Pic of woman writing - Arkadina.com - 2021: A Retrospective ... of Life on Plague Island

Well, this year has been … interesting in terms of hitting those goals. I didn’t manage most of them. A few other unplanned, fun things arose and I followed them. But before I get in to that, let’s catch up on the planned element.

Writing Goals

The Plan: Edit THTK, Feedback on Fall, Submit Fall.

Things looked bright for a little while and then guttered. I didn’t edit THTK, chickened out of asking for feedback and didn’t submit The Fall anywhere. Am I even still a playwright?


The Plan: Continue Snapchat stories & be consistent on TikTok.

Nope. nada. *stares into middle distance intoning “What is acting?” I am on Snapchat everyday, I love the app and will continue to, but I haven’t been creating new stories. I’ve written outlines. Yes. When I come across a new lens that inspires me I get all the ideas and plot them out …but somehow I failed to turn any of that into tangible stories. And looking back at last years Diary of a Vampire … eek, there’s a part of me that’s glad I didn’t. Quality fail!

I did use TikTok off and on all year. It’s an app I want to use more … until I do and then I fall down the scrolling rabbit hole and before I know it I’ve lost 90 minutes. What I have learnt is that I have to ration my time there very strictly. And for a lot of the year, that meant quitting altogether.


Watch 100 Movies:

Tick! Yay, we’ve reached a goal I achieved. Pretty easily. And yes, I saw some great films. But I’ll talk more about them later.


My goal was to equal 2020’s book count and read 17 books. I did it! Break open the party poppers. I read 19!


Erm *scratches head*. Nope. Not for lack of desire, mainly for lack of capacity. The Guitar is quite a physical instrument: it’s heavy, unwieldy and if you’re not in tip top condition can be problematic. I’ve not given up on it, but I have shelved it for awhile.


The Plan: Grow site page views

Yes. Oh no sorry, I mean no. I’ve done better than last year. Which is surprising given my complete lack of updates. Seriously the only thing I’ve managed to keep updated is my movie log.

So what happened, where did all go wrong and what did happen exactly?

For a start, I need to remember we’re living in uncertain and scary times. The pandemic is affecting every one of us in some way and I don’t think it’s odd to be less productive when you’re under stress. I kept going, in one capacity or another. And that’s what matters.

With that being said there were some more concrete factors. Changes in my day to day family life reduced the time I have available. That’s naturally going to have an impact. And then there’s the question of prioritising. This year I expanded my Etsy to include digital products. That felt like a big risk. I’m used to designing and creating physical gifts, so creating something like a complex pdf in advance when I could have been adding more items to my shop was risky. I wasn’t certain anyone would want it. Oh I did my research but it’s one thing hearing positive feedback in its abstract form and quite another to see tangible sales. Being my first meant that it was also a pretty steep learning curve that took my significantly longer than I’d planned. Three months longer to be exact. The creation, marketing and delivery is so wildly different from my usual mugs that when I have created the plan, I wasn’t finished: I still had a whole bunch of skills to start learning.

All of that cut into the time spent on my work/goals this year but I don’t regret prioritising the plan. It’s been eye opening, motivational and excellent for my business. Do I want to do more of it? Yes, I do. But I also don’t want to lose sight of the physical products so I definitely need to strike more of a balance.

Did you reach your goals in 2021?