Becoming An Adult
18 Goals Before I Turn 18

With just over half a year left until I take a step into becoming an adult, I’m both overjoyed and intimidated.

I think the reasoning for being intimidated is mostly due to the idea of transitioning from being a teenager to an adult and grow up. But, I am never growing up. To Peter Pan, I’m stealing your show!

Age is just a number. I will always be the same person I was three years ago, perhaps with more maturity due to life experiences. I also want to keep my love for GIFs and memes, as you’ll probably see soon. Although I always feel like there’s an underlying message with becoming an adult that you have to always do the right thing; otherwise, you’ll face the harsh criticisms of other people around you and that scares me too.

But, I’ve also met adults who treat me like an adult and help me realize when I’m wrong. I’m extremely thankful for that.

With turning eighteen also, I take steps towards making my future and building it from the ground up. But, I do feel like adulthood looks something like this:

Henceforth, I made myself a list of eighteen goals that I wanted to complete before I turn eighteen. These goals are to remind myself of the life I want to build once I become an adult. It will ultimately lead to a happier life.

Goals are an incredible thing because the feeling of fulfillment when you complete a goal is so rewarding. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to set your own goals and share them below. We can be accountability buddies for each other! Albert Einstein also provides a lovely quote about goals below;

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

— Albert Einstein

Tying your happy life to a goal is such a good point because it’s something to strive towards and something that will deliver personal satisfaction when you achieve it.

My 18 Goals

1 / Finish the first draft of A Mirror of Smoke. 

A Mirror of Smoke is my current writing work in progress that I’m extremely passionate about. It’s a diverse YA Fantasy about three young adults trying to live in their broken world. I’m in love with this story so much, it’s empowering, it’s amazing and it’s a story I can’t wait to share. I’ve been working on iterations of this story for about two years now, so I’m looking forward to seeing a completed draft.

My current deadlines are to have it outlined by the end of June to write in July with Camp NaNo and August. My word count goal for this is 115,000-125,000 words, which is about 2-2.5k per day in July & August and I think that’s quite achievable! But, future me will probably be like:

2 / Outline A Mirror of Smoke’s Sequel. 

I know that this book won’t be a standalone and I do have a few ideas for the sequel and future books as well. I want to try and get these points down and then develop them while I wait for beta feedback for A Mirror of Smoke.

3 / Try to draw a World Map of A Mirror of Smoke

Try is the keyword to this goal. I am a horrible artist and although the picture looks crystal in my head, it looks like a lump of coal when I put it down onto paper. By getting general map down, I hope to find someone who will be able to draw it out nicely for me. I think having this map will allow me to visualize the wider world and imagine the journies of the characters in my book. This world is full of awesome things that I want to share including a secret dragon sanctuary.

4 / Start my Write Chain again.

 Faye Kirwin over at Writerology developed the Write Chain Challenge as a means to keep oneself achieving a daily goal that is easy and manageable. I sometimes procrastinate on writing because I look at how much I have to write and I’m like nooooope. But if I make my chain small and manageable, I should find writing more encouraging and once I’ve finished the goal, I might find it encouraging to write more!

5 / Create the ideal space. 

I need to have a place where I can become inspired, do my homework and write without feeling the need to procrastinate. By clearing away the unnecessary clutter, I should be able to achieve this accomplishment and have my ideal space for creativity. One of the ways I’ll do this is through Pinterest, I’ll create a board for inspiration and hopefully be able to build my space accordingly.

6 / Research and Build my Author Platform.

Building an author platform is essential if you want to become a published author. I want to research what makes a good author platform and start creating content towards building one up. Fictional Fates is just the start since I will be sharing my writing progress on here. I hopefully will share more about my novel’s world as the story progresses as well, while not giving too much away! I also want to share my progress on twitter too which will hopefully lead to more people becoming interested in my story. (I’ve started this already as you can search #AMirrorOfSmoke on Twitter!)

So far, I highly recommend Kristen Kieffer’s post on building an author platform over on her blog, Well-Storied.

7 / Kick Self-Doubt’s Ass.

You know that little voice in the back of your head, telling you you’re not good enough? That’s called self-doubt, and it’s horrible. There have been times in the past couple of years where I’ve felt that I’d never be good enough, or that my story won’t interest people and that there are better stories out there. But, I always remember that it’s my story and that it’s something I want to share with the world. You know, sometimes I’ve just got to tell myself:

8 / Beta Readers: Find them!

Earlier, I mentioned that I’d be outlining the sequel while betas read my book and well, I need to find those betas first! I want to have three rounds of beta reading; one for the wider reader perspective (and any major grammar errors), then one for a closer look at word choice and improvements, and then one combined one after making edits on both. There are a few people who are already interested in beta-reading who I feel would provide substantial feedback which I’m excited about!

