Sunday, January 5, 2014

Q & A time

Early this week, Jenny at Pearson Report posed a few year-end questions, and I thought I'd have a go at it...

Did you accomplish what you had set out to do in 2013?

Partly. I set out to finish the draft of Tiamat's Nest and put it through a round of critiques, then crack on with self-publishing Ghosts of Innocence. I've accomplished enough of that to make me happy. Draft and critiques sitting to stew now, and concrete steps towards publication taken.

After a slow and late start, I managed to get out on my bike more than the previous year.

On the other hand, I thought I was handling stress and work/life balance reasonably well, but I think recent events have shown otherwise. I've tried to maintain an even keel at work, but the stress of working in an impoverished public service takes its toll no matter how well you manage it. I suspect that the simple act of constantly having to actively manage stress responses is itself becoming unmanageable.

Are you happy with your journey so far?

On the whole, yes.

I just wish I'd abandoned the traditional publication lottery and taken things into my own hands a couple of years ago. Where it will lead is anyone's guess, but it's been a big relief to say that I'm not playing somebody else's waiting game any longer. Life's too short.

Will 2014 be “the year”? What does that even mean to you?

For me, it means having a paying publication to my name, and I intend to make it happen!

Did you make any resolutions? Have you made the same ones before?

No. I'm not a "resolution" person. I make plans as and when they make sense to me, and set myself goals accordingly.

Why is the first of January different than the first of any other month? Or is it?

The human mind likes to classify, partition, and pigeon-hole. It's what we do to make sense of the universe, and it's only natural to do the same thing to time. Each division - weeks, months, years - is only arbitrary, but it is psychologically significant to the human mind. So, yes, January first is different for me because I perceive time in cycles and this represents a renewal to me. A mental intake of breath ready to clear out some cobwebs and attack life with new vigor.

And… last but not least…

If you could change one thing about “you” what would it be?

I'm highly risk-averse, which is why I've been dithering so long about self-publication. If I were to change anything, I would like to be more proactive and less timid about risks.

Thanks for the idea, Jenny.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

I'm a low risk kind of a person does tend to hold one back a bit.

David Batista said...

I think you have indeed been taking a more proactive approach -- you've started already!

And, yes, I perceive the first of January as turning over a new leaf. It's a good feeling to start from the beginning again and know even a small measure of how you want the rest of the year to play out.

Good luck!

Botanist said...

Delores, I think also that having taken such a big leap to emigrate from Britain to Canada, I maxed out my risk-taking quota for the decade :)

David, I think finding ways to help us let go of the past and think optimistically about the future is a big benefit to our state of mind.

Unknown said...

Nice questions. I think it is important to question ourselves and give honest answers. When we get an honest look at our past, we go move on more effectively.

Pat Hatt said...

Funny how the human mind does need some state of time, the season is the only thing different about Jan 1st really, in some places

Pearson Report said...

Great insights on how you see the new year unfolding.

Your last answer will be key to getting the book up and running; it sounds like you’re tackling your “risk-aversion” demons and that’s more than half the solution.

I live by this motto:
“Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear will be certain.”

Thank you for taking the time to post your answers to these questions - I wish you every success in accomplishing your goals for 2014.

Cheers, Jenny

Botanist said...

Lady Lilith, you can thank Jenny for the good questions. I hope you popped over to her blog to see her own answers :)

Pat, it's just an arbitrary point on the calendar, really, but still has psychological significance.

Jenny, you nailed it! Thanks.

Jean Davis said...

Sounds like you had a productive 2013 and this year will be even more so.

I like to think of January as an adult reset time. Kind of like a new school year for kids. :)

Botanist said...

I hope so, Jean. And "adult reset time" sounds way more relaxing than "new school year" :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Happy New Year! Maybe 2014 will be the Year of the Risk. :)

Botanist said...

Happy New Year to you, too, Jennifer!

Danette said...

Good questions and good answers. All well thought out. I hope you are finding ways to manage your stress a little better! Cheers!

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