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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Happy New Year! Goals instead of Resolutions Anyone?

Big Ben’s bongs say goodbye to 2013 (Picture: AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL)

Big Ben’s bongs say goodbye to 2013 (Picture: AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL)

I hope the year has been kind to you already, wherever you are in the world.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions at this time of year and you often find, on UK newspaper websites anyway, articles on fitness regimes or “proceed with caution” stories about resolutions gone bad. I never make resolutions as I struggle dreadfully to keep them so why bother make them?It might sound negative or defeatist but that’s just my attitude. Maybe I could learn something from Virgin boss, Richard BransonWhere are you going in 2014?

This year has been the first year I have  found myself without any deadlines, term/semester start dates or anything. It feels weird and, in that respect, I guess I should make up my own goals, rather than resolutions, and try to find a way to make them rigid so I have to stick to them. For me, the goals will have to be centred around the novella that was my dissertation for university and possibly even this blog. They are the only things that I really have any control over.

I can’t control the job market or job creation. Job hunting is the only other thing I have available to me to do that has to be done. It is such a soul-destroying trudge I find that I will need something else to focus on that will keep me from stressing and going insane.

So what are some possible goals for me to focus on?

1) Try to post on this blog at least once a week. Even if it’s just a little something that will keep this blog alive and kicking, it will at least be something for me to do that will rebuild my soul a little. It could also help me find a job by doing articles and reviews.

2) Rewrite, edit and try to find a reliable beta reader to get my novella turned around into something that is of novel length and, hopefully, publishable. The deadline I have tried to impose on myself to force me to work on it is September of this year, 2014. In September, I hopefully will be working on my summary, checking the up to date submission policies of literary agents and agencies to start sending it off.

3) Keep up to date and listen to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast when the new episode is released. Since I have subscribed to it on my iTunes, that should be a case of opening iTunes and letting it download the latest episodes instead of having to catch up and listen to half a dozen episodes all at once to keep up.

4) Keep in touch with friends. I have done a dreadful job so far trying to keep in contact with friends from high school and sixth form so I should at least attempt to keep up with friends from university and other places. Not too easy since I do not like FaceBook (due to stuff from sixth form) and everyone seems to be on there and no one seems to like e-mailing or using sites like Google+.

5.i) This and the next one are related, that’s why I am doing them in two parts. Find ways to network with people and keep in contact with them. This could easily help me find the elusive job that has been out of my reach so far.

5.ii) Keep an ear open and an eye out for any opportunities that arise at the National Trust to get wider and more varied experience. In particular, if a writing opportunity comes up, enquire and, if offered, grab it with both hands.

Not sure about any others but hopefully, these will help me keep sane and keep busy whilst trying to find a job. Well, that’s the theory anyway should I keep to them.

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