I have never been the kind of person who aspires actively, instead I intend. I intended to get my Honours degree and did, I intended to get my Masters degree, and did. I have intended, in my life, to never aspire to much because I believe that it will;
A) Lead to disappointment
B) Take my focus from the moment
But we all need to aspire, we all need to hope. Afterall, it was hope that led me to join Vocal in the first place. I hoped I would be able to express myself at a difficult time in my life, I hoped I would write something that made other people smile. And, yeah, lets be honest, I hoped I'd make a bit of pocket change while doing this.
You may be shocked to hear that Vocal has not made me rich (gasp) but it has been an enriching experience. In the last year, particularly, I have read stories that made me feel, talked to creators who made me smile, and seen a tapestry of human experience laid out like the shifting sea, captured inside my little laptop.
If I had to pick out one thing that's held me back it would be that I am a solitary creature by nature. I find it hard to do the networking thing, not because I don't see the value in others. In truth I don't know why I shy away from collaboration in writing. Maybe I'm a control freak when it comes to my "art"... or maybe it just makes me feel vulnerable.
So, with this vocal challenge I am putting intentions to the side and picking an armful of goals and aspirations with only bloody-knuckled hope and my fellow creators by my side. Some are small, some are big, and some are probably unattainable - most are about connecting with the Vocal community.
My 20 Vocal.Media Aspirations for 2024
I may lose a few teeth (hopefully proverbial) in the year ahead, but if I meet even a quarter of these goals I will be content. So, here they are - my 20 goals for Vocal in 2024... who says I'm biting off more than I can chew?
- Read at least one story in every category.
- Leave at least 365 comments over 2024.
- Be more active on the Vocal Discord chat.
- Collaborate with another creator.
- Write a story in at least two categories I haven't written in before.
- Participate in at least 12 Vocal challenges.
- Get 100 reads in one day.
- Post at least one story in the Critique category.
- Write a story of 8,000 words or more.
- Experiment with new writing styles.
- Write a high fantasy story featuring blood magic.
- Celebrate the successes of other Vocal creators.
- Finish the Scottish Folklore series.
- Write something that draws from my Masters thesis.
- Provide critique to creators who ask in the Critique category at least once a month.
- Write at least three showcase posts to boost other creators.
- Have 2,000 reads in one month.
- Win one Vocal challenge.
- Post a story with illustrations or audio accompaniment.
- Hold myself accountable with a round-up post at the end of 2024/beginning of 2025.
At the end of the year, I doubt I'll have met all of these goals. I made a few extra hard out of home, some super simple to encourage discipline, and a few that will push me out of my comfort zone. But you know, if the only thing I have at the end of this year is a few more writerly acquaintances and a handful of new stories to my name, it will have been a success of some kind.
So, if you're reading this say hello and tell me what your goals are for this year - lets celebrate each other and see what Vocal has to offer.