- Read two books a week. I’m not going to learn anything spending my free time liking cat pics and watching satirical videos on YouTube.
- Write one new novel, edit one old one this year. I’m not going to ever write that one brilliant novel if I don’t write a dozen so-so ones. Better get on with it.
- Sketch every day. It’s no secret that if I want to improve my art, I’ve just got to do it.
- Do a finished painting once a month. Got to get my brush time in, see previous two points.
- Invest what I can every month for my kids’ education and our retirement. Make this a routine and there is no need to worry overly about what might happen in the future.
- Donate to worthy causes. Not charity necessarily, but organizations that help make the word a better place. I’m thinking investigative journalism, political justice, environmental protection. Anything to help redress some of the imbalance from rampant reality denial that imperils the future I’d like my children to have.
- Grow the library by 50 books a month. I could dress up this book hoarding as something beneficial for others, and I hope it will be. But I have a vague selfish dream of opening my own book/coffee shop to see me through my retirement. I figure I can start now by stocking the shelves.
Happy New Year, let’s see how this went in 2021.
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Patrick Sherriff, an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.