Writing a book takes a lot out of you. I like to think of it like I have a mental reservoir of words somewhere, and writing a book uses that reservoir. It’s exhausting and mentally draining and that’s amplified by the fact that I was also finishing up my semester while writing. Querying is an emotionally stressful process. In the midst of all of this, I think it is so important to take some time for myself and do a few projects before starting on a new book.
I already have the idea for the book and part of me is itching to write it but I know that it’s the most ambitious project I’ve taken on, and I need to give my mind some time to rest. So I’ve been working on my 100 Book Summer project (I read 7, I’ll post about them in the next few days) and working in general, and doing a few things around my apartment. But I’m also taking some time to re-evaluate my goals. This is something I do every six months or so, and I think it’s a nice system to have.
So I have a planner and in January, I wrote down my goals for the year, and a few long-term goals that I’m working to achieve. So far, I’ve crossed out half of my yearly goals (publish a poem, publish a story, write a book, make Dean’s List, etc.) and I’m making decent progress towards my life goals. I don’t want to keep working on a goal that I no longer want, though, so I take this time to do some soul-searching and see how my wants have changed since the last time I thought about them. Then I write these down, and I usually write myself a letter saying who I am, what I like, what I love, and what I want. I keep these letters in my email.
It’s so great to have a physical record of everything I’m trying to achieve and what kind of person I am when I’m working towards them. It’s also good reinforcement that it’s okay to fail or abandon certain dreams. Sometimes they’re not your dreams anymore and there is nothing wrong with that. And it’s amazing to look back at my goals from, say, freshman year and see how much I have changed over the years – and how much I’ve accomplished. It really lightens the feelings of failure that come with being a college student in the twenty-first century.
I hope this inspires all of you to go write down your goals! You’re more likely to achieve them if you have them on paper, I’ve heard, and putting things on paper is apparently one of my favorite things.