So, how’s the year going?

Pretty well, on the whole. At the beginning of the year I made some plans, so now that we’re halfway through I thought I’d take a look at how they’re moving along.

I spent the first few days of 2019 moving into Bohemiacademia’s new office. It was a bit of a leap of faith – I wasn’t sure the business could afford it, but I knew I needed to give myself some motivation to find more clients – but sometimes you have to make the leap and see what happens.

The office has so far been a brilliant idea. We’ve got a few more clients at the company, two of whom came to us as a direct result of having the office, and I’m finding it so much easier to focus now that I have a proper office space. Being in an office that’s away from home means I’m more relaxed when I’m at home, too, and more able to focus on all my other projects. Speaking of which…

In 2018 I had three book ideas roughly planned out: a digital forensics book, an autobiography, and a novel. I’d expected to work on the digital forensics book this year, but in January I sent the first three chapters of my novel to an agent, who said she liked it, so I decided to keep working on that instead. It’s going well so far and on track for the first draft to be finished by mid-August, which gives it six weeks to marinate in a drawer and then two weeks to be edited before being sent to the agent in its full form, at which point we will see if she still likes it.

I had two papers planned at the beginning of the year, one about solstice celebrations at Stonehenge and one about the digital nomad lifestyle. One of these has been supplanted by a paper I’m writing with the team at the University of South Wales; we’re looking at the stories of atheists who walk the Santiago pilgrimage route. The other may be supplanted by a paper on Kierkegaard, although I realised when I was working on an essay for my university course that it would be helpful if I had all my notes in some kind of proper order. My notebook pile used to look like this:

And then I organised it into a cupboard, so now it’s displayed in a less precarious way. But it still means that when I’m looking for a quote to go into an essay or paper, I have to try to remember which notebook it might be in. This is a surprisingly effective method but I’m sure I miss some good quotes because of it.

A while ago I read How To Write A Thesis by Umberto Eco, and there was a brilliant section on indexing your academic references in a way that makes them useful for all the papers you write in your life. So this morning I re-read the book with special reference to that section, and now I’m planning to create a huge index of all my notebooks. The Notebook Indexing Project will therefore have to take the place of one of the papers I was going to write this year. But it means that when I finally do get around to writing new papers, they’ll be of a higher quality.

And yes, I started and completed a university course in the first quarter of this year. Regent’s University’s Intensive Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling, to be exact, the goal of which was to get onto the MA Psychotherapy & Counselling (it’s a requirement for the MA, but it’s not a guarantee of getting on). Yesterday I found out that I have a place on the MA, and I start in September! How exciting.

The lovely crew from the Intensive Certificate, several of whom I’ll be spending the next few years with on the MA.

A couple of things have had to be deleted from 2019’s plans, because life is like that. I haven’t been able to sing this year because in February I caught bronchitis and my chest is still convinced it has it even though it actually doesn’t. And I’ve scaled back a lot on the travel plans after realising just how exhausting I find it to travel: both the travel itself, and the disruption to the routines once I’m back.

So, these were the plans I made in January: 

On the professional agenda:

  1. A paper about the summer and winter solstice celebrations at Stonehenge.
  2. A paper about the digital nomad lifestyle.
  3. A digital forensics book.
  4. Growing Bohemiacademia’s client base and portfolio.
  5. A few conferences: Oslo, South Carolina, Portland, Texas.

On the personal agenda:

  1. A certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling.
  2. Hopefully getting onto a Master’s in Psychotherapy.
  3. Hopefully passing my driving test.
  4. Possibly writing part of a novel.
  5. Continuing with a couple of ongoing writing projects that may or may not end up as books / papers / etc.
  6. Playing some open mics.

A few things I’d like to spend my spare time doing:

  1. Learning guitar.
  2. Getting better at piano.
  3. Learning Danish.
  4. Walking around (possibly walking from the nearest point of the river to my house, to where the Thames meets the sea).
  5. Reading, obviously.
I do love a walk along the Thames Path.

Of those, I have achieved: 

  • Growing Bohemiacademia’s client base and portfolio.
  • A conference in Oslo, at which point I realised frequent travelling might not be a good idea.
  • A certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling.
  • Getting onto a Master’s in Psychotherapy.
  • Passing my driving test.
  • Writing part of a novel.
  • Continuing with a couple of ongoing writing projects that may or may not end up as books / papers / etc.
  • Reading, obviously.
  • Walking around (possibly walking from the nearest point of the river to my house, to where the Thames meets the sea). (I have not done this second bit. But I have done lots of walking around.)
Oslo was fun but exhausting.

I have changed: 

  • A paper about the summer and winter solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. A paper about atheists on the Camino to Santiago.
  • A paper about the digital nomad lifestyle. The Notebook Indexing Project.
  • A digital forensics book. A novel.
  • Learning Danish. Reading more foreign-language books, because there are a few languages I speak that I’m worried about losing if I don’t keep using them.
Reading more French books is always a good idea.

I have not done: 

  • Conferences in South Carolina, Portland, and Texas, because health.
  • Playing some open mics, because health.
  • Learning guitar, because time.
  • Getting better at piano, because time.

On the whole, therefore, I think the 2019 plan is going pretty well.


My revised goals for the rest of the year (including the ones I’ve already done, so that when I look back at this in December I’m not like “omg I feel like I’ve done way more than this”): 

  • Growing Bohemiacademia’s client base and portfolio. 
  • A conference in Oslo. 
  • A certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling.
  • Getting onto a Master’s in Psychotherapy.
  • Passing my driving test.
  • Writing part of a novel.
  • Continuing with a couple of ongoing writing projects that may or may not end up as books / papers / etc.
  • Reading, obviously.
  • Walking around (possibly walking from the nearest point of the river to my house, to where the Thames meets the sea).
  • Completing a novel.
  • Writing a paper about atheists on the Camino to Santiago.
  • Getting our paper about belief systems published in a journal.
  • Working on the Notebook Indexing Project (I would love to get this finished in 2019, but since I only started it this morning I have no concept as yet of how much time it’s going to take).
  • Playing some open mics, if the chest thing resolves itself.
  • Going back to my singing lessons, if the chest thing resolves itself.
  • Reading more foreign-language books.

Here’s to the second half of the year!


How’s your 2019 going?

One thought on “Half-Year Review

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