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Welcome to 2014!  Like many of you, I spent last night out and about welcoming in the New Year. I decided at the last minute to join a group of people on the roof of a bar in Windsor, Melbourne, called Mother’s Milk. The group was one that I’m part of through Meetup, so I’d never actually met any of them before. I walked into the bar and up to the roof and introduced myself to a group of people who were lovely, but not the group I was looking for! Ah the friendliness of the moderately drunk! Over the course of the rest of the evening the group I was actually supposed to meet arrived and I spent the rest of the night talking shit with strangers. I had a really good time (this morning I have a sore throat from shouting over the music, but that’s just the nanna in me coming out).

Talking to strangers is something that I learned while travelling overseas on my own, but it’s a skill I don’t often use when I’m at home in Melbourne. One of the gents that I was chatting to last night made the excellent point that if you can do it when you’re overseas, there’s no reason you can’t do it when you’re at home, so I might make that part of my philosophy for the new year.

As I did last year, I’ve decided to publish my list of goals for 2014 in the hopes that writing them down will make me more likely to achieve them. I’m not going to call them resolutions because it doesn’t feel quite right, so I’m going to stick with goals.

  1. Submit my second novel to publishers (I’m aiming for sometime in February for this)
  2. Finish adapting the second novel into a screenplay and send it to some local film companies (I’ve started it, I’m aiming for end of January for a first draft to send out)
  3. Plan my next big trip (this one is just going to stay on the list every year)
  4. Write something for young adults (this is a carry over from last year, because I didn’t do it, but I’m not letting myself of that easily!)
  5. Submit something for Lot’s Wife (this is the student publication for the university I attend)
  6. Perform my work at spoken word events (I’ve already signed up for something in February, and I look forward to more)
  7. Finish the mural for my house
  8. Win NaNoWriMo 2014
  9. Talk to strangers
  10. Exercise (I’m pretty good with this generally but it doesn’t hurt to put it on the list right?)
  11. Read (all the things, I joined a book club to help with this, but so far it’s just added more books to the ‘to read’ pile)
  12. and most importantly just keep writing; anything, all the time!

Over the last year I feel like I’ve started to come out of the darkness and make some real progress into the light. I’m starting to understand what I’m trying to do and make progress on it instead of just flailing around. I am grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life who have encouraged me, believed in me, and kept me grounded. There is hard work ahead but I am confident it’s all up from here!

The second great message I got from my conversations last night is a confirmation that the Universe doesn’t understand negatives; so you have to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Whatever you spend your time thinking about is what you’ll bring into your life, so think about what you want and it will come.

May 2014 dawn for you on a positive note. May you all get what you need. May you always have enough. May you have love in your life and friends and family around you. Thank you for all the amazing things I did and achieved over 2013, and I look forward to working towards a whole bunch more amazing, exciting, challenging, fulfilling things in 2014.