New Year, new time to make plans and goals.

I quite like making New Year’s resolutions, although I don’t always stick to them (*). I always enjoy and meet deadlines for professional writing projects. However, I’ve never been good at giving myself personal writing deadlines.

I had to write up a plan of activity recently for one of my books, and it was an interesting task. When you look at each month, lying blank and clean on a sheet of paper, it all seems easy. Try to populate those months with what you need to achieve and by when so that you can release a book by a certain date, and it becomes more of a challenge. Turns out it’s a very good challenge, though.

Using the schedule of activity for one book, together with my vague New Year’s resolutions, list of opportunities I’m interested in, and plans for my work in progress, I sat down and made a month by month plan for the year.

Life may not play ball, I may work faster or slower than I hoped, or I may get some amazing opportunity and abandon all plans. Who knows? Nevertheless, it was good to do and I’d recommend it.

Some of the writing goals on there are:

  • To longhand, freewrite 1 page of a new novel every day. I have imagined  3 key scenes which I want to include, but that’s it. No set story. It’s a surprise every day, and I’m loving this one.
  • To write 1 short story every month. It was going to be one a week but I can’t fit that in, and I think it’s best to be reasonable about plans at this stage of the year.
  • To complete the current redraft of my book by 31 January. This is going well so far – although I’m at the miserable ‘why am I bothering, I am not worthy’ stage. I need to push through though, I’m very close to the end.
  • To enter at least 6 writing opportunities. Magazines, competitions, etc. The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook short story competition 2014 might be the first I enter this year.
  • To rewrite my YA novel by August 2014. If it feels right I also want to self publish this. I have a plan within a plan for this, a most cunning plan, more cunning than a fox browsing the animal husbandry section of a library.
  • To write a rough draft of a new novel. This MIGHT push me over the edge, but we’ll see. Depends how I split the balance between freelance writing work and creative writing work.
  • To bloody well send my novel to the right people, excuse my language. I’m incredibly good at letting ‘the fear’ take over at the end of the writing process and doing nothing with my creative work. I have to get over this hurdle otherwise there was no point going self-employed. Last year I adopted a ‘fake it til you make it’ confidence strategy to talk to people at events, and you know what? It worked. I pushed myself, and nobody laughed in my shy and blushing face.

Do you have any writing goals for 2014?

*I’m not alone – apparently today is the day on which lots of people break their resolutions.

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