There’s always something quite nice and refreshing about a new year. I always find myself gearing up ready for exciting things. I make goals for myself and put in plot points to reach them. I relish the idea of starting afresh and while 2015 has not been a particularly arduous year, I feel like 2016 is signalling great new things to come.
Already I have had news that a co-written novella by myself and David Owain Hughes has been accepted for publication. I have a novel in with Dark Chapters Press which I hope to hear about come February and already a couple of short stories lined up to be in anthologies.
I have plans to finish writing a series of novels that I’m working on. This year I wrote two which means I’m challenging myself to write five novels next year in that series. I have another idea brewing that could possible be something in the middle grade/YA range which I’m excited about and of course I’ll try and keep up with short story submissions.
In other things I want to challenge myself to read more. Although the latter half of this year has gotten relatively better, I’ve picked up an actual reading challenge and started compiling a list of books that I want to acquire.
And of course there are those usual personal goals in amongst all of that including being more organised and certainly more assertive. That’s always a hard one, isn’t it?
Whether you’re a goal setter or not, I wish you all the most happy of New Years and hope that 2016 brings everything you could want.
Resolutions are something that really work for me. I’m a goal-oriented person and love being able to say that I challenged myself to do something and that I achieved it. I have a lot of willpower for some things and I think one of my flaws as a person is hating failing at anything. If I set myself a challenge and don’t complete it for some reason, I get pretty bummed out.
Last week, when we were in the second week of January, I accidentally missed a day of writing. There was so much going on. We moved my sister house, did lots of running around and then spent the evening with a couple of good friends having nice food and a drink or two. Somewhere along that time the whole ‘no zero’ concept got missed. I didn’t write that day and what’s worse, I woke up thinking about it the morning after. I’d already failed at my goal.
But somehow, I managed to shake it off. Sure I’d missed a day but there was good reason for it including complete lack of time and the curse of my forgetful mind. So yes, I was bummed for about an hour and then I got over it. I’m not letting that deter me and I’ve written every day since. Everyday. I think that’s what I have to hang onto. Yes there was a blip but it didn’t last and I got right back on that horse.
Perhaps sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that life doesn’t always go the way we planned. We can make excuses or we can continue on and that’s what I chose to do.
I haven’t tallied up my new word count up to date but I think I’ll make it a monthly thing and plan to do spreadsheets and everything to stay organised (I love that stuff!)
In other news, my shifts at work have changed and while it means I work more days the hours are nicer and more suited to being able to organise my life around them. They start in Feb so if I go a little awol for a while, you know why! Hopefully not though so I also want to blog weekly!
So I decided I wanted to formalise my New Year resolutions formally as a way to not only hold myself accountable, but as a way to look back and remember what they were (yes my memory is that terrible!) and to be able to tick off what I have achieved and when. I’m am also one of those people who likes to have lots of lists–the tickier the better–and so this is something I can print and relate to and tick to my hearts content!
Reading: I want to read at least one book per two weeks. It doesn’t sound like much but lately, it’s not something I’ve been achieving due to work and other such excuses. I will make time to read (and already have been) and I forgot how much I love it so.
Reviewing: for each book I read, I want to leave a review for the author. Since becoming a published author, it’s hit me how important it is to have those reviews and learn what your readers think of your work not only in a bid to promote but in order to make sure they’re enjoying what you’re writing because that’s pretty important. So if I can help an author by leaving a review, I’ll do just that!
Writing: the basic premise for my writing resolution is to have no zero days. I’ll keep it marked on a calendar for each day I manage to write at least something so I can keep track of my progress.
Submitting: I want to submit something every month to an anthology project or something else if possible. It won’t always be but it’s important to keep trying.
Editing: I have a lot of nano novels that are in dire need of attention. This year I’ve chosen four of them and I have divided the year up in three-monthly slots during which I will begin working on the edits of the drafts of each of these novels.
Blogging: I want to blog at least once a week this year. I want to have specific topics to focus on so I have direction and keep up my blog that way. I’m actually really looking forward to this one!
Room for change: However, despite all of this, I also want to recognise that sometimes things change. Life gets in the way and can’t always be ignored. I work full time which leaves me often tired and rather emotionally exhausted. Other times I can’t do anything until my house has been blitzed (does anyone else have this?) So therefore, if things don’t go according to plan, to give myself forgiveness and a break. Sometimes I’m just as bad at being too hard on myself for not achieving something I wanted to as being determined to achieve it.
The generals: On top of all of that I want to make sure I’m eating a little healthier and going back to the gym. I want to stay on top of the housework as much as possible and when I write, take some time for myself and retreat into my little space.
So there it is all laid bare in honest truth. My resolutions for this year. How do they resonate with your own resolutions? What do you want to achieve for the new year and what steps will you take to make sure you achieve them? Please feel free to comment and leave your own opinions and suggestions on the best ways to keep track and on target of the goals for the year. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!
How was everybody’s Christmas? I have to say that mine was just as it should be. I got to spend time with both my family and my partner’s family, ate so much food I was fit to burst and got so spoiled it was unbelievable. I’m now the proud owner of a Tassimo machine. I had my first drink yesterday (a Costa latte) and it was lovely. My parents got me a big, mixed box of pods so I can try out different drinks. When my partner suggested he could get me the machine for Christmas I never thought I would consider using it to make tea but alas, I’m also excited to try those flavours too! I got some dollars ready for my trip to New York next year, a lot of notebooks (and let’s face it, when don’t I need notebooks?), snuggly pjs of different kinds that I can’t wait to climb into bed in, a lot of Gorjuss notebooks as well as two really cute figurines and lots of other stuff too. I can’t believe how spoiled I was. Have you ever seen the Gorjuss range? If not, check this out:
First thing is first, a must for any writer is to read and lots of it. Reading has always been a highlight for me and I’ve loved it since being a kid. The only thing is, time seems to slip away from me a lot and before I know it, I haven’t picked up a book for two weeks. I set myself the target of reading at least one book every two weeks. That’s enough to keep my hand in (for now) and keep my mind active and also to bring me some nice, quiet time for myself.
Next thing is obviously writing! I want to make time to write at least once a week. It’s sometimes quite hectic trying to fit it all in with a full time job that gives obscure shift patterns as well as everything else in life but it’s so important to not only keep writing to keep my brain from exploding but also to keep improving (there’s always room for it!)
Alongside writing, comes editing. I have at least four novels sitting there in my spare room waiting for some much needed attention. I’ve set myself a plan for looking at each of these this year and beginning to get something that could resemble something worth publishing!
There will be other resolutions such as the typical eat better (which I think I’ll find impossible considering the amount of sweeties in my house!) and going back to the gym (which I know I’ll feel the benefit of) at least twice a week.
What are your new year resolutions going to be? Have you given it any thought yet?