Since the holidays aren’t cliché enough, I think it’s time to write the post that everyone absolutely dreads: the personal goals year-end wrap-up post! Yay, wrap-up post! Yay, some stranger’s personal goals!
It should be noted at the onset that I don’t include in my assessment of the year things that have to be done and that would land me in hot-water if I failed to do them. So we can take the usual claptrap as read: stay employed, don’t kill anyone, hug an offspring when appropriate, keep other people around me happy. Let’s just say that’s all well and good because if it’s not, that’ll be a whole other post.
So I tend to break the “things I want to do” down into three basic categories: two involving my own personal output and one involving the input the world provides to me. Photography represents my drive to get out and see and do new things. As long as I’m photographing things I haven’t photographed before, I figure I’m pushing my way out into the world. Reading and Writing represent my assimilation of the information in the world and my ability to regurgitate it in a hopefully meaningful way. In general, my writing doesn’t aim to generate a new information but hopefully to bring existing information into a more readable and useful form to a different audience. After all, where else are you going to get plot summaries and analysis on 50’s sci-fi short stories?
Photography: The raw numbers are OK, but not great. 2,839 photos added to the archives over the past year. Considering that I probably took 12,000 or so and weeded it down to that number it sounds like a lot but it’s really rather a pittance. The depressing part to look back on is that 95% of them were taken in Indiana. There was a brief jaunt to Michigan which yielded some good photos but that’s still a tiny, tiny percentage. Pondering further, the unamusing part of this is that exactly none of these photos were taken at anyone’s request. In 2010 I at least had a couple of requests for photos but nothing in the whole year of 2011. I’m not sure entirely how to change that given the glut of photographers in the marketplace but I certainly can’t lower my prices any.
The goal for the coming year must be to get out of the state more and surely I can hit the 5,000 photos mark in 2012.
Writing: As with photography, the raw numbers aren’t terrible. Across four blogs and mostly in the last three months of the year, I managed to push out 173 posts. Of course the raw number says absolutely nothing about the quality of said posts but I don’t feel like I’m writing crap just to write something. I’ve leaned heavily towards sci-fi as of late but that will pass once I finish the current omnibus of science fiction and move on to more diverse faire. I will say that I’ve taken on a few fairly massive projects with the Sci-Fi Omnibus and the notes for the textbook on Islam and managed to come achingly close to completion. The brief “see every movie in the movie theatres” phase was also fairly fruitful. So I’m hesitant to be too hard on myself given the density and scope of some of my undertakings.
In 2012, I’d like to start the “Agnostics View on Religion” blog that keeps rolling about in my head and perhaps split this blog into two. I’m not sure having personal mumblings and literary junk so intermittently in one spot really makes a lot of sense. The cross-over interest is probably fairly minimal and I hate the idea of boring one set of readers while engaging another.
Reading: It is said that in order to write well, one must read well. 2011 has been a travesty on that front. I made it through a record low 19 books in 2011. Before I looked back at the official logs, I thought the number would be much, much lower so I’m glad it’s at least that much.
For the coming year, I need to consume more to the end that I can produce writing that has more depth to it. I’ve churned and bubbled through 2011 on largely the same ideas I’ve churned on before. Need new words. Oh, and also need to finish up the Islam textbook and these summations of 50s sci-fi stories.
To sum up, 2011 was rather a sleepy year. I had energy but it was very localized. I produced but it was not fresh. I did, but the results were not very novel and not, honestly, all that interesting. As I sit here and ponder the people around me, I find that my life is really rather shallow. If we all are granted a reprieve from the apocalypse of 2012, then I’m hopeful that at the close of next year I’ll have more positive tales to relate.