2018 is nearly at an end and it’s the perfect time to reflect. If you’ve subscribed to Lucent Dreaming, you’ll know our Dream Journal in Issue 3 is about setting goals and meeting deadlines. This blog post is a continuation. What comes after meeting a goal or missing a deadline? Reflection.
I could tell you what it means to reflect, but like a writer might, I’ll show rather than tell.
It’s been a huge year for us at Lucent Dreaming. In January 2018 we were a website with a couple of pages of submission guidelines and a lot of hope. 12 months later, we’ve published three print issues and a host of fantastic authors and artists. But there are several goals we set along the way that we didn’t meet for several months or ever.
Let’s start with the biggest unmet goal: I wanted to start a notebook subscription service, but that didn’t work out. I still want to try it again at some point. Who wouldn’t want a new notebook every three months? But the fact was I was trying to do multiple things at once and we needed to focus our time and resources on the magazine, so we did. It’s clearly paying off because the magazine still exists.
In the same vein, I wanted to start a merch store for Lucent Dreaming, but we already have an Etsy shop. It would be great to try in the future, but maybe not yet.
I also wanted to make a video/animated ad for Lucent Dreaming. I opened AfterEffects twice and gave up. It’s still on the list for the future, though!
We were supposed to start a newsletter in February 2018. Those of you who subscribed to said newsletter earlier this year will know that didn’t happen until December! Yes. Basically a whole year. I was resisting using MailChimp even though it was the obvious choice. I’ve learnt not to be so stubborn.
We dreamt of starting a Patreon page in early 2018, too. Although we set up the page, it wasn’t active until September. Although it made sense to start it earlier, we didn’t have the time to do it right. Now we do.
In amongst those missed goals, we still made an extraordinary amount of progress. We published three issues of a previously non-existent magazine!
Setting goals at the beginning of the year was like setting up multiple experiments. We knew what we wanted to achieve, but we had to put in the right sort of effort and chemicals for it to yield results. In fact, we weren’t sure what the real outcome would be.
Setting a goal is setting an endpoint. When thinking about the things you’ve achieved or not achieved this year, remember that you pick up so much along the way. Despite the fact we delayed or missed a bunch of goals, we still learnt a lot.
If it was your goal to write a collection of poetry, but you’ve come away with 20 poems you like instead of 40, that’s still huge. That’s 20 poems (or 5 or 1) that you didn’t have at the start of the year.
It’s valuable setting goals–having intentions and ideas you are moving towards–but it’s just as valuable to recognise the by-products of striving to achieve them. What you learn/acquire/change along the way are the accomplishments you take with you into the new year.
At the beginning of the year we were full of doubt about what Lucent Dreaming might be, but since then we’ve acquired confidence, we’ve acquired skills we didn’t have at the beginning of 2018.
So, when reflecting on what you’ve achieved this year, focus on the little things too. Look into the mirror and focus on those positive attributes and skills you’ll be bringing with you into 2019. Now, set those goals and buckle up.
We hope it’s a fantastic year, folks.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Follow Lucent Dreaming editor Jannat Ahmed on Twitter @JannatWrites and Instagram at @jannatdraws