I am typically a very goal driven individual. Yet today as I sit here contemplating the year before me, I find myself feeling listless and unmotivated. I am simply exhausted. This year has been a very taxing one and I feel like taking the next twelve months to sleep off 2005. I don't want to do shit yet there is so much to be done.
Every year since 1999 I have written my Big Hairy Audacious goals and announced them on the Horror Authors Network. The first four years I shattered every goal I set for myself. Then came 2003 and my divorce after ten years of marriage. That year I ran a marathon, I came out of retirement and won a world kickboxing title with 14 second knockout, I sold a story to the Cemetery Dance anthology Shivers III, yet still I failed to meet all the goals I'd set for myself that year. Most of those goals were literary. I wanted to sell stories to Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales, and Space and Time, I wanted to sell my short story collection and my novel. Every year since 2003 I have fallen short of my goals. In 2004 my goal was to train my fighter to a world title, which I did. My goal was also to finish writing the novel I started in 1994 which I did, and to write and sell two chapbooks, which I did. My goals were also to sell stories to Cemetery Dance and Weird Tales which I did not. I never even sent them anything. My goal was also to sell the novel I'd been writing on and off for eleven years. I only submitted it to one publisher which gave me a tentative acceptance and then never replied to another email. My goal was also to sell the two novels I'd previously written to mass-market publishers. I never submitted those anywhere either, not even to the publishers who requested them. So, I rolled those unaccomplished goals over into 2005 and failed to meet a one of them. I did see my novel Succulent Prey published this year though that was as a result of one of the few goals I met last year and so doesn't really count in '05. I also sold my short story collection and saw it published this year which is one good thing. I started two novels this year though I didn't finish either one. I did start a blog this year that has proven mildly successful but since that was never one of my goals it doesn't count either. My biggest accomplishment of 2005 was the birth of my daughter Isis Imala White but if I were cynical I could say that even my contribution to that miracle was made in 2004 so doesn't really count for '05 but conception was really just the easy part. The hard work went in to caring for my daughter's mother all year before and after my daughter's birth and taking care of my new daughter so I still count her birth as a major goal reached in '05.
2005 was an emotional year. My daughter was born this year. My love life went through a blender and I lost someone I loved dearly to gain a future with my daughter and her mother, a fair trade but one that still hurts. I also changed jobs this year, leaving a job I'd been at for six years to go to different devision of the same company. A big promotion but one with its own obstacles and difficulties. Neither of these are enough of a reason in my opinion for me not to have hit my goals. So now, I'm am on the precipice of a new year. I am stuck with the daunting task of creating new goals and the very idea exhausts me. I feel unequal to the task.
This year I have to train one fighter back from aserious injury to hopefully recapture his world title. I have to train another fighter who's never stepped into the ring before to hopefully make a big career in NHB fighting. I have to get back into the kind of shape I was in before my girlfriend's pregnancy. I have to clean up my credit and buy a new house because the one I own now is too small. I have to find the time and money to go back to Philly to visit my family and introduce them to my new daughter. I have to find the time and money to do a few readings to promote Succulent Prey and The Book of A Thousand Sins. I have to find the time and money to go to a few conventions to promote Succulent Prey and The Book of A Thousand Sins. I have to finish my latest novel and I have to submit one of the old ones somewhere. These are all things that have to be done. These are not my goals but just the bare minimum necessary for me to have a reasonably productive year. Faced with this, the idea of creating goals on top of these obligations is dizzying. How will I have time to write stories to submit to Cemetery Dance or Weird Tales while trying to finish one or possibly even two novels? How will I have time to chase the major publishing companies to publish my novel while I'm chasing down creditors to remove negative marks from my credit score? How will I have time to write a screenplay or collaborate with any of the great authors I am dying to collaborate with? How will I have time for any Big Hairy Audacious Goals when my life is so Big Hairy and Audacious already?
I have no idea right now so for now my goal is just to get my shit straight and take care of everything that needs taking care of. If I manage to do anything above that I'll take that as a win. Perhaps, by the time the new year rolls around I will feel more rejuvenated and ready to tackle some truly lofty goals, but right now I just need a nap.