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2009 Goals

by Rob Friesel

A little late in posting (compared to last year) but worth posting for the full disclosure aspect of it all.  (Plus Mike said he wanted to see them.)  As before, they’re like New Year’s Resolutions except measurable and realistic &c. and not vague.  It’s the vagueness that’s cause for so much failure and abandonment, I think — but let’s not get off the subject.  Now for the Third Annual F_D Personal Goals:

  1. Write at least three hours per week. This goal is one of the mainstays; what would a year be without re-asserting my commitment to my craft?  There’s a pessimistic side of me that considers where I landed in ’08 and how much I slowed down (slacked off?) in November/December.  But there is also the part that desperately wants this to work.  I made a 5-year plan for writing for crying out loud1 so why wouldn’t I at least declare that I’m making the effort?  So it appears here like it does every year.  With the stakes raised.  But that’s mostly to mask the real goal of maybe actually perhaps managing to publish one or two of my “more mature” short stories during ’09.
  2. Read 36 new books during 2009. In 2008, I read slightly shy of 50 books2 for the year.  The goals was to read 24 books that I’d never read before — and I raised the stakes by specifying that 6 of those needed to be non-fiction titles.  I more than hit that one.  In ’09 I’d like to raise the bar again and put another 36 new titles under my belt.  It may not be 86 but it’s one that I think is realistic for me.  To raise the stakes for myself this year, I’m piling on an extra layer.  Not only do I want to read 36 new-to-me titles, I have a list of a dozen specific books that I keep putting off or else have had recommended to me about a zillion times.  Those books include:
    1. Roots
    2. Stranger in a Strange Land
    3. Dhalgren
      • Our local library doesn’t have it; help a brother out? Picked up a copy of my own, thanks; but feel free to get one for yourself!
    4. Shōgun
    5. The Selfish Gene
    6. Foucault’s Pendulum
    7. Ficciones
    8. Nights at the Circus
      • The local library doesn’t have this either; little help?
    9. Theodore Rex
    10. An Obedient Father
    11. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
    12. The Elegant Universe
  3. Walk at least 10 miles every week. Same as every year.  Now with 100% less running.  But if history tells us anything, this is harder to achieve than it sounds.
  4. Climb at least once each week. Because I needed another reason to go climbing3?
  5. Finish up my Ortho theme for WordPress. It would be nice to put some spit-and-polish on my custom WordPress theme (“Ortho”) and package it for publication and distribution on  Hopefully I’ll pick up more than a few webdev tricks along the way.
  6. Get outside more often. A little vague?  Maybe so but toward the end of ’08, it started to feel like we were hardly ever getting outside anymore.  A big part of that has to do with H. — it’s not easy to get out and hike a mountain every weekend when you’ve got an infant.  We made an effort to do so but by the time we were sipping cheap champagne as the clock struck 2009, it wasn’t nearly as often as we would have liked.  So this year we’ll do it.  Take the boy camping at Elmore State Park?  Climb Mt. Hunger with him?  Take him sledding?  Whatever.  We just need to get him (and ourselves) into the fresh air.

That should do it, I think.  There’s always a million more other little things that could get tacked on but we need to leave something for 2010, right?  Not that there aren’t a few more things I’d like to fit in this year.  I’d like to get proficient enough at Ext to author a few re-usable user extensions.  I’d like to get ambulothanatophobia kinda/sorta officially recognized; or barring that, maybe make some money from it.  I’d also like to brew my own beer.  But I think I need more of a basement for that.

What are your goals for the year?

  1. That I’ve altered it already is beside the point? []
  2. Depends on how you count “read”, I suppose.  But 50 is a nice round easy number, and close enough to the truth. []
  3. Actually, if/when A. gets her wish and we manage to move then this could get tricky.  A local/within-state move?  No problem.  An out-of-state move?  Well… []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

6 Responses to 2009 Goals

Eric says:

You should definitely add homebrewing to your list. You could even add a book to read. I highly recommend The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charles Papazian. No basement required.

Tim says:

Rob, I know greater minds than I have recommended _Foucault’s Pendulum_ to you, but please, take it from this un-educated plebian malcontent: that book is truth! Though, the caveat is that Eco spends the first 10 or so pages being just an amazingly profound asshole, but just keep plowing – he settles down soon enough.

Peter says:

Damn … I’ve started FP three times and never made it past the first ten pages … if this time I make it to eleven and still find myself peeved I’ll consider myself soundly duped.

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