Looking Back at 2016 & Forward to 2017

So 2016 is up. A lot of people are immensely grateful regarding 2016 as the worst year ever. I’m assuming most people are being hyperbolic in regards to that so I won’t bother with the obvious arguments as to why it isn’t. It’s been a mixed bag for me, I still don’t think I’ve reached a point where I’m truly satisfied (12th grade, my final high school year was pretty smooth) but it certainly wasn’t so bad as 2014 for me.

Looking back at 2016, there were a few negatives. I’ve had more hours at work and a steady schedule which unfortunately has limited my ability to go back home to see my friends and family. And yet, I did make some genuine new friends at work that I talk to on a frequent basis. Still, my job isn’t something I’m proud to talk about (standard fast food joint) but I’m also in no rush to find something more. I’m graduating in 2018 if all goes as planned and I don’t want to find any sort of run-of-the-mill job, my first serious job will need to be something I’m genuinely interested in.

I read a great deal of comics (though ultimately flaked after about a month of buying them because I ran out of money and time), and watched a great deal of wrestling (this is where I am right now like I was back with comics, reviewing frequent Indy shows and what not). I’d love to find a Marvel subscription service with comics as soon as they come out but I imagine they’d be making a loss, still, I’d pay 20$ for that sort of service. I also reviewed and watched a lot of Anime but nothing really held my attention for the Fall season like Erased and re:Zero did before.

The hallmark of my year was of course finishing the first draft of my novel. I pat myself on the back for it but I also recognize that I’m still far from where I want to be, I need to finish editing the novel to a sound structure, and re-edit so that the prose is up to pace, then to start submitting. 4 months and I’ve made decent progress but not anywhere close that I want to be. But again, most people don’t finish even the first draft of the novel, so proud of what I’ve done, looking forward to what’s to come.

I’ve started and dropped a bunch of hobbies. Game making. Scripting. Screen plays. Reviews. Game streaming. Short story writing. Goals like writing 1M words (I imagine I actually did accomplish this if I kept track of it though) or writing a certain amount each day. I need to increase my commitment levels to certain projects.

Now looking into 2017.

I want to firstly make sure that everything goes smoothly with University. I need to make sure I’m passing all my courses and try not to get overwhelmed trying to balance out school and work.

I think, to stay sane, I need to keep absorbing all of the geek culture stuff that keeps me going. Anime, TV, Wrestling, Games, Movies, Comics, Books. I wish I had the time and dedication to be able to posts about all the stuff that I love right now but I also realize that at this point I can’t. I think when I graduate I’ll be able to consistently review all of that stuff that I do enjoy and also keep up with it but between school and work, that’s not feasibly right now.

Recognizing that I have a limited time between work and school, let me try to stop finding other hobbies besides my main focus, finishing the novels I start up. I’ve often thought about self-publishing (jumping into churn mill and producing several novels a year) but this is a half-measure for where I am right now and just a desire for instant success. Not ruling out self-publishing as it is but if it ever happens, it’ll be when I’ve graduated and have time to make it work. For now, once I finish this novel, I’ll submit it and see if a combination of skill & luck will work out for me. Then start a new one and use what I’ve learned to better myself.

Oh, and maybe stick to an EASY and ACCESSIBLE writing goal: do some measure of written work on one of my projects every day. Doesn’t matter if it’s editing, or outlining or actually extending the manuscript. Do something every day and it’ll pile up. That’s the goal.

Second goal: keep my logs. I always tell myself I’ll keep track of what I do across the year then end up flaking, as with many other things, this year I really want to stick with keeping track of what I’ve been watching and what not.

Skill wise, I want to be a better writer but also a better critic. I think some of my courses will help huge in this regard if I start taking them seriously as opposed to mostly skipping them as I’ve been doing this past semester (still passing tho’).

Oh, and save money. Working for a year and seeing an empty bank account is not flattering. I’ve got a lot of bills to pay but no reason I can’t rack up some savings across the year. Extra goal is to get a car but my hopes aren’t up.

Fifth goal I suppose: one post a week on here, bare minimum, for all of the year. I’ve posted a decent amount this year, with various extended breaks throughout but had near 1500 views overall (with about half that visitors) and sure it’s not much and you don’t know who is actually reading (a lot of people were into the anime reviews hilariously enough) but I’d like to get some rhythm this year. Once a week, make it happen.

That’s my 2016 retrospective and my outward look towards 2017. Here’s to a better, more productive year.


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