Chasing Adventure (my Q1 goals)

Hello! Good morrow & welcome to 2020 II!! (I'm sorry I couldn't resist. I know y'all come here for my bad jokes and who am I to deny my fans?)

picture of 3 fortune papers from fortune cookies

But real talk, I'm ready to dig deep in 2022. The Universe and I had a heart to heart that started in October and ended at 22:47 when I went to bed on December 31st. I think we've settled on agreeable terms moving forward and so far, the beginning of January has not disappointed. I don't do resolutions for my new year, but I do have a tradition of getting take-out and watching comfort movies and shows until I decide to go to bed. This year, not only was my take-out fantastic, but I got 3 excellent fortunes out of the deal and I think these might be the best fortunes I've ever had. These are my now my touchstones for the year, my reminder to focus when things get a little wonky and off track (as we all know they will).


(tbc, I shared my 3rd cookie with Bellamy, he didn't steal it, which means our creative fates are forever bound together. I'm chuffed to share with him because he is totally worthy of winning the approval & applause of others)


When I sat down to really think about what I wanted for this year, I wanted change. But change is inevitable, every day brings some sort of change. So it seemed boring to go after something that was already going to happen whether I wanted it to or not. No, what I really want is adventure.

GIF from She-ra of Seahawk shouting "Adventure" in various scenes

Adventure is me actively seeking the change, looking for things where I might be out of my element and I can relish the challenge of something new and exciting. Let's be real, it's taken me gaining a measure of financial security to be able to allow for this shift in focus. The past few years (the pandemic not withstanding) have made me look at my life and what I want a lot harder than I ever expected. I walked away from a past version of me that was no longer true, and let me tell you, walking away from 35+ years of what everyone expected you to be is rough. But I'm here (thanks to some amazing friends and my boss bitch therapist) and I am ready for A D V E N T U R E !!!!


It seemed like a good theme for my quarter one goals because between getting ready to query, drafting a new project, brainstorming a cool teacher-esque thing, and looking to get a new job & move halfway across 'Merica, I have a plethora of adventures on my hands and I am so so so very ready to tackle them. Combined with my love of planning (I srsly think I could rival Elizabeth Warren on her "I have a plan for that" claim), I was ready to will this magic into the universe. But, you can't have a plan without having a way to keep track of it.


I've always sighed longingly when I see people's bujo journals or their carefully crafted Kaban boards filled with sketches and stickers and sparkles and perfect handwriting, ribbons and puppies...okay, maybe not puppies, but you know what I mean. As someone who does not have the patience for crafts on any level, I usually just sigh. But this year, I decided that part of this adventure was creating the quarterly plan aesthetic (because that will clearly help me achieve my goals #UnsupportedFacts). There are lots of ways to set up your bujo journals or Kaban boards, just google it, or go on pinterest and see those magnificent boards I was talking about. I ended up really clicking with a version I saw on Heart Breathings's Youtube Channel.


I started out with this fantastic dry erase board, some washi tape, and lots of post its.

A dry erase board, a notepad. sticky notes, scissors, and washi tape all placed together to show the tools I'm using for this project

Which lead to this beautiful & badass finished Kaban board with my Q1 goals on it:

completed Kaban board on a dry erase board with organized sticky notes

Nothing fancy, but it was organized. It had colour! I had all my tasks listed out for the next 3 months and, most importantly, this was done before January 1st of 2022. Which, had honestly been one of my big problems with planning in the past. I wasn't giving this BIG planning method enough lead time, I was trying to cram it into the week before a new quarter would start. I started working on my overall plan in October, so I had time to work out the kinks and whittle it down to what I could reasonably do in 3 months (I'm a chronic overplanner!) (and yes, I already have my Q2 plan sketched out, so it'll be ready to roll out in April!) I was extremely proud of my Kaban board. Until the next morning.

Kaban board where all the sticky notes have fallen off and it's a mess

It wasn't even 2022 yet and my tasks and goals, my MASTER PLAN OF ADVENTURE was literally falling apart. *shakes angry fist at the cheap sticky note glue* I refused to take this as a sign from the Universe. It wasn't 2022 yet and I wasn't going to let her be so disrespectful of my hard work & my goals. After a brief interlude that involved double sided & regular tape, I realized I had to completely rethink how I was doing this. The best answer, the answer that would rise to the occasion of my steadfast determination to get shit done in 2022 was to buy a corkboard. So for $11, that's precisely what I did.

Kaban board created on a corkboard with everything in it's place

HA! Take that Universe! You tried to get me off track with weak sticky note glue, but I've parried with sharp, stabby pins. YOUR MOVE BITCH.


For the first time, I feel very clear on what I want to accomplish and how I'm going to accomplish it. I'm setting clear, manageable goals for myself and making my writing an even bigger priority in my life. I still have the privilege (I mean, I have to find a silver lining somewhere, right?) of not being agented or under contract for my writing, so by developing a method now and having a very clear idea of what I can do while still having a full time job, I can avoid a fair amount of the panic that seems to come when/if those agenting things bless my inbox.


I'm excited about my Q1 writing goals. Harpy Girls is almost ready to query. I'm starting to get Pony Death Gods all sorted out and I'm ready to get my zero draft done. And finally, I'm going to lay out a revision plan for SAMM to shift it from YA to A and I am so very very excited to return to my brooding monster boy in need of boots, an exiled dragon, and a magical girl who talks to trees. I'm mostly excited because Adult doesn't have the same rules as YA, so not only can I add like 40k worth of words, I have more room to play with structure and POV. Can you tell how excited I am for this project?


My social media goals are to work on growing my brand and being more intentional about my niche in the book & writing world. My main focus is on my blog and on Instagram (please go follow me on Insta @KatjaBookDragon? With just a single click, you too can be part of my adventure!) For my blog, you can look forward to more of my fantastic & witty jokes and quality content as well as guest bloggers and author interviews. Speaking of, if you'd like to do either of those things please contact me! I have so many adventures planned and I hope you'll join me!


What are your goals for 2022? Drop in and chat with me on Twitter: @KatjaBookDragon

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