You know, it feels like only yesterday people were talking about the summer solstice, and how the nights were soon going to be drawing in… and now, bloody hell, we’ve had Christmas and New Year, and it’s time to be off on another collective journey around the sun. I know I won’t be alone in saying that my usual New Year celebration was a little different this year, and I’m even more sure I don’t need to go into why. It was still nice (after testing responsibly) to go over to a friend’s place, and even though it was a lot quieter than usual, it was nice not to be sitting at home on my own. Still, the usual 1st of January blues (or perhaps the rum hangover) have made me a bit introspective – and even though I haven’t been as productive as I’d have hoped (number of novels written: 0, number of new languages mastered: 0), I think I’ve still done a lot that I can be proud of this year – and this is what I’m going to use to shape my goals for 2022.
Every year, I set myself a target number of books to read on Goodreads. I surpassed my target of 10 in 2020, and so last year I decided to up it to 15. It came right down to the wire, but I’m proud to say that I did indeed read 15 books in 2021 – and so, I’m going to set myself the same goal for 2022. In fact, I’ve already started one. Imagine that! Of course, I’m under no illusions that I owe all of this to the book club I set up with a friend at work at the beginning of the pandemic – without the pressure of a looming deadline, I’m not sure I would have been motivated enough to read anywhere near 15 books this year. But as that will be continuing next year, I’d like to think that maybe I can even surpass it. I’d like to read a lot more in other languages this year – I’ve already got a couple of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian books on my shelves that I’ve had on my ‘Want To Read’ list for an uncomfortably long time, so maybe 2022 will be their year!
Another thing I wanted to do more of in 2021 was watch films! I know it seems silly, but I’m sick of being in conversations about ‘the classics’, in which I usually have to bow my head sheepishly and admit to everyone’s feet that I’ve not actually seen that particular film. So, I’ve signed up to a website called Letterboxd (basically like a Goodreads for films) where I’ve been tracking films I’ve watched, and since about June I’ve managed to watch (or rewatch) 38 films! So this year, I’d like to set myself the (rather conservative) target of 50. I’ve still got the whole classic Disney catalogue to work my way through, so I suspect that I’m going to probably watch rather more than that… but we’ll see. Better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around, always!
As for writing and languages… well, okay. Language-wise, 2021 was pretty quiet until about October, when I enrolled on a Zoom course to learn Latgalian. I kept it pretty quiet because I wanted to just enjoy it and see how it would go, rather than live tweeting the entire experience… but that’s over now (barring one catch-up lesson that’s yet to be held in January at some point), and I’m going to do a full write-up of my experience learning this gorgeous and underrepresented language. The course was only at the A1 level, but I’m still having a bash at writing a little something I’ll be including as part of my write-up, so you’ll get to see what the language looks like. Speakers of Latvian (and perhaps even Lithuanian) probably won’t have much trouble understanding, but for someone like me who has only ever dipped a toe into the Baltic languages before, it was an interesting introduction! But more on that in a later post – don’t want to spoil anything just yet.
Otherwise, I’m looking forward to getting back into Welsh (alongside trying to maintain and maybe even improve my level of Latgalian), so I got myself a little Christmas present (see the picture to the right). Again, this is all very basic, but it’s a language I’ve picked up and come back to numerous times with different resources – Duolingo mainly, but also the odd textbook and dictionary purchase here and there. All of that has been in Southern Welsh, though, and really because I first discovered it as a child on a trip to Gwynedd, I think I really ought to focus on the Northern variety. So I think this book is probably a good way to give myself a strong foundation to work from – plus, I now have the added honour of having a friend who is a native speaker, who doesn’t seem to mind me bothering him at any hour of the day or night with questions. Or if he does, he’s been very polite about it so far and hasn’t once thrown anything weighty at my head, despite having the opportunity. So I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how that goes!
As for writing, well… I’ve got another Polyglot NaNoWriMo failure under my belt, but if I try really hard to put a positive spin on it, it’s all experience for the one time in the future when I finally push through and actually complete the damned thing. I’ve got a few little projects going here and there that I keep adding to, but nothing substantial… but watch this space, who knows what can happen this year? And I mean that in a strictly positive way.
So, to sum up, my (hopefully) realistic goals for 2022 are as follows:
- Read (at least) 15 books.
- Watch (at least) 50 films.
- Maintain level of both Latgalian and Welsh, hopefully with some improvement.
- Participate in (and hopefully complete) both Camp PolyNaNo and Polyglot NaNoWriMo later in the year.
…there, that doesn’t sound too painful, does it? I’ve said it numerous times in this post already (I’m sure), but… we’ll see! As always, thank you all for sticking with me through another year, and I’m hoping to bring some exciting and new kinds of content to you all in 2022. If you’d like to get in touch, you can leave a comment here, or you can find me on Twitter and Instagram (I’m @sprakskatan on both). Happy new year everybody, and I wish you all the best and good health for 2022. See you next month!