1. Publish more books
BookS. Yes, plural.
Unlike previous years, my focus for 2015 is going to be more on writing than travel, though the latter will certainly not stop. While I know I'm getting quicker and more "able" at getting the right words written and editing them, I'm still much slower than I'd like to be at actually getting the books out there. 2014 definitely reminded me that as an independent author I need to block out at least 2-3 weeks of "publishing" time in order to get the ebooks and print books perfect and ready for your eyes. I plan on being much more professional and organised about this in 2015.
Also, stand by for a very special project I'll announce soon which is going to hopefully help me work towards achieving this goal.
2. Don't be afraid to return to places I've already been to.
It's taken me a long time to see the value in returning to countries and cities I've already been. I think about cities like Marrakech, Rotterdam and Lisbon which gave me so much on my second visits in 2014. And then I look at countries like Italy and Thailand and about how much more confidence I have travelling there and seeking out the best it has to offer. I'm more relaxed, more intrigued and much better at going with the flow, or digging below the surface. That is the way I want to travel.
3. See more of the Netherlands
I mentioned it in my lessons learned in 2014 post, but I'll say it again: the Netherlands is a beautiful country. No, it doesn't have mountains or a tropical climate and a good friend of mine does like to summarise the Dutchie's edible delicacies as "yellow food", but I have seen enough to know that it has lots to offer; beauty, history, stories and plenty of interesting culture and traditions. And yet I haven't seen enough... not by any stretch of the imagination. I hope to start making amends in 2015.
4. Have at least one girlie holiday
In 2014 I went to Lisbon with my two oldest friends and I hung out on a boat in the Dalmatian Sea with four new brilliant friends. Both trips were good for my soul and stomach muscles thanks to excessive laughter and long conversations about everything and nothing in particular.
5. Write more poetry
I had all these good intentions to do this in 2014 but one solitary (published) poem later, I can't really say I gave it my best shot. 2015, help me out!
6. Keep a weekly journal
I kept a diary from when I was nine years old until my mid-twenties. Then in my late twenties I picked up blogging and suddenly documenting my life has become more public than private. I finally feel ready to go back to keeping a diary though I don't want to commit to doing it daily. Do you keep a private journal? I'd love to hear your tips for keeping up with it.
7. Take NewMan back to Croatia
He was so jealous when I went with the Travelettes' girls. I owe him a trip back to one of his favourite countries.
8. Go back to Australia
It's been exactly three years since our last visit and I'm frankly ashamed it's been so long since we saw NewMan's friends and families in their natural habitat! Next winter we're making this happen!
9. Write more about Amsterdam
I'm still no expert but I do know a thing or two about how to get the most out of this city. I've already started with some Amsterdam Travel Advice posts, but I hope to continue adding to them this year.
10. Read 100 books
I mentioned it half-jokingly in my best books of 2014 post last week but I couldn't stop thinking about it so, why not? I'm going to give it a jolly good go! Wish me luck... (and follow me on Goodreads to see if I get even remotely close.)
11. Go to more festivals!
Must Love Festivals was one of the most entertaining work projects I've been involved with in a long time and I'm very happy to say that it's happening again this year.
In 2014 it took me to a comic art festival, a comedy festival in a ski resort, a street theatre festival in a beautiful new-to-me city and to a family-friendly festival all about big boats. Who knows where it will take me this year... (Join our journey on Facebook to find out first.)
12. Write more travel fiction
I wrote a short story inspired by my visit to Ljubljana and even though I had already published Shy Feet by this point, I was a little nervous about how well it would be received. It became one of my most popular posts, but more important than that (at least to me) I enjoyed writing that story SO MUCH. Sorry to be selfish, dearest friends, but I'm going to focus more on that fact rather than my nerves and try and get more travel fiction out there.
13. Send out monthly newsletters
Laziness and forgetfulness. That's what I'm going to blame for my not actually doing this already.
2015 ain't got time for that.
Subscribe if you want to hold me accountable. You have my full permission to bark at me if I don't deliver.
14. Go to Japan
Because I've had this on every single list for the last three years, I may as well add it here too.
15. Help more people write (and publish) books
Doing the NaNoWriMo Inspiration posts in November proved something I'd already suspected for a while. I like helping people. And having put off writing a book for so long myself, I know how hard it can be to get started with that specific goal... and yet, I also know very, very well how simple it is to overcome with a little help and encouragement. I plan on continuing to help people write books, or whatever they want in 2015, but if it's there goal, I hope to also offer more advice on how to get them in the hands of readers... something I'm learning more and more about every day.
Please do share your goals for next year in the comments. I'd love to read them!
(Photo by Alex Saint)
Frances M. Thompson
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