Monday, May 13, 2013

Five Months In, How Are Your Resolutions?

Photo by:  husin.sani
While I have some down time (I'm waiting for my clothes to dry so I can get ready to go to a play--obviously I'm writing this on a weekend), I thought I'd fill you all in on how my New Year's resolutions are going.

In a phrase: ups and downs, really.

1. Get back to counting calories to reach my goal weight--incidentally, that's 200 lbs.

Has been going piss-poorly. I have a hard time counting calories and giving a shit about my weight when I'm knee deep in a big ol' shit bucket of stress--and that's what the last couple of months have been.  I've been quieter on Twitter, you might have noticed, for the same reason.  I mean, the blog hasn't really suffered, and lately I've found a burst of inspiration for writing, but mostly the past few months have been a pretty grim slog, and I'm only just getting to the other side of it.  Things should clear up soon, thankfully.  Until then, I'm not really giving two fucks about the diet at the moment.

2. Start trying to work in more exercise.

3. I'd like to make more time to read. Try to read an hour a day, and to try to fit in 25 books in 2013.

I can't really guarantee that I've been reading an hour a day, but I have been reading relatively consistently before bed.  I gave up on reading NOS4A2--any novels really--because my brain couldn't parse long narratives.  Instead, I've been reading tons of short stories.  I finished Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts, and I've been working my way through The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 22. Lots of great stuff in both of those--and I've been trying to read more horror anyway.

4. I want to branch out into different genres than I currently read--history, political science, biographies, science, and books by and about females.

I've been trying, but many of the non-fiction genres require more brain than I currently have.  I did read one political science book, and I've been trying to read a fascinating book about the fast food industry and it's hand in shaping our culture in America, but I just can't concentrate at the moment.  I have been reading more females--and buying books by and about females.  I bought books by Jaye Wells, Delililah S. Dawson, Octavia Butler, and I plan to purchase a book or two by N.K. Jemisin as soon as I get a little bit more money.  Once again, stress has kept me from tackling novels, really, but I bought and have been reading from Chicks Kick Butt, a book of short stories by and about kick-ass women.

5. I would like to start getting to bed at a decent hour.

Successful-ish, I'd say.  Not great, but certainly better than I was doing before.

6. I will try to write 1000 words a day on fiction, three times a week.

Nope.  Not really.  Although!  While I haven't been hitting my 3000/words a week goal, I have been writing more.  I've been writing about three days a week-ish, or working on editing stories. I try to do an on-again, off-again cycle where I write a story, then edit a story, then write a story, then edit a story.  I take about a few days off between writing editing a story and writing a new one, however, because it's rather difficult to switch between edit and write mode.  How Chuck Wendig does that each day is baffling to me.

Anyway, the plus side to this is that I have 3 stories submitted right now.  No guarantees on them, of course, but I'm putting stuff out there and it feels good.

7. I will try to write two to three blog posts a week. 

I have actually been doing pretty well with this.  Not all of the posts have been glorious musings of Deep, Important Things.  To avoid burning myself out, I've been adopting Tobias Buckell's "brain salad" method where he quotes news stories and comments on them.  It lets me make brief comments and initial thoughts when I don't have time for big, long write-ups.

8. Taking one weekend a month and disconnecting from the Internet entirely.

After the initial time, my wife and I have fallen off of this practice.  It's just been too tempting for both of us lately to come home and veg out in front of the TV while scrolling through our Twitter/Facebook/Google+/FriendFacer/MyGoogs/ShoutyMcShoutBox feeds to warrant turning it off.  We've both been under a lot of stress--it's pretty apparent when you enter our house, which desperately needs to be picked up.  We're both seeing a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel--at least for a bit in her case--so, things should stabilize in a few days.

And that's my check in.  What about you?  How have your New Years resolutions been coming?  Or have you made some resolutions recently that you'd like to talk about?  Either way, how's things?