Mid-Year Review!

Can you believe we've hit the halfway mark in 2016? It was the Wimbledon final yesterday, everyone is talking about their summer holidays and I finally, finally didn't wear tights to the office on Friday.

So what's the next obvious thing to think about? Goals, of course! Has the first half of this year felt like an uphill slog for everyone or is it just me? Back in April, I wrote a post talking about my goals for the year. I thought I'd update you on how it's going as I find that discussing these things publicly keeps me motivated. So thanks for keeping tabs on me -- much appreciated.

1. Decide what to do with the book I wrote last year. To jog your memory, this was a non-fiction memoir I wrote about moving to the U.K. and establishing my life here. It doesn't work in its current form. I've decided to write an extensive book proposal to try to focus it and plan to send it out to agents. Instead of trying to re-write (which frankly I've already tried to do and failed), I think it's a good idea to take a step back and re-frame it.

2. Write my first full fiction novel by the summer. Hmmmm... well, this hasn't happened. But I have written 20,000 words. I'm now at the stage where I can't remember what I've written, so think it's time for a chapter plan. I broke out Excel last week to keep a synopsis of each chapter and the characters that appear. Will finish this before continuing to write.

3. Write at least one more novel in the series in the second half of the year. As I said back in April, this is really a stretch. However, I have a plan. If I can finish the first novel before November, as well as do a chapter plan for the second one, I could -- potentially -- do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to kick start the second. (If you don't know what this is, read this, where I talk about the start of my adventures in trying to write a novel in a month back in 2013.)

4. Get my U.K. driving license. Done, done and done.

5. Become more active on social media. This is so hard. I don't know how anyone has the time. I've heard advice recently to decide on your one platform and stick with it. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest or a blog (do blogs even count anymore?). And let's not even get started with LinkedIn. I feel like I just can't keep up -- there are too many feeds and too much noise. I definitely need a better strategy on this. Any and all advice welcome.

6. Finish decorating my study. I have now gone back to the upholstery store to order a blind. But it has been so long since they measured that I appear lost in the system. I'm working on it. Also, where do you keep your printer? Mine is sitting on the floor, which looks odd. At least all of the things I've had framed are on the wall.

7. Expand our kitchen. People, this is really happening. The Hub wanted to put plans on hold due to Brexit, but I insisted we need to support the economy. We have the plans back and I am meeting with the architects this week to work on them. Will be doing some drafting myself beforehand (missed career move: architect/builder/designer -- this is so fun!).

8. Add pictures to all my old blog posts without them. Forget it. This seems like a waste of time. Does anyone disagree?

9. Make at least one photo album from my digital photos. I haven't done this yet, but I have decided on the album it will be. This is the most important step, the rest is easy.

10. Figure out a way to be writing -- and meditating -- every single day. As Toni Morrison said, you've got to "write at the edges of the day". But man, it's hard. I keep switching between trying to write before work and before bed, but both have their unique challenges. And although the weekend writing works really well as when it comes to social invites, I guard that time with my life, I still haven't worked out how to avoid working on the weekends when work gets really busy. After all, I do get paid for this work (which is important when you want a new kitchen). Good thing I still have half a year to sort this out.

The meditation is actually going O.K. I am being sensible and sticking to only 5 minutes a day until the habit is really ingrained. Once I can do it every single day, then I'll up the time.

So that's it folks. Thanks for listening and keeping me motivated and I'll give you another update at year end.

Photo credit: Illustration Friday: Path. via photopin All rights reserved by the author


  1. Sounds like progress! I'm sure you'll settle into a routine you're both happy with. Keep writing!!

    1. Thank you! I have days where I wonder why I'm trying to do this other "thing", but I can't seem to stop myself!

  2. Some of your goals sound like habits to me, habits that will help you reach your goals. Or are we talking about breaking down the larger goals into do-able daily bits? Any way you cut it, you're meeting your goals! Do NOT add photos to old posts. Look back, but don't go there ... go forward!

    1. You're absolutely right. I did mix them up a bit :) I think 5, 9 & 10 fall into the habits category. I'm actually always working on my habits as I know they're really the only way to achieve the goals. And thanks for the reassurance on not adding the photos in. That was nuts. I don't have time for that!!


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