New Years Goals 2017 #SundayBlogShare #Writing

Happy 2017 folks! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!

New Years always brings a flurry of hope and optimism with them. After the last year, I think we all need it! This optimism leads to people making resolutions and promises to themselves and others. If you have been around here long enough, you will know I don’t do resolutions. I break them the moment I make them! Instead, I set myself goals I want to achieve. These are either for my own well-being or in the interests of improving my writing.

To say the least, I have had limited success with the goals I set myself last year.

Try to write something every day or every week. Writing every day is not easy. I was either being too lazy or life was taking too much of a priority. Looking at my spreadsheets, it shows that, on average, I wasn’t writing 11 days each month. I was achieving my word counts most months, until I gave myself a new word count after achieving it. This was a short sighted move. I ended the year with a deficit of 4,848 words. I am still proud of that when I compare it to 12,700 word one I went into November NaNoWriMo with.

It hasn’t been all bad on this front. I have been reviewing my word goals every three months. This has proven helpful. It made me reset some of them because of life and how that was going to impact on my writing. This is something I wouldn’t have done without the Word Nerds talking about it in their videos.

Post once a week, every week on this blog. Partial success again that fell by the wayside at the end of the year. I did achieve this, putting November and December aside. I was writing or reblogging something roughly once a week.

Read more. Uh, yeah. I am calling this one a failure. I did read stuff, like the Rivers of London comics and started reading books but did I finish them? Not many. Going by my GoodReads Reading Challenge, I set myself a target of 25 books and read 23. Some were rereads, like Doctor Who Writers Tale: The Final Chapter, quite a few were comics, like Kingsman and Green Arrow New 52 Vol. 1, then there were indie books like Witch At Heart and Preternatural Affairs. So a mix and I did complete some books but I still feel like that I just didn’t read enough or finish enough books.

Participate in as many writing/National Novel Writing Month events as possible. Done and dusted on the NaNoWriMo front but definitely not on the writing event front. I participated in the DraeBox Writers Club challenge, which was a lot of fun. I will be again this year and I am looking forward to it. I am not resetting this goal for this year though. Instead I am replacing it.

Reason being, I think the universe has been trying to say something. Few recent experiences have made me think this. Firstly, I was talking with good friends of mine about drafting. We noted that we seem to always be starting or restarting drafts but never finishing them.

Secondly, I have been seeing tweets about committing to finishing 1 draft of a manuscript in 2017. It’s just typical I can’t find any of them now. This is what got me considering this new goal.

Thirdly, as I was writing this and reflecting on the past year, I realised something. I have spent more time on just one story than I have done in a long time. That story is the dark witch story. I have had some detours but I have always gone back to this one.

Spending so long on it, talking with friends and seeing the tweets have made me want to get at least one draft done. I want to be able to say I have finished something.

So my goals for 2017 are:

  1. Write something at least once a week, every week.
  2. Post once a week, every week on this blog.
  3. Read more and finish books.
  4. Complete at least one draft of one story.

What goals are you setting or pursuing this year? Had any luck with your goals or resolutions last year? Wishing you all the best for 2017!

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Summertime Madness Book Tag

Quite unexpectedly, I got tagged for this challenge by Amanda N. Butler.

Anyone who knows me will know I am not actually a Summer type of person. Give me rain, Autumn leaves, snow and Winter’s cool embrace! That’s when I am at my happiest! But for now, let’s see how I get on with this challenge:

Show a book with a summery cover.

Have to go with Bloodlust by Alex Duval, the first book in the Vampire Beach series. When Jason Freeman’s family moves to the exclusive DeVere Heights area of Malibu, he finds himself surrounded by the most beautiful people he has ever seen but is there more them than meets the eye? I think this might have been the first teen book I read in high school, during the Twilight/vampire craze and made for a nice change.

Pick a fictional place that would be the perfect destination for a summer holiday.

This has taken some thinking about but I think the place I would go bizarrely is Lockwood & Co.’s haunted Britain. I know it’s not a destination but I would love to explore it and discover what is happening outside of London. We get some idea what is going outside of London during the first book when Lucy talks about her road to joining Lockwood and George.

 

You’re about to go on a flight for your summer holidays but you want to read a book that lasts the whole flight. What novella do you choose?

Probably Hotel Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones. This is not exactly a story as such as every story told and all the information, compressed into one person’s 24 hour shift, are all true we are told and only the names of the guilty have been changed. It shines a light on the human condition when we step into a hotel of any sort and any star rating.

You have a case of summertime sadness – what book do you pick to shine a smile on your face?

Had a hard time deciding this one as I have a few books that make me laugh but the one that is always at hand it seems is Texts From Dog by October Jones. Inspired by the Tumblr blog, this book compiles the best-loved “texts” from dog, contemplating everything from bath time to the relationship man and man’s best friend.

You’re sitting at the beach all alone…which fictional character would be your beach babe?

This was a tough one but I think I would go with Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of King Henry VII, from Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series. Blood Price details one of Vicki’s PI cases where she is investigating a series of murders and comes across Henry, who is investigating to try to protect his vampire secret. Of course that would mean the beach at night but if he appears in the form Kyle Schmid, who played him in the Blood Ties TV adaptation, that’s fine by me!

To match your ice cream, you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick?

Out of two demon possibilities, I think I would go with Sebastian, Lord Phantomhive’s one Hell of a Butler from the Black Butler series. Tied by contract to little Earl Ciel Phantomhive, the Queen’s Guard Dog, Sebastian is out to help Ciel find the people who killed his parents, burnt down his home and hurt him. Once Ciel has his revenge, Sebastian will devour his soul.

The other demon I considered was Eclipse from Demon Diary.

