Sixteen Goals for 2016

Sixteen goals for 2016; this sounds ambitious but the first six are goals I did not complete in 2015. Some of the major 2015 goals I did accomplish were having three short stories professionally edited, traveling more, and blogging more than in 2014. With this new year, I want to complete what I have not yet finished from 2015 and challenge myself in taking concrete steps toward my goals as a writer. Here is my list of sixteen goals:

  1. Read eight books in French
    • Originally I wanted to read twelve books in French in 2015 but I only managed a meager four. So I have eight more books to read this year.
  2. Read twelve plus books
    • I wanted to increase my books/year and read 11+ books. I only managed ten, so I am beginning this challenge again.
  3. Send 91 postcards
    • Perhaps my biggest failure for my 2015 goals was only sending nine of the one hundred postcards I intended to. Now I just have ninety-one left to go.
  4. Compose a piece of music
    • I have not composed a piece of music in years which makes me very sad. Since graduating from university my primary creative outlets have been painting and writing, but I want to stir some music composition back into the mix. Composing takes time, the process is much more arduous than writing, but I do not want to keep neglecting my love for creating music. My current idea is to work on a short song cycle, but we will see what I come up with.
  5. Practice ukulele more
    • Because of our apartment situation, I have not had much opportunity to practice my ukulele these last two years. This is something I hope to remedy in 2016.
  6. Develop a new skill
    • The final goal I have leftover from 2015 is to develop a new skill. It is important to continue learning and trying new things, and I hope to do some of that this year. I have no idea what to learn, any suggestions?
  7. Have my novel edited
    • I have completed drafts of my first two novels, and as intimidating as it to think of having the first novel edited, this is an important step to push myself toward. It also means I have a lot of editing/revising to do myself before being ready to submit my novel for edits.
  8. Continue my photo-a-day streak
    • For the last 807+ days I have taken at least one photo each day and posted it on my photo blog. It has been an incredible way to chronicle our time in France and record cultural observations and lessons we have learned. I do not know what I will do after we move back to the US this summer, perhaps take a photo hiatus or start another photo blog.
  9. Write monthly posts for both this blog and my theology blog
    • My writing time is split between fantasy stories (primary), this blog, and my theology blog. I met my blogging goal in 2015, but now I want to challenge myself to post on each blog at least monthly. Any ideas for topics?
  10. Publish (self?) something
    • It is time I polish a story enough to have it presented to the world. To date, all that I have shared with the world writing is blogging. Now I need to take the plunge.
  11. Write three short stories
    • Each year I like to write three short stories. My short stories from 2014 are the stories I hope to self-publish this year.
  12. Create a facebook page for my writing
    • I have read and read about methods for writers and authors to set up social media platforms, and now it is time I take steps to do so myself. While simple enough, a Facebook page will allow me to share posts and links with friends, family, and others without bombarding everyone.
  13. Set up a writing mailing list
    • Another platform-building step universally agreed upon is creating a newsletter mailing list as a means for sharing news and updates with interested people. I hope to set one up and will post links to join on this blog. First I feel I need to develop my writing to a place where I have news/updates to share via a mailing list.
  14. Make the most of our time in France (friends and food)
    • This is a wonderful and entirely subjective goal for the next six+ months we have in France. There are so many wonderful people and pastries in this country, and I want to be sure to profiter (enjoy/take advantage of) from these opportunities.
  15. Visit a new country
    • We may not have much time to travel while still living in France, but I hope we can manage to visit at least one more new country before moving back to California. Any suggestions where we should go? Currently, Budapest Hungary is the top of our list.
  16. Stay in contact with our friends here in France
    • As we face the reality of another international move and all the changes (and reverse culture-shock) which await us, I am reminded that relationships are the most important thing we take with us. We have some truly amazing friends here and I know we will find ways to stay friends across oceans and timezones.

About Tim Oldenkamp

I am fantasy writer working on my debut novel and a trilogy of short stories. My wife and I recently moved back to our native California after living in Grenoble France for three years.
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2 Responses to Sixteen Goals for 2016

  1. John says:

    I’m pretty sure you have friends who are from Hungary, but I have strong, positive opinions about Budapest that I can share. Other places I can personally recommend: Croatia (Plitvice National Park, Zadar), Lake Balaton (vacation on a lake), Eger (Hungary’s Napa), Prague, Vienna, Bratislava (a day trip from Vienna).

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