Here, I believe I am at least achieving the first half of Ben's advice; the second half I suspect will prove too challenging to achieve in full, but I'll at least give it a good try and provide updates on this blog of my progress.
BE IT RESOLVED:
My reading goals for 2012
1. Read the Bible...the whole thing
I've never read the whole thing...I doubt most Christians have, let alone non-believers like me (I'd call myself either a deist, an agnostic, or an atheist, depending on the definition of "God"--more on that in a future post). I have read significant chunks of both Old and New Testaments. It's impressive literature and mythology, to say nothing of its value as a historical record, as spiritual inspiration, and as an influence on civilization. My primary purpose in reading it is for literary (rather than spiritual) enlightenment, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. The plan is to read the Old Testament, aside from Psalms and Proverbs, in the English Standard Version, a modern literal translation; and the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, in the classic King James Version.
I got a bit of a head start, having gotten through Genesis and Exodus in late 2011. Current progress: 8%.
2. Read the complete works of William Shakespeare
I'm in awe of Shakespeare's talent, although I've only read a fraction of his work. I think it's time to read the rest.
3. Read the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe.
A master of prose and poetry, and of horror, adventure, mystery, early science fiction, and comedy. I got a head start on Poe in 2011, too. Current progress: 9%, not including the poetry.
4. Read all 14 books of The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
I loved this series in high school, and devoured the first eight books. But once I'd read that far, I didn't keep up with new releases in the series. Part of this was impatience with the slowing pace of the story, and part was impatience with the slowing pace of publication. Now that the final volume is due out in the coming year, I want to go back to the beginning and read the series through, consecutively. Jordan died in 2007, but fellow fantasy author Brandon Sanderson is completing the series in accordance with Jordan's notes and his widow's wishes.
5. Read a fair sampling of contemporary short fantasy and science fiction
I've got a handful of non-fiction books I'd like to read this year as well, but I won't make a resolution about those. I'm not that fast a reader, and don't forsee myself having loads of reading time, so we'll see how I do with this list. I'm certainly not expecting to meet all of these goals.
My writing goals for 2012
1. Get a story published in a paying market (ideally a professional market)
2. Write new stuff...aim for 100,000 words this year (I think I've only surpassed this once in my life...)
3. By end of 2012, start active novel writing again
My blogging goals for 2012
1. Post to this blog at least once a week
2. Update Tornalia.com at least once a week (either a news post or other improvement)
3. Post to Facebook (and Google+) on at least a semi-regular basis
My personal goals for 2012
1. Take time for myself and time for my family (both nuclear and extended)
2. Like Ben Franklin, strive for productivity and frugality--limiting anything that's a waste of time or money
Trying to avoid wasting time and money, because both are finite.