And I am tagging Legends of Windemere’s Charles YallowitzTales From Baggins Bottom’s Diane Wordsworth and MyLittleBookBlog’s Lizzy Baldwin. Hope you guys don’t mind.

How to Hashtag Blog Tweets.

If you are a newbie to Twitter like me, this is definitely worth a read.

Hugh's Views & News

Howdy folks, it’s me, it’s me, Ronovanee. Okay, so it’s Ronovan, but Ronovan didn’t rhyme. Hugh is letting me hijack his blog for a moment. Just don’t tell him I did it, cause he doesn’t know I snuck in. Remember, everything that follows are my opinions and not Hugh’s, so if you disagree, it’s all on me. OOOooooOOo I rhymed that one for real, oh what a thrill. o,O (All images created by me. My apologies in advance.)

I want to start off by saying blogging isn’t a game of numbers for me. I know for some it is and you can tell who those people are. They are the sad people that belittle others who do things because they believe in them instead of doing them for gaining followers and views. In the words of the masochistic dog to the flea, “Bite me”.

What is Hashtagging?

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Thank you!

I just wanted to post a message saying a big THANK YOU to all my 200 followers!

I never imagined when I started this blog that I would hit the 200 mark. In fact, all I was thinking about was having somewhere to write and, admittedly, to show to employers my skills. I have learnt so much by posting on here and interacting with other bloggers so I want to say Thank You again to all of you.

Perhaps I should add something to my New Years Goals about gaining even more followers…

Keep Writing!

The intention of this post really is to get an idea of who is still writing after National Novel Writing Month has finished and to give a little advice. Have people fallen by the wayside? Are they still writing? Are they working on the same story or another one?

Santa might be coming but don’t stop writing! Source: Google Images

It is post-NaNoWriMo and I am still writing the same story and it is still throwing up surprises. I am glad it is as it makes continuing to write it a joy. Let’s face it, once the amazing energy of the month of November has gone and we get ourselves ready for Santa to come, it is very easy to stop and give up. Having a goal to work towards has helped me as I am very goal orientated I have realised in the last few years but for others, it might be something completely different. The love of the story, the characters, the world the story is set in… Any manner of things can keep us writing.

Everyone has heard the advice to write everyday and it is possibly clichéd and overused but hearing it so often can only show that maybe it is good advice to follow. If you stop, it can be difficult to start again. It is a possible reason why people struggle with New Years Resolutions. We do it for a while, stop then pick it up again. The same goes with writing and if you wrote everyday during November, why not continue to write everyday? What about starting a journal or blog of some sort? Dreams, life, books, films; you could chronicle any number of things by sitting down and writing everyday.

If you loved your story from November and didn’t finish, why not keep going with it? If you did, go you! But keep going! Keep writing! If you joined write-in’s during NaNoWriMo, why not arrange more so people can set the guilt monkeys on you? See if your region has regular ones through the year.

In January and February, the NaNoWriMo website will be updated to give editing hints and tips and to get you going. Editing and rewriting is, perhaps, the toughest part of writing any type of story, from the short story to the novelling epics. Get your manuscript ready for then. Get it finished. Put it away to let it breathe. Work on something else then, in January, whilst hung over (or otherwise!), get it out and start reading through.

Just Don’t Stop Writing!

So who’s with me? Who’s writing? Or am I a lone voice shouting to no one in particular?

Life Takes Charge

Sorry for not posting much lately! I am not ignoring this blog or abandoning it. Life has got in the away once more. My job search has had to take a priority as well as a few other personal issues, not through my own personal choice, and it has meant certain things have had to suffer, such as this blog and my own personal writing. I am trying to re-address that balance but it may take a little time. I am determined though that NaNoWriMo will not suffer; that it will generate blog posts and, in turn, get this blog active again.

Just because I haven’t been posting does not mean I have run dry on article ideas. I have toyed with the idea of writing a post on the use of schools as settings and plot devices in books, why they are such a common setting at least and why there is not actually that much in the way of having colleges or universities as setting in books or even any focus on teachers as main characters. At least, in my experience, I have not actually come across any book with these elements. Film and TV, yes. Books, no. If you have any insights on any of these issues, I would love to hear from you.

My job search may yet generate blog posts as well as I am contemplating becoming a freelance writer and becoming self-employed. Again, if anyone can offer any help on this front in any shape or form, I would be grateful as it is a scary prospect for me but I think it would suit me to the ground. It is still very early days and life may yet decide that my path leads elsewhere but it is something to at least being having a think about.

I am trying to read where I can too but, as you might have guessed, that has taken a hit too. I recently managed to finally get my hands on the latest Benedict Jacka book, Hidden, so will be trying to read that as fast as I can so I can get a review up here as soon as possible. I am also re-reading Steven Harper’s Writing the Paranormal Novel, partly for help as I edit and rewrite a novel but also to try to get me back in the writing frame of mind so I can get more writing done than I have done.

So sorry again, I am not abandoning the blog and I am aiming to get this blog more active. Thank you guys!

Social Media Marketing

Flicking around the web, I’ve come across two articles from Barnsley-based Social Media Agency, Bigfoot Digital explaining how a business (or indeed, a writer) can promote and market their products and blog content.

The first is looking at how you can make sure any Social Media accounts you have or want to open will have positive impact in increasing traffic to your blog and, for writers, gaining new fans. The article also includes tips on the sort of things you should be posting to your Social Media streams. Have at the check list by going to A Checklist for Every New Social Media Account You Open.

The second is looking at 4 ways you can create links to your content from promotion on various Social Media websites to the naturally made links when people find and like your stuff! Check it out by visiting 4 Types of Links: Why You Need Them and How To Get Them on the agency’s website.

I hope these links are helpful to people.