So, Happy New Year one and all. I know this could be seen as a belated greeting, but I’m within 365 days of my 2017 Aims and Intentions post, so it is legit I think. (Please read the small print for T&Cs.)
For those who have been here before, this is my annual layout of my goals for the year, as I am hopeless at Resolutions. Displaying them here though has proved to be helpful, as it keeps me focused (by which I mean Frightened. But in a good way. Once I’ve said it aloud, I know I need to pony something up, in case anyone remembers and holds me to it.)
Last year, here, I did a recap of the previous three years, of what my goals had been and how that had gone. Last year’s goal was “to develop new a working practice that fits with all of us here at home and to Write smarter, write better.”
To be honest, I don’t know if I got a grip on the working practice thing. The writing isn’t a constant beast; sometimes it is spaffing words out on the page, sometimes it is herding it into something shapely and sometimes it is reading it back while curled up on the sofa with a notebook. Some months I can engross myself in it while some months nothing happens because Christmas. BUT, on a basic level; no one died from it, cried from it, ran away or was taken into Care. So that’s a win. Any long term scarring will remain to be seen, but for now I’m prepared to say I am managing, and it’s probably a work in progress.
As for whether the words are smarter and better? Again the jury is out. I think I came at planning Story Two more sensibly, having been through the Story One restructuring with Agent Federica in 2016. That’s not to say the current structure won’t change, but it was sound enough to write the first draft, to a state where Lovely CP was able to read it from start to finish and I didn’t cry at her feedback. Now it is with three Beta readers, so I’ll have to wait and see what they say. (No, no bum-clenching going on here, not at all, I always walk like this…)
So what for 2018?
Obviously the dream would be to announce a publishing deal – that is the overall aim of my game after all - but such things are out of my hands. I can only write it, hone it and send it out, and then hope an editor in a publishing house somewhere will pick it up, read it and love it.
My goals then, the things I can steer are;
I’m going to finish Story Two.
I’m going to think about, plan and start Story Three. I spent quite some time ‘thinking’ about Story Two before I started writing, and at the time I felt guilty about it, as the fingers weren’t on the keyboard and it looked like I had nothing to show for my time. But realistically I needed the time, to refuel the tanks and marshal my thoughts. I’ll be scheduling it in, without guilt, next time, knowing I need it.
I’m going to keep learning about Structure, as I suspect it might be key. (In fact I know so; if you haven’t read John Yorke’s Into the Woods, best get to it.)
I’m not doing NANO, unless I have a defined plan BEFORE starting. (Stating it here so I don’t get talked into it.)
I’m going to read more than the pitiful amount I managed last year, because I missed it and it benefits me, both as me and as a writer.
I’m not going to refer to my writing as a hobby. I write, therefore I am a writer. I need to own it, rather than feeling I have to justify it to people, in some way that excuses it or makes it sound less than it is, which is just ridiculous and I need to get over it… Oh sorry, did I say that out loud? Ahem...
I’d like to go on another writing retreat.
I must spend less time on Twitter.
I should learn to type with more than four fingers.
I will Save things better. (I wrote this post and then deleted it by mistake and saved the doc before I realised, so had to write it again.)