Last year, around this time, I tried something new—made plans. They say that things don’t always go as planned. Maybe, it could be that I find that life is more interesting when I don’t follow any plan. Plans, to me, are like outlines for my novels. I write outlines, then never actually follow them. I place that sheet or two of paper in my folder and never look at it again. It always works out better that way. Since I never looked at last year’s plans after making them, this year, like every other year, I’m not going to bother with plans.
What I do have are lists. Here is a list of my lists:
Current Writing Projects
Future Writing Projects
Books to Read
Games to Play
Around the House Projects
I’m already about 15,000 words into Hope, Book 5 of the World In-between Series. For a series where most of the books run about 100,000 words, 15 is a drop in the bucket, but it is shaping up well. Once I get back into a post-holiday writing regimen, the words will be piling onto the page.
One thing I haven’t been doing is giving myself enough downtime. All work and no play is counterproductive. So, I am devoting time to play. I may play a game, watch tv or a movie, and read more (if possible). And I need to do this every day or every other day.
If I really think about it, reading isn’t considered downtime for me. I typically finish a book in three days. The next can start that day or a couple of days later, depending on the book. However, it seems that the more I read, the more I write.
Household projects cannot be downtime either, although I’m not writing or editing. I need time to recoup from those as well. One project that does relax me is gardening. Since my usual garden space has been overshadowed by the neighbor’s unruly hedge, a raised bed system needs to be built elsewhere. The only other sunny location I have is filled with rocks and little dirt. Once the beds are built and a cat and rabbit deterring fence erected, herbs and veggies can be wedged into the new soft dirt. I love to sit and watch plants emerge from the seeds inches under the surface. Watching my garden grow is in the downtime category unless I bring my writing outside.
Play will be looking for something interesting to stream on my tv, since I no longer watch television the usual way. It’s been almost two years without tv service. Best decision. This leads to binge watching, sometimes multiple seasons of, shows night after night until I need to find something new.
Also in the play category will be games that aren’t word games. That means no Text Twist, Decipher Me, and its ilk. (I’ll continue to play them, just not as real downtime.) I need to play more Planetside 2. I only play once every few months and I kinda … I’m not that good. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, it’s an online, free, player vs player, massive multiplayer, first person shooter game. It’s great for shooting out your stress, unless you’re dying every five seconds because another faction zergs the base you’re defending. For a more solitary gaming experience, I’m going to be installing Skyrim on this computer. Yes, I’ve tried Fallout 4. Wasn’t a fan. Maybe I just prefer killing monsters with a bow and arrows. I’m thinking my next computer purchase will be geared towards gaming so I can play more.
Not play per se, but definitely downtime would be cooking and baking. With my last name, how could food not be a relaxing interest of mine? Food has always been a big part of my life. There is nothing better than eating something you've made with family and friends. Watch my Twitter or Google+ feeds for sharing these culinary creations.
I am looking forward to all 2016 has to offer. I’ve already abandoned the outline for Hope and now exciting things are happening. This bodes well for the New Year.
Wishing all of you a happy and exciting 2016!