Thursday, 19 January 2017

Aims and Intentions

  I was listening to a writing podcast recently (more on this in a few days), and one of the two presenters, musician & dream-coach Mark Desvaux, was talking about having aspirations and goals and how writing them down makes them far more likely to happen. I might have written that wrong; writing them down doesn’t make them happen. Writing them down makes it more likely that you’ll do what’s necessary to make them happen. You know what I mean. I’m sure there was a statistic, but it escapes me.
  I’m ridiculously poor at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, so I don’t make them. (Actually that’s not true. This New Year’s Eve I distinctly remember saying “Next year, I intend to…” but by the next morning had totally forgotten what I’d said. I still can’t remember. You get the point.)
  But I have, the last few years, been writing down my writing intentions here. 
In 2014 I wanted to up my quantity and quality. No comment about the quality, but I did bat out three separate vomit-drafts. 
2015 was about doing something with them, and while abandoning one, I pulled another into some readable shape.
In 2016 the plan was to get it ready to submit which I did, in the hope of landing an agent, which I also did. Hurrah!

  Can you see why I'm buying into the writing things down idea? (Looking back at the earlier posts, I can see I got scared when things were written down. Faced with it, it felt overwhelming - or maybe I was frightened of the commitment. Not so much any more. Now it genuinely feels helpful to have an intention stated. It's something I have to hold myself to.)

So what of this year? Things have changed now, as with Agent Federica onside there’s a plan. My writing doesn't just fill the hours while the kids are at school; it has deadlines and expectations to meet, where it never did before. Effectively I have a job again and that is requiring some alterations at home. I haven’t had employment (aside from child management) for twelve years and when I did, I didn’t have four additional lives to run at the same time. I’m not used to telling the kids to go away as I don’t have time right now. It makes me feel guilty, though I know it shouldn’t. So I have a learning curve to travel this year.
 Also during this last rewrite I took myself back to school and went through some how-to books, which made me question how I’d been writing up to now. Going forward I want to be far more savvy with my plotting and structuring, from the off. Essentially, like the last three years, I want to raise my game again. I fully intend to finish this story I’m on as soon as I can (but in as long a time as it takes to be good enough), then move on to the next, while Agent Federica sends the first off into the stratosphere. Then we’ll have to see what happens as it’s out of my hands.
(Yes that is a kitten pic. Do not judge me.)
So there it is, my 2017 pledge of intention; To develop new a working practice that fits with all of us here at home and to Write smarter, write better.

What about you? What’s your plans? Write them down!

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