while. But if you don’t, it doesn’t matter, because a rejection is still working towards a goal.
- Write 2600 words each session at the desk. I decided that writing 26 words was too easy but wanted to include writing in my list of goals/resolutions. So 2600 it is! For some people it’s a lot, for others not so much. While I can often write more than this, 2600 seems like it may be achievable to reach, even on the days when I’m pushing the word count uphill in the rain with a rugby player pulling me back down. Plus, I recently discovered that a super large word count one day can kill all momentum the next day. But more of that in a later post.
I hear you ask, ‘Why 26? That’s an odd number. Why not 25 or 30 instead?’ Well, I’m glad you asked. You see, the year comprises of 365 days (well, at least this one will) which breaks down into 52 weeks and one day. This is often summarised to 52 weeks. Unfortunately, I am not yet at a stage in my life when I can read 52 books a year, get 52 rejections a year and write 5200 words every time I sit at the desk. Or I could, but it would involve giving up sleeping, eating and work (although not working wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have to buy food).
And so I broke the year down into smaller, more manageable chunks and came up with 26 (in case you haven’t figured it out yet, there are 26 fortnights in a year).
What all of this means is that I need to read one book, get one rejection and write 2600 words every time I sit at my desk by the 14th which is in 3 days.
Oh no, I only have 3 days.
I have to go.