Only Six Weeks Late: Mel’s List of 9 2016 Goals

How is it the end of February?

I had such plans to write some kind of philosophical forward-looking blog post about my goals for 2016 and now it is practically the end of winter so it seems quite silly to write them now. But I’ve always been one to thwart convention in some way, so why not. Besides there’s too much pressure on January 1st to get it all done. February 24th is certainly much better date, don’t you think? And, besides,  Spring is less than a month away and it’s near the  Full Moon, so an auspicious time to put it out there.  And, as 2016 adds up to the number, 9, I’ll put out there “My List of 9.”

As well, sometimes when we don’t make plans very wonderful and amazing things happen, such as my two pieces going up on Cinefilles about Breakthrough Entertainment’s L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables movie that aired on YTV last week. The first was my day on the set and the other discussed the new movie and its place within the long line of Anne of Green Gables adaptations. It was also the first time (except when I worked in publishing) when one of my pieces appeared on the home page! This was thrilling, scary and amazing…and scary.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 11.57.06 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 6.09.13 PM

Working with Cinefilles was wonderful, as was learning more about the mysterious world of TV. This completely took me out of my comfort zone. So I guess this leads to the first goal of 2016…

  1. Continue to be open to new opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone. 

You know from my other blog posts how overachievy I can be. You know that this is also a mask for being a workaholic. I love projects and having things to do and life is so full of these many interests and projects and I have a plethora of ideas that can feel overwhelming if I’m not doing them all right now. You will recall my first meme.

(Mel's first meme.)

(Mel’s first meme.)

Still works, doesn’t it?

But there are things I miss, such as a guilt free day of reading anything I want because I’m drawn to it. Or, perhaps playing the piano, who is pretty mad at me because I haven’t touched it in a few months.

There is also the idea of just taking a few hours off and seeing all friends and family. This is one of those things people who work from home often discuss, the idea of it being really challenging to take the day off. I’m finding the only way I can do this is get out of town, otherwise there seems to be no way. Also, being a college teacher means that one grades and plans. Love my time and the work I’m doing with these students, but this does add onto the list of work from home things.

So right now I’m reading, on recommendation of Melissa Mantovani @YABookShelf, who gushed over Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We. It is exactly what I needed, but not on any reading list, at least when I picked it up. Thank you , Toronto Public Library for always being on call when I need you.

I have also been saying, “yes” a lot more to seeing friends and family. This means that one afternoon I found myself at the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Toronto Public Library with a friend who I had not seen in a couple of years, but whom I follow through social media. We both went to another friend’s book launch and then decided to spend the afternoon together. It was marvellous.


2. Say, “yes” more because I never know what will happen–or where it might lead.

3.  Create more time to read books and play music. 

4. Spend time with people who inspire and bring happiness and joy to my life.

But there is my ambition and those things which I want to happen this year. These things are move about divine timing and are essentially out of my control, so all I can do is focus on what I can control, or at least how I respond to the things I can’t.

5. Be brave enough to send Oy! (the other novel) out into the world to find an agent or home who will believe in it as much as I do.

I have given myself a deadline to finish the revisions on this manuscript and then the scary agent seeking moment will begin. I have procrastinated on this because of the fear, but no more…so I guess…

6. Say, “No” to fear more.

A few months ago I joined a listserv because it was popular within one of the communities I’m involved in, but within a few weeks I noticed that the vibe of this listserv was cranky and, frankly, mean. I watched this for a few more weeks and it made me wonder if it was good for me because I stared wondering if people wouldn’t like the work I did and it spiralled into some real negative places. I’m a sensitive person and while I’ve learned to avoid negativity wherever possible, having this show up in my inbox was becoming problematic. So I left the group.

7. Say “No” to things and people that drag me down and do not benefit my highest good. 

I’m also in the process of writing the Author’s Note for Maud. It has been slow going in some respects and I stumbled upon a few things, as one does, and fixing it. But, I think it has also been slow because this means that I’m almost at the end and if I’m almost at the end then the project I’ve been working on for over four years will be closer to publication. And *breathes* if I’m closer to publication then people will actually be reading it and then *breathes* it will be out there…in the world…without me to protect it any longer.

8. Be comfortable with letting go and allowing that which needs to be…be.

And that also means being comfortable in my own personal power. It means that while it has been lovely carrying the badge of imposter syndrome, it is time to take it off, put it in drawer, thank it and say, “Good bye.”



9.Embrace my inner genius and step into my personal power understanding that this isn’t ego, but a willingness to engage with what I know. And, if I don’t know something, that is what the library, other experts, and geniuses are there for. 

Here we go…It is time to let it go.

About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
This entry was posted in Anne of Green Gables, Blogging, Inspiration, L.M. Montgomery, Music, Writing, Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Only Six Weeks Late: Mel’s List of 9 2016 Goals

  1. Melanie says:

    I love this list, Melanie! Your realizations inspire me. I hope that this list is as effective for you as it sounds like it will be. You deserve it.

    But, selfishly, and within seconds of reading it, I felt an overwhelming sense of, “I need to steal about half of these ideas and goals for self-improvement to get myself through my own over-achievey goals this year.” I have so many plans and ambitions in several arenas but I am expert at defeating self-talk. Your positivity (and your rejection of the negative listserv) are models for part-time curmudgeons like me. Best of luck to you, and congratultions on so many recent successes. I’m looking forward to your publications.

  2. Denise Bruce of Ingleside says:

    Wow! This feels like me. It’s hard and ever so steep, but we learn from these baby steps. Once upon a time, I was sitting in the parking lot at UPEI…wishing I could push myself to go inside and see Jack and Linda’s 1919 stills movie of Anne…but I couldn’t do it. Fear won and I left, but look at me now! I’m going places and talking to people and doing things the old Denise never would have. Take my hand, Melanie! I’m letting go, too…we’re going to reach that far-off goal and write upon its shining scroll our own humble names ❤

    • The world is full of kind people, Denise. I hope you will go to UPEI and see that exhibit. I’m so pleased that you are taking steps towards what you need to do. Keep at it! Imagine the fantastic things that will emerge.

  3. heatherjacksonwrites says:

    I feel all of these resolutions! Also, my piano totally hates me – I haven’t touched it in 2 years! I am terrible! Maybe one of my resolutions should be to get my life under control enough to start playing again a couple times a week…
    And congrats on leaving your comfort zone and getting your article front and centre on the home page!

    • You are not terrible, just busy. 🙂 But, yes, the guilt of not playing I totally get. This is what I need to do…or rearrange things a little bit better…Hence. Goals. And, thank you, it was very exciting.

Leave a Reply to Melanie Fishbane Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s