9 / Research Literary Agents

Since I want to pursue traditional publishing, I will need to acquire a literary agent who will be able to carry my novel forward to publishers. Numerous trusted sources have advised that I research the agents I want to query beforehand as it will allow me to know if they’re the best suited for my novel and also if they’re legitimate. I plan to do this around late 2017/early 2018 as the main focus at the moment is my novel.

10 / Finish the 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve never actually completed one before because I’ve always overshot my goals or I never found the time to read. However, this year is different! I’ve overshot my goal but I will have a lot of time to read which is great for reaching this goal of 100 books! As I am the self-titled Prince of Stories, I need to read as many books as I can, right? Completing this goal is justifying my claim to the reading throne! (and perhaps world domination hahaha) Also, I definitely want to focus on reading more diverse books so that I can spread their amazingness!

11 / Beat Camp NaNoWriMo and the official NaNoWriMo of 2017

I want to continue my winning streak by winning this year’s NaNo’s! I unfortunately, missed the April Camp NaNo due to revision for exams but by July, I will have almost finished school and it’ll be easier to write Project #1 then. Winning each of these NaNoWriMo’s makes writing more fun for me and it also rushes me to get the words down on the page rather than letting my inner editor out to look at them. Satisfaction from winning + being productive with the rush for words = HAPPY JOEL!

12 / Learn New Skills

Namely, I want to learn how to drive and cook better. Mainly because I want to escape my mother (joking, love you mom) become more independent in my life and since I’ll be leaving for University soon, I’m going to have to learn both if I want to survive and not burn everything in sight! (although that wouldn’t be bad, hahaha) Learning new skills is also something I’ll always want to do, I even have an entire list!

13 / Self-Care! Self-Care! Self-Care!

As a firm believer in self-care, we as individuals should put our wellbeings before anything. I really haven’t been doing that for myself lately, which has made me feel unmotivated and depressed at times. The blame falls on my exams but I definitely want to become more aware of different self-care methods and hopefully soon, I will have a lifestyle that is good for both my physical and mental wellbeing. The first step is definitely research and then creating a sheet of a self-care methods I can use everyday, maybe even scheduling something to do everyday dedicated to self-care.

14 / Replay the Dragon Age series and Skyrim: Special Edition

I am a gamer, but these games do help with novel inspiration! (ok maybe I’m making an excuse for myself.) Actually, these games are full of lore that can help inspire events or objects within my own novel and plus, I’ll have fun while doing it! I’ve almost finished Dragon Age: Origins with two games to go and I’m currently installing mods for Skyrim so I’ll probably be ready to play in September, haha! I’m fully prepared to romance my Dorian once again <3

15 / Become more active within the book community.

This has been something I’ve been planning for a few months, and I have successfully been able to start my book Instagram again! I’m hoping to get more involved on Tumblr and Goodreads and hopefully make a few more friends over the next couple of months. Also, this blog is a way of getting involved by sharing my voice and my thoughts! Plus, it would be good to find some like-minded people who I could recruit for world-domination!

16 / Spread the Love 

Spreading the love is something I want to do regardless, but it’s a goal because it’s something I want to ensure I keep doing. I want to make people smile and show them that love can conquer anything that they’re feeling. I want to spread the love in everything I do, whether it be blogging, writing my book or communication. Everyone deserves to be loved.

17 / Try more teas and coffee.

As someone who loves both tea and coffee, I am aware that there are different brews and variations. I definitely want to expand my range of teas and coffees and try them because I could find a new favourite type to drink! At the moment, I really love Green Tea.

18 / Reward myself

If I complete one of these goals, I’ll definitely be sure to reward myself, but I haven’t exactly figured out how I’ll reward myself yet. Maybe I’ll buy myself a book or two every time I complete one!

Thank you so much for checking out this first post on Fictional Fates. I am looking forward to sharing more posts with you, both reading and writing related.

What are your goals for the next year? Do you have anything exciting planned or is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Have any tea suggestions? Also, what’re you going to reward yourself with once you complete the goals? I need some ideas!

Next post: Caraval by Stephanie Garber | A Book Which Played Games With My Mind

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  • Clarissa

    January 7, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Joel. I just stumbled upon your blog and have read several posts. Hats off to you for creating such a fun, relatable site that bridges so many different worlds. Especially impressive since you are so young!

    • Joel Rochester
      to Clarissa

      January 8, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Clarissa! It's definitely something that I try to do with this blog and I hopefully will continue doing!

  • Savannah

    June 13, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I love how most of these are writing goals. And your book sounds really interesting! The fantasy genre definitely could use some more lgbtq+ representation. I'm participating in Camp NaNo for July too!

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Hey friends! I’m Joel, the main writer here at Fictional Fates. I’m a reader and writer who advocates for more diversity in literature.

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