I ended 2014 by succumbing to the horrible sore throat and coughing bug that seems to be doing the rounds. I did feel well enough to make the first meeting of the New Year with my writing group yesterday and knew it was time to get back to my writing. So, here goes...
In my very first blog post on January 1st 2014, I wrote
I need to set myself some goals. I think, I procrastinate, I dilly-dally and dither so.........in 2014 I must WRITE,WRITE, WRITE!
Here are the goals I've set myself:
- Start a writing blog
- Write regularly and more often
- Get at least one story published in a woman's magazine
- Get back on track with my novel and finish a first draft.
I look forward to sharing my progress with you. Any advice gratefully received!
How did I do? Which of those goals were achieved?
- The Writing Blog - achieved Apart from holidays and over Christmas, I have managed to post quite often. I am very grateful to the writers who have commented regularly - you know who you are so a big thank you! - and although sometimes there may not be many actual comments, the 'stats' reveal that the blog is being read.
I'm sure the fact that after each new post, I put a link to my blog on my Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page as well as tweet on @JanBayLit has widened the readership.
- Write regularly and more often - achieved in part I still don't write as much as I could. I spend too much time thinking about it. It's as if I need deadlines all the time - competition deadlines and the keeping up the word count of Nano worked for me. All I need to do is set deadlines for myself, I suppose.
- Get at least one story published in a woman's magazine - not achieved Over 2014, I sent two to Take a Break Fiction Feast, two to The People's Friend and one to Woman's Weekly. That's not enough, is it?
- It wasn't all doom and gloom on the short story front, though. Four more stories have been published on Alfie Dog Fiction, one of which was selected for the ghost anthology The Day Death Wore Boots.
- Four of my stories have been published on Cafe Lit and three more on Creative Frontiers, one of which was serialised over five days.
- My story 'Missing Without Trace' was long listed in the Alfie Dog Short Story competition and my entry, 'Second Chances', was long listed in the Worcester LitFest Flash Fiction competition. It was included in the anthology Fifty Flashes of Fiction.
- Get back on track with my novel and finish a first draft - almost achieved Although I haven't finished the first draft entirely, I have completed a great deal of it, 52000+ words. I'm definitely back on track with it and know where I'm going. Taking part in Nano in November was the way I achieved so much progress towards this goal. It proved I can sustain my ideas in an extended piece of writing and I'm excited about completing the first draft in the early part of the year.
- I didn't achieve all of my 2014 goals but as this blog is about my writing journey, I certainly feel I have made progress and am looking forward to the year of writing ahead.
...In With The New
Here are my goals for the New Year:
- Complete the first draft of the novel and work on it so that I feel ready to apply to the RNA New Writers' scheme at 12.02 a.m. next January 1st. I had hoped to do that this year but knew it wouldn't be ready by the deadline in 2015. The piece of advice that I kept hearing in my mind was 'Make it the best you can.' Yes, I know I could have sent it in even though it wasn't finished but I know I have to finish a complete first draft before I can set about getting it 'to the best I can.'
- Continue to write short stories and submit them to competitions and magazines. Perhaps set myself a goal of two new stories a month with the end of the month date as the deadline.
- Aim to get one story accepted in a print magazine before the end of December 2015.
- Aim to make the short list of a short story competition sometime during the coming year.
I hope they are SMART targets for me.
Do you think they are specific enough?
How I be able to measure my success?
Are they achievable for the stage I'm at on my writing journey?
Realistic for me?
Is a year too vague? Would it be better to break the year down into smaller chunks of time?
What do you think? What are your goals and targets for 2015? I'd love it if you'd leave a comment. Thanks. :-)
Thank you for reading my blog and all good wishes for a very productive year in 2015! HAPPY WRITING!