Reevaluating the Resolutions

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[Image: February 2017 calendar with a large border of a multi-coloured flower graphic]. Source.
It’s been 2017 for a month-and-a-half now, and how am I doing with my very ambitious resolutions?

Well, they wouldn’t be New Year’s resolutions if you didn’t break them, after all.

I’d like to go over each one and be brutally honest about what’s working and what isn’t, as well as see if I need to tweak them at all.

1. Stop Watching TV

HA. Okay, to be fair to myself, I did do this successfully for a little while. And then I fell off the horse a little. And then I fell off 16 horses, a lot. Old habits die hard, they say, and this is certainly a habit that requires a hard death. I don’t think the expression works that way, and I’m sorry if that was confusing, but I’m sure you get the gist.

I want to keep this resolution the way it is because I think, for me personally, it is a positive thing to work towards. I know that I can do it – I just have to keep it up!

I think finding other things that relax me but don’t put me to sleep would help. Off the top of my head, I can think of podcasts, YouTube videos, and my dog. Yes, my dog! He’s actually so good at the therapy thing, especially when he tries to nip at my fingers or play chase around the house.

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[Image: Yorkshire terrier laying on a carpeted floor, on tum, head down. Part of a blue pillow next to them. Cloth and closet door behind them].
2. Read Two Books a Month

I think a more realistic goal would be one book a month, given the rate I’ve been going. So far, I’ve read Darling Days, part of The Secret Life of Bees, and part of Parable of the Sower. It was easy to motor through Darling Days because I loved it so much, but I’m a lot slower if I don’t really get into a book. I feel like making my goal more reasonable will mean that I’m less likely to give up on it, and I’d much rather read one book a month than none book a month.

 

Sorry for that wording. I swear I’m not a terrible writer. Actually, no, scratch that, I don’t swear anything.

3. Reach 1,000 Subscribers on YouTube

I only expect to do this over the course of the whole year, so the fact that I’m still sitting around the 300 mark is no big deal.

4. Finish My Degree

I did it!! It’s over!!

I wrote my final exam last week, and it’s super weird to no longer be a student, but also super great. I also made this masterpiece of a video after I finished:

[Video Thumbnail Description: Small fire lit by papers. Darkness all around. White text, which reads, “Goodbye, Sweet Homework” on top, in the centre].

5. Get on a Career Path

Obviously, I haven’t done this yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve already started creating a strong resume and cover letter, as well as applying to a few jobs.

This one is going to take some time still, but surely it will have happened before the year is out.

6. Move Out

This requires employment, which, as I said, I’m working on securing.

7. Finish Writing My Book

I have a different writing project on the go than the one I was referring to in this original resolution, but I’m pretty serious about it and am already a quarter of the way done the rough draft! I was right to think that finishing school would provide me with more writing time, as that’s exactly what it’s done. Looking at it now, this resolution still seems like a reasonable one.

Huh. I had the impression that I wasn’t doing so well with my resolutions, but this isn’t so bad. I’ve already completed one, and am working hard on three others. I only needed to tweak the second resolution, and I’ve only truly failed to follow through with the first. Okay, not bad! And as a plus, I feel re-motivated again.

Yay, resolutions, but more importantly, yay, lists!

Oh, and if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I committed myself to making two videos a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) on my channel at the beginning of January, which is what I’ve been pouring most of my creative energy into as of late.

Boxelder Bugs & Me

I was thinking about writing a Very Serious blog post today, but then I decided to take pictures of bugs instead.

Sometimes, life can be a little too serious and you just want to do some investigative journalism into the lives of boxelder bugs.

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[Image: white stripey plastic with a small red-and-black boxelder bug on it. Wood, part of a white scooter board, and a dried up leave on the bottom].

This was the first boxelder bug I took a picture of. We didn’t really get a chance to chat. It had a meeting to get to, a Very Serious business-style business meeting.

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[Image: Tiny, bright red boxelder bug on concrete near a dead wasp].

This was the second boxelder bug I took a picture of. It is near a dead wasp. Apparently, they did not know each other. It’s going through puberty right now, but it’s mostly okay. It was going to try out for the basketball team and I don’t know if it got on yet or not. The results won’t come out until next week.

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[Image: Concrete, dried leaves, and a cluster of boxelder bugs].

This is a cluster of boxelder bugs having a house warming party under their new leaf. I technically crashed it, but they were friendly enough once I made it clear that I wasn’t with the paparazzi.

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[Image: dried leaves, cluster of boxelder bugs on a grey piece of foam].

