Can we still be friends? I feel like I've been so cliche as of late.
I mean, I'm telling you about my Fangirl tendencies, jumping bandwagons, updating you on my goals. It's like I'm a real writer with readers who are interested in my life. AS IF.
But anyway! I had some hefty goals to throw out into the world in January, so I want to make sure and check in with progress, or lack thereof, periodically. I say "periodically" because "monthly" feels like quite a tidy commitment... especially since I'm over here trying to accomplish my goals and stuff.
Goal #1: Read 52 books this year. (ON TRACK!) I read 5 books in January, two of which I was already halfway through by the end of December. Cheating? Maybe. I read The Girl on the Train, All the Light We Cannot See, Outliers, The Serpent King, and All American Boys. Part of my struggle with reading is that it frustrates me to no end that I can't chip away at a list. The more I read, the more my list grows exponentially. I write down books mentioned by the books I read, I write down other books by the authors I'm currently reading (I officially want to read everything Jason Reynolds has ever touched.), and I also write down all the current and upcoming books as well. Life is just unfair for a reader sometimes. But ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, I can feel my brain growing and I can see my ability to match books with readers begin to flourish as well.
Goal #2: Establish a sustainable exercise practice. (ON TRACK, STILL IMPROVING) Went to OrangeTheory fitness 2+ times a week this whole month. Walked when I needed to blow off steam. Proceeded to come home and eat mostly nachos. I have yet to resemble Erin Andrews. I'll update you next month.
Goal #3: Submit writing for publication; aim for at least 5 NO's. (NEEDS MORE WORK) I have done a whole lot more writing and submitting this year than last year, and maybe any year in the past. You can find me on Three Teachers Talk, if you're interested in some of my most recent workshop teaching thoughts. I have some BIG GOALS for this one that I may share later, but they are entirely intimidating. However, they might get me closer to my NO'S!
Goal #4: Experiment with different ways of assessing independent reading. Guys, this one is HARD. This article on ditching the reading log was eye-opening for me a few days ago, and I will be trying a few of these things. The problem with the reading log thing is, I am hoping to develop real readers, but real readers don't track reading in a log!
Goal #5: Apply to Graduate School. (CHECK!) Dunzo!! Skipped the GRE, which managed to keep me alive. Hoping my GPA and my gutsy, out-of-the-box personal statement will pique someone's interest. Praying for it every single day. God, sorry for the broken record.
Goal #6: Apply for the Book Love Foundation Grant. (CHECK!) Done and done. Another aspect of my broken record prayer life. I'm also hoping Penny Kittle runs across my name SOMEHOW, and says, "Ohhhh, this is that Jessica Paxson girl. She might go bankrupt if we don't give her some more books for her classroom. She also is a hot mess, so I guess she needs a mentor. Maybe I can help." Yep. That's how it's going to go.
This month shouldn't be a whole lot different from last month, although I will be sitting and waiting a whole lot more than writing like crazy and asking for help. Ebbs and flows. Oh, except I will be writing like crazy to get those publication NO's!
How are your goals for the new year going?