2014 Goals


In many ways, I feel like this year has gone by so fast. For the most part, it’s probably because I’m really enjoying my life and time flies when you’re having fun. I looked at the goals I set for myself this past year and I didn’t do all that bad. Some, of course, I didn’t even come close to accomplish and others I nailed.

So the disclaimer in all this is that I do not do New Year’s Resolutions. I set goals so that I can feel a little bit more accomplished by the end of the next year. I only completed 60% of my goals from last year but I suppose that is better then zero. I will try to do better for 2014. I will set ten personal goals and move from there.

The absolute number one goal for next year is get this novel published. I can’t stress that enough. I have put a lot of work into this book and I’m looking forward to this process being over. There are so many things that will go into this (like designing the cover, getting an ISBN, and getting an editor) and I’m ready for it. The one thing that I cannot let interfere with this process is fear. Trust me, I have a lot of it but I’m pushing through it.

Despite all my novel writing, the change in websites, and the multiple Huffington Post entries, I still think I do not blog enough. I have so many unfinished blogs that it is not even funny. Lately, I have gotten either easily distracted or have been too damn busy. My former life in Central NY was not like this. I just need to blog more.

Writing is one thing but reading more is also another goal of mine. For some reason I fell off with this and I need to get back on my reading habit. I really felt it after seeing Zadie Smith talk at Barnard College a few months back and than it was solidified after seeing Junot Diaz speak with Toni Morrison. Now that I have an upgraded Nook, I will be taking reading more seriously. I think I will try to read about 14 books next year.

I ‘m also getting old. I turn 40 in June and I have no idea what I’m doing. I would like to do something awesome for my birthday but I just can’t fathom what that would be. Perhaps a huge celebration? Who knows? What I do know is that I need to continue to exercise. I fell off that wagon too. I have always said that a 5k is in my future and I think in my 40th year, I should just do it.

This past fall, I started going to church again. Much of that had to do with trying to be the god father to my niece, Maya. I found myself getting up early on Sunday and going to mass and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, once Maya got baptized, I stopped going so I think it would be a good idea to start going again. Maybe not every Sunday but maybe twice a month.

The reason for wanting to go back is that I did feel at peace when I was in church. This was more about my own faith with God rather than the church itself. It has also made me think about volunteering and donating more to the neighborhood or just in general. Of course donating is always a little hard but as I continue my debt reduction things will get easier. I’m just happy that I paid off my car this month.

I have been in NYC for almost a year in a half now and I’ve returned to my old ways as a New Yorker, which means that I don’t visit other things unless food is involved. I feel like I need to explore NYC more. I was in the Williamsburg section Brooklyn a few weeks ago and it surprised me how nice certain parts of BK can be (yes, that is the Bronx in me talking). I also went to the Linkedin office a few weeks ago and they are in the Empire State Building which made me realize that that was the first time I’ve ever been in there. Yeah. I have to do better. lol

Finally, I need to visit my dad. I have not been to Florida in years and I need to go back. It just so happens that I will be heading to a conference in Orlando in April. Plans are not finalized but I look forward to the confernce that will turn into a family vacation. Disney is calling my girlfriend’s name.

I hope you all have some goals to set. Once you set goals then you are ready to achieve them. The picture above is from the article Life: Why Should You Set Goals for 2014? Read it. Happy Goal-Setting!

Every Word is a Revolution

20131217-120900.jpgEvery word is a revolution. When someone asks me what my take away was from watching Junot Díaz talk with Toni Morrison last week, that last line is the best way to summarize it. There are few times in life when you realize you are in the presence of greatness. I have had this privilege a few times by simply being in the room with great literary minds. Yet, nothing really prepared me for this particular discussion at the New York Library.

I’m not going to go into an expansive breakdown of this discussion because I will not do it justice (which is why I just attached the link below), but rather, it is best for me to be reflective on how this event should reshape the life of writers. What is interesting to me is how unapologetic words from these two authors can be. I feel like I’m someone who says sorry too much so when I read their words and hear them speak, it’s like a tiny revolution. The reality is that I want to write my fiction with no apologies. It should be harsh at times and hard hitting. Yet, there is a serious fear factor in all of this. There is a little person on my shoulder telling me that I am not good enough.

As I sat there and watched these two legends speak, I began to wonder if there were feelings of doubt that snuck into their thought process. I do recognize their humanity but the aura around them glowed with divinity at least in the realm of the written word. Toni Morrison was that author that Professor Mays at Syracuse University championed. I took a class solely on her and it took me way too long to realize how great she really she. Song of Solomon is one of those books everyone needs to read. So seeing and hearing her talk about books I’ve read a long time ago along with her thought process was indeed axis shifting. Yet, that confidence she has makes me believe that whatever fear she may have had was put back into her work. I plan on reading her works again. Now that I’m older I think her words will mean even more to me now then they did then.

The same goes for Junot Díaz. He writes like he talks and it’s truly amazing. He has changed the game for me. I became used to reading narratives where the voice is so very formal and even if the protagonist curses… it’s still formal. But when this man stood up in front of a large audience in Syracuse a few years ago and read one of the dirtiest passages in The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I knew this man gave zero fucks about what people thought about him and his work. That is an inner peace that he has with his work and the central place that I want to get to.

That is why every word is a Revolution. This goes far beyond just writing something that I consider to be special. It is more about reaching a point where I have a connection to a audience that is beyond the norm.