My List of Goals For 2017

These are not resolutions. This is a list of goals. They’re completely different.

Image from page 100 of “A book of cheerful cats and other animated animals” (1903)

The New Year has so much potential. Another 365 days laid out before us, full of opportunity and room for growth. I’m not one to create resolutions. I can’t remember a single one I’ve ever kept. Maybe they were too lofty. Maybe, as the year wore on, new, more important agendas emerged, pushing that single resolution to the background. Over the last year, I’ve listened to several writing podcasts whose creators pen a list of goals for the New Year. What the heck, I thought. I’ll give it a whirl. See where it takes me. I don’t need to complete all eleven. I don’t think I’ll even come close. In an attempt to keep me honest, I’ll also hang this above my desk so I see them every day. Perhaps that’ll get my rear in gear.

Image from page 27 of “The book of gold, and other poems” (1878) via Internet Archives Book Images Public Domain

1. Finish the first draft on DoK. I’m around 7 chapters from the end of the first draft of my first book. Usually, I average a chapter a week, so this is a very doable goal, and a freaking exciting one.

2. Take children’s book writing course. Back in June, I bought an online course from As soon as I finish the first draft of DoK, I’ll set it aside for 8 weeks while I work on this course.

3. Write the second draft of DoK. Edit. Edit. Edit. I’ve amassed a small library on editing books. I should probably delve into these so I don’t have to undo much of my redos.

4. Take copywriting course. Through Udemy I purchased a copywriting course in the hopes of getting my posts and articles to have a bigger punch. Plus, I want to learn to craft pithy pitches for my books and short stories.

5. Spiff up Dueling Librarians’ blog. Using my new knowledge of copywriting, I will attempt to create catchier titles for some of DuelingLibs better blog articles.

6. Continue teaching myself to draw. Recently, I started teaching myself to draw. I have several fun children’s stories but no illustrator. I’ve tried working with a few, but they don’t answer emails. (I love artists, but they can be so flaky.) I am now teaching myself to draw. Nothing fancy. Simple stuff. In addition to honing a new skill, I’m having a blast doing it.

Tivoli girls practicing, Brisbane 1935

7. Work towards becoming a personal trainer. In 2012 I earned my master’s in Library Science but couldn’t find a job. With tens of thousands of other grads all vying for the same fifty jobs nationwide, it’s no wonder we’re all unemployed or working at Sprouts. This is not a dig at Sprouts. We thank you for giving us jobs. While I would still welcome a library job, I am no longer killing myself searching for one. Instead, I have decided to pursue another venture; personal training. I love fitness, and after having my son, I understand how hard it is to get back in shape after a C-section, especially in your late 30s. Not to mention, people will always search for help with fitness so there will always be work. Not like libraries where Congress wants to shut them all down. In addition, a training certificate will lend me credence for fitness writing. Most fitness publication won’t look at articles written by people not in the fitness industry.

8. Start outlining the second book in the DoK series. That’s right. It’s a series. Aren’t they all these days?


(Editing a paper) by Nic McPhee Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

9. Look for a fantasy editor. I’m hoping that by the time I make it to number nine on this list, I’ll have the funds to make this happen. Fingers crossed.


10. Begin building my author’s platform. I’ve got the website. The mailing list is ready to receive emails. I’ve begun tweeting and posting to FB regularly on my author accounts. I’ve joined Wattpad and rounded up fans who aren’t family or friends. Now I need to add a reward for signing up for the list. This means getting a few short stories edited so I can stick them up on BookFunnel.

11. Keep running. And running, and running, and running. I’ve made it to four miles. Maybe I can make it to 5 by the end of the year? Maybe not, but as long as I keep running, that’s all that matters.

It’s not a huge list, but it’s hefty. If I make it through a third, I’ll be all smiles. Happy New Year to you all!

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady is an award-winning freelance writer and co-owner of the book review website, She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. Cynthia has her BA in English Literature from Sonoma State University, and her Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Occasionally, Cynthia can be found voicing characters in casual video games, including Stella in the Aveyond series. She is presently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

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