This is just a ton of boxelder bugs on a foam thing. They were trying to organize a rave but their DJ bailed last minute. A few of them went off in search of someone with decent beatboxing skills.

Get it?

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[Image: boxelder bug on concrete spreading its wings. Small green plants in the bottom corner].

This boxelder bug always dreamed of flying. It believes it will get there one day. It wasn’t too chatty, as it was focused on the task at hand.

My friend had mentioned seeing a large gathering of boxelder bugs on the street, which I went looking for, but sadly, was unable to find. I decided to walk to the theatre and take myself to a movie instead to make up for the disappointment I felt during this difficult time.

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[Image: Part of a blue-and-white ad for a Broker. A photo of said Broker with the thought bubble “THINK “BINK”!” next to them. More lettering and numbers designating contact information. Grass to the right side].

This is not a boxelder bug but it was certainly worth documenting.

Remember, friends, to always think bink.

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[Image: Part of a disposable cup advertising Coke, which reads, “Chillin’ Like a Villian” in red letters on black, sitting in a black cupholder next to red woven seat fabric].

This was part of my drink and seat at the theatre. It reminded me of boxelder bugs. This was both sad and nice in a bittersweet way.

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[Image: Close up of a small brown beetle on the sidewalk].

This is not a boxelder bug but it was a bug I saw on my way home.

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[Image: Top is mostly black. Near the middle, four lit windows shine into the night. There is a cat in the second to the right. Part of the house, sidewalk, and road are visible, though darkened and grainy].

This is a cat in the window of a very well lit room. It appears to be watching and waiting, but appearances can be deceiving. It waits for no one. It watches for no one. This is a cat who is beyond understanding.

(This is a cat. This is not a cat. This is text on a computer screen).

I saw Suicide Squad at the theatre. The plot wasn’t very strong but I absolutely loved Harley Quinn. I can see why (some) fans love it but (many) movie critics don’t. I definitely want to see a whole Harley-based movie in the future!

I also had a lovely evening. I hope you did too.

I encourage you to send me pictures of boxelder bugs if you have them.

What Kind of Writer Do I Want to Be?

 

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[Image: aerial shot of a pad of paper, a pen, and a pair of glasses lined up on a wooden table]. Source: morguefile.com

 

I’m working on my second book. It’s a memoir. I decided I didn’t like the last one I wrote which was science fiction.

I write poems. I write scripts for videos. I write blog posts like this one here. I’ve considered freelance writing and even gotten a couple of pieces published, but don’t quite know how to get my foot in the door when it comes to paid work.

I’m still not sure what kind of writer I want to be.

Should I be a novelist or an essayist?

Should I work on poetry or short stories?

Am I better suited to fiction or creative non-fiction?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, Sage, why not do all of those things?” I mean, I can. That’s what I have been doing until now. But at some point, I think I need to narrow in on my focus. Writing takes time, energy, and commitment. It’s not always the best practice to stretch oneself over half a dozen projects.

Also, getting oneself published requires a lot of research and work. If I want to be a freelancer, I need to sesh out publications and sending in pitches. If I want to be a novelist, I need to figure out whether or no to self-publish, and if I do choose to self-publish, go through all the steps of marketing and distributing my work.

I suppose the question isn’t so much about the kind of writer I want to be, as I am already many kinds, but about how I want to carve out my career as a writer. This is an especially pertinent question right now as I’m on the cusp of graduating university and trying to figure out the student afterlife.

I think it makes sense to try to develop an internet presence through my YouTube channel and this blog, but that’s not quite enough for me to write for a living. I also understand that expecting to make a living off of my writing is pretty huge and something I’ll have to spend a long time working on before it becomes even remotely feasible. That’s why I want to find my focus and start now.

I was on a train today. Trains are great places to think. I realized that I really want to publish a book and that, because I haven’t made a name for myself yet and am writing something sort of alternative, I should self-publish that book. I set a goal for myself. No matter how much or how little I’ve written by the end of the summer, I am going to take that material and begin revising for what will be a short memoir filled with poetry and prose. I’m just going to make it happen. It’s not going to be flawless or the most ultimate, amazing thing I’ll ever write, but it does not need to be those things in order to be worthy of publishing. I’ve written quite a bit of material that I didn’t feel confident enough to publish: a book of poetry, a science fiction novel, and countless shorter pieces. At some point, I need to start putting this stuff out there and refusing to let the idea that it’s not good enough get in the way.

That’s the kind of writer I want to be.