This is kind of a mid-year check in with myself to see how things are going. I’ve done a lot so far – graduated university, traveled down the west coast to land in San Francisco, written a good chunk of both a novel and a poetry book – and I feel like I need to get it all down in one place to get my thoughts in order.
So much has happened in the last few months/will happen in the months to come that I don’t want to wait until December to do an end-of-year wrap-up post. It’s also a way to keep myself accountable with all the things I want to do – especially applying to the PDP/JET programs.
I’m getting close to finishing the first draft of my novel! It’ll be about 60,000 words, but once I go through the second draft – add more description and depth, make it “prettier” – it may well be over 70,000 words. But the word count doesn’t really matter, I just use it as a marker to see where I’m at with things.
I’ve taken a break in the last week to focus on other things, but if all goes well, I may just have the second draft done by mid-September. I can’t believe how quickly it’s all come together, and I’m so excited to see the final product!
Important note: I’m going to need some volunteers to read it over and give me constructive criticism, so if you think you’ve got a grasp on what makes a novel “good” and want to read mine, please shoot me a message (or DM me on Instagram)!
I always feel a little unmoored when I don’t have a big goal to work toward. I had been feeling like that since I finished university in April, but not anymore. As of September, I’ll be preparing for one of two things: entering the PDP to become a secondary English teacher, or to apply to the JET program to teach English in Japan for a year.
Both options would start in mid-August of 2019, and the application processes both open this fall. My first choice is the PDP – the thought of teaching high school English/creative writing courses is extremely appealing to me, but then again, so is packing up and moving to Japan for a year. Even if I get into the PDP, I still may travel to Japan to teach at a later date – it’s something that’s always been on my radar.
Both have their pros and cons, of course, but I’ll be happy with wherever life wants to take me.
Something I’ve been meaning to talk about: I’m moving out in the next month or so. I’ve been wanting to for years, but because of being in university full time, I couldn’t afford it. Now, being done and having more income, I’m ready!
Technically, I’m not going very far, but it will be my own space. There’s a suite being built over top of the garage in my mom’s house – it’s completely separate from the rest of the house, complete with its own kitchen and bathroom. I’m beyond excited to live alone, and also to buy myself a disgusting amount of plants.
In the Next Year
Finish my Novel
Actually, I’m hoping to have it completely edited no later than December, and I’d like to begin sending it out to agents by January 2019. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way or there’s more time than we think we have, so if it’s done before or after that, no biggie. However, I am very excited to send it out into the world, and the sooner I can do that, the better.
Apply to PDP/JET
This links into the life update above. As of September of this year, I can start gathering things to apply to both the PDP and the JET programs. Both have similar applications – letters of reference, volunteer hours, university transcripts, letters of intent, an interview process if accepted. Both would be amazingly cool, but my fingers are crossed for the PDP. But if I don’t make it, and get accepted into the JET program instead, you won’t hear me complaining.
Aside from a few shorter trips within the province (Banff, Nelson, and Victoria), I only have one big trip coming up: Iceland. As of September 26th, I’ll be jetting off to this beautiful country to take beautiful photos of nature and soak in hot springs. This will be the furthest I’ve ever been from home, and I’m excited. I may even get a tattoo in Reykjavik to commemorate the experience.
I’m one of those people who needs to be constantly learning new things to be happy. So, in the next year – between upgrading courses for the PDP and working at the newspaper/a local brunch restaurant – there’s a few things I’d like to do/learn.
- Mindfulness course: I bought a very, very thorough mindfulness course on Udemy not long ago, but abandoned it to work on my novel. I’ve always been interested in mindfulness – I’ve read books, taken courses at my university, and meditate often – and I’d like to strengthen my knowledge of it even further. Once the novel is circulating around volunteer readers, I’d like to get back to this.
- Reading Tarot Cards: I’ve had a deck for several years and only flip through them on occasion, but I’ve been making an effort to read for myself once every day or two. It takes good intuition, which I’ve been working on, but often I have to refer to my book (and that’s okay).
- De-clutter (again): I amassed too many things since I first did my big clean-out a year or so ago – I don’t know how, but I did. I recently read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and as silly as it sounds, it changed how I think. As I was reading, I noticed myself thinking of items I owned that I only kept because they were a gift, or I was worried I’d need it sometime – even when I hadn’t used it in years. When I move, everything I own will be gone through. If it doesn’t bring me joy, or doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s going.
Thanks for reading through my info dump of thoughts and future plans. Are you doing anything cool and exciting in the next year, or have you recently reached a milestone of your own? Let me know!