2017 will be the Year of the Offensive.
2016 might have been the year for enduring every challenge I threw my way.  It might have been the year where I spent most of it feeling like I was drowning under challenges for every aspect of my life.   It might have been one of the most mentally challenging years I’ve ever known but I end it victorious.
2016 felt like I withstood an onslaught.  In 2017 I AM the onslaught.
2017 is about going and taking my goals knowing

  1. I’m not going to feel guilty about any success because it is a just reward for the huge amounts of hard work I’ve put in these past few years.
  2. I’m not going to feel ashamed of any failure as that won’t be representative of the effort.

The name for the year originates from my swordfighting where I’m a naturally defensive fighter.  To improve I need to become more offensive in my fighting style.  But as I thought about this the more I thought this applied to a lot of other aspects of my life.  I mastered a lot of challenges in 2016 and so it seems right that 2017 is the year I go and take the rewards I’ve worked towards.
Black As Knight
When I do these updates, I usually put the writing ones further down the list.  It’s partly because I want to bury my insecurities, partly because I don’t want to seem too “desperate” for publishing success, but in all honesty, this book has been my biggest priority for the last couple of years and it’s not going to change.
2017 is going to be a huge year.  Even if I have several more rounds of rewrites (I have already provisionally booked off 2 weeks at end of January in case more are requested) it’s probable that we’ll be taking the book to market.
On one hand, who doesn’t want a huge deal.  On the other hand I would like to sell-through and have a career.  I’m trying not to worry about it too much as I have a fantastic agent and my plan is to trust her judgement.  But if it does sell, and depending on how well it sells, it will determine a lot about my future. So it’ll be good to finally know what the rewards are for all that work.
But starting 1st January 2017, I’m working on getting the 1st draft of the second book done.  I’d like to get that done by sometime in March.
On top of that, I’ve been trying to get an outline together for book 3.  I think I’ve got a rough idea of the ideas and threads for the book but just need to organise them into something resembling a plot.  It would be nice that if Black as Knight sells and I get asked for outlines for 2 further books that I already have them to hand.
After 2016 being slow and a bit of struggle, I want my writing in 2017 to be back to what it was in 2015.  My minimum aim for 2017 is to have book 2 completed and a first draft of book 3 by this time next year.
Everything else depends what happens.
I’m really pleased with how I’ve come along in the last year and I start 2017 with reaching a new grading.  I ended 2016 feeling that I’d got my mental game in check for tournaments and it gave me solid foundations on which to build.
But whereas some of my fellow fighters want to put more effort into receiving training, I feel that by teaching it’ll force me to finesse technique.  There will be a short term hit (something that someone will have to remind me between April and August) but I think by the time we get to Sweden next year my gamble will have paid off.
And as much as I would like medals next year, trying to change my fighting style coupled with teaching might mean I have to take one step back to take five forward.  This will be tough, no doubt.
Loosing half your body weight causes you all sorts of complications with your skin.  It’s not as if, following Leggeddon, I don’t have enough challenges already.  Fat tends to bunch up in certain places, making it look like you have an excess of skin and heightening an already greatly elevated risk of infection.  My plan is to lose this fat, but that means having to drop my body fat to the level of underwear models.  However, I don’t really like talking about these health issues, so I’ll probably just refer to it as my quest to get abs and pretend it’s just something really shallow.
I’d also like to better understand which foods my body reacts to and how so I can better plans meals.
Things kick off hard in January with a view to having some progress by the summer.  After dropping 3 stone last summer, I don’t expect the amounts to be as drastic but I’m hoping the results do.
2017 will see me travelling a bit more.  I plan to travel to the US in May for Storm Chasing season.  This year we’re getting a smaller group together and trying  to forecast on our own.  We won’t get as close as we did this year but I’m hoping for some awesome timelapses.
I also plan to go back to Sweden next autumn to compete at Swordfish again.  I want to do another international tournament as well to get a bit more experience.
I also plan to attend a number of conventions but some of these depend on a number of factors
2017 is going to be a huge year, one way or another, but it’s going to be a year where I happen to it rather than it happens to me.
I’m excited for the year to come and I wish everyone the best for 2017