I turn thirty-five next year which, to me, feels like a pretty big deal. And what I’m planning for the next twelve months is also fairly massive, but I’ll get to that. Here are my 2024 goals:
- Read Twenty Books – Starting simple, this one’s pretty self-explanatory.
- Pass Driving Test – I’ve already renewed my provisional license, passed my theory test, earmarked some money for lessons, and actually booked my practical test date. I’m ready!
- Get Irish Passport – As someone born and raised in Northern Ireland, I am allowed to have both British and Irish passports, and I very much plan to make the most of that.
- Finish and Publish Life Lessons (book two in my trilogy) – This was on my list for 2023, and 2022, which frustrates me no end, but I am trying not to beat myself up about it. The book will be ready when it’s ready, and I won’t release it until my editor assures me it’s the best it can be.
- Draft Scar Tissue – Okay, folks, here is the big news: the Arts Council of Northern Ireland have funded me to draft a new standalone novel! I had the idea for this story or, at least, a version of this story, literally over half my lifetime ago. It’s morphed and changed over the years, and had about one-billion changes just to the title and name of the main character alone, but it’s been freshly outlined and I’m excited to see this come together at last.
- Edit and Submit Five Pending Short Stories – The stories in question are already written and sitting with my editor, so it’s just a matter of implementing whatever feedback I get and then trying to find homes for the pieces.
- Complete Kindlepreneur Course – This is a free, five-day online course that helps independent authors market (and sell) their books more effectively on Amazon.
- Complete Small Independent Study of Art History – Earlier in 2023 I had the immense pleasure of visiting immersive VR experiences of Van Gogh and Claude Monet’s works, and as part of that I got access to two apps full of info about both painters. Ever since, I’ve been meaning to go through all of the info and make notes. It hasn’t happened yet, so I’ve clearly gotta be more intentional about it. I also need to crack the giant art history book I bought second-hand.
- Submit Three Pieces to the RUA – Every year, the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts opens submissions for their big, impressive gallery exhibition in the Ulster Museum. I submitted a (singular) piece for the first time in 2023 and didn’t get in, but I very much want to try again. Three pieces is the maximum number you can submit, so I want to give myself the best shot I can.
- This one is a Secret – Whether it works out or not, I plan to talk about it publicly around this time next year. It just feels too tentative right now, and I am very emotional invested in it working out, which leaves me feeling vulnerable about it.
Watch this space!