Given that I wasn't at all successful with last years goals, I was in two minds whether to even bother setting any this year. But then I figured it's worth having something to aim for. After all, my reading goal led to a beneficial habit, even if the goal itself wasn't achieved. Same goes for my comics. While I didn't finish what I'd planned, I've made huge strides in my overall process which should put me in good standing for future projects.
- Actually finish and publish some comics this year
- Keep up the reading habit, beat last year's attempt of 29 books read
- Reduce phone screen-time
- Start rock climbing again
Ok, comics is the big one. Last year, when I made the goal to release a few books I had one issue which was almost complete but then after re-reading, I decided it wasn't working from a story perspective so I went right back to the beginning and started writing the story all over again. This included revising character designs, changes to my overall process and a lot of learning along the way, which took way longer than I'd hoped.
I start 2024 with the new Splorers issue 1 in an almost finished state. I've got fewer than 10 pages left to colour, then I need to letter it and put together the cover. In an ideal world, I'll get colouring finished in January, lettering and cover done in February so I could be heading towards publishing in March.
Just before Christmas, I started a small project of drawing daily-ish comics. Just small, single pagers with up to 4 panels. Most of them gag strips. I'll write more about why I started doing it in a separate post but at the time of writing, I'm 4 days away from finishing a 24-page sketchbook. From the outset, I had no intention of colouring the pages so aside from scanning, a bit of clean-up and adding a cover, that's a book nearly finished already.
I plan to make more daily comics so if I continue with this rate of finishing a 24-page sketchbook inside a month, I'll have plenty of books to put out into the world this year.
Last year's goal of 50 books was missed by 21 books. 29 books isn't bad by any stretch so this year, I'm keeping it simple. I've signed up to Goodreads and entered the 2024 Reading Challenge, which is 30 books. If I can just read one more book than last year, I'll be happy.
I've recently made some habit changes which allow me to make better use of time in the evenings for reading. Time I'd have otherwise spent scrolling through my phone. Which leads me to...
Reduce screen-time usage
Regular readers will know I've had issues with the amount of time I spend using my phone and I'm trying to focus on using it less, specifically in those quiet moments when my default is to just scroll through social media.
My target aim is to keep screen time to less than 3 hours a day. I'm not going to beat myself up if I go over that time occasionally, as long as the reason isn't just mindlessly wasting time on socials. If I watch a film, or watch some YouTube tutorials, I'm letting myself off with that.
Maybe a secondary goal should be to focus just on the time spent on social media. I seem to average 1.5 hours a day at the moment so maybe aim to reduce that to less than an hour by June and see where I am halfway through the year.
Start rock climbing again
I've tried picking up skateboarding again and while it's certainly fun to cruise around, I'm not sure it's a sensible sport for me to do regularly. If I break my ankle, the day-to-day knock-on effect will be huge.
I still do need to get some form of exercise and I think rock climbing is the way to go. I really enjoy it and find a sense of achievement when you finally finish a climbing route. It's really just a case of figuring out when I can book in some climbing time.
When covid lockdowns began to ease off, I was managing 2 or 3 times a week at the climbing gym so I think that's got to be the target going forward.
That's all, folks!
I think that's about it really. Similar to last year - make comics, read more and get some exercise - but I think I've got a bit more of a plan to put into action.
Wish me luck!