Resolutions – nay – Goals!

So here’s my obligatory “Here’s My New Year Resolutions” post. It is fashionably late due to several reasons – being away on holibags over the New Year, being back at work and therefore mucho tired and computer games (curse you Steam and your crazy holiday sale).

Now I’ve never been one for resolutions – I don’t bite my nails, smoke, murder prostitutes or anything like that. I could almost definitely do with going to the gym more often but well… I just hate the gym.

So instead I have set myself THREE GOALS. I’ve found set myself a short list of daily things I want to achieve helps motivate me so now I’m raising by a factor of 365. There are three things that I fully intend to have accomplished by the time the bells ring again. They are all writing related and that ties with a general feeling that it’s about time I started taking myself seriously as a writer.

1. Complete my novel – So I recently reached the long awaited finale of my first draft and have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen on the following passes and how long they will take. I suspect my biggest enemy will be lethargy and other ideas stealing my attention (got a cracking Robin Hood-but not Robin Hood idea). I’ve run a new calendar for crossing off my editing days, if I can just keep myself knuckled down then I don’t see any reason why this bad boy can’t be done and dusted this year.

2. Take some formal writing training – It has recently occurred to me that, other than feedback received online and a (very good) book I read, I haven’t had any training or guidance on writing, grammar or literature since high school. That’s a longer length of time than I would like to admit. So I’ve decided to take all the money people gave because I couldn’t think of good Christmas presents and put towards some sort of online course. Incidentally if any has any good suggestions on this matter (preferably UK-based) I’d love to hear them.

3. Become a published author – I’m tired of calling myself an “aspiring writer” or that I “do a bit of writing”. I want to see my work in print – ideally on paper or if online then by a well accredited third party. It doesn’t have to be the aforementioned novel – a short story or similar will be fine – just something that I can show to people as proof that is actually something I can do. This is the biggy, the challenging one. Number one and two are easily achievable with enough time and money but this one relies on actual talent and acceptance by other writers.

So there we are my THREE GOALS. I don’t think any of them are out of reason but neither are they straight forward tasks and all are measurable as binary outcomes – I either managed it or I didn’t.

I have also had another big first – I’ve attended my first ever writer’s group meeting. Woohoo! This (hopefully) ties in with GOAL 2 and GOAL 3 and also my general attitude that I need to start admitting to myself and others that writing is something I do and not a dirty secret. So how did it go? A lot better than I had expected and that’s because I was terrified in advance – I’m not great with meeting new people and had this nightmare vision that they might cast me out as not being A Real Writer. Sitting in the car outside the community centre I was still honestly debating of whether I should just write the idea off and head home with my tail between my legs. But went in I did and I’m glad for. It was a small group of mixed ages and backgrounds, all very friendly, welcoming and yes – very, very good at their craft. We started with an ice-breaker writing exercise (my results of which I may put up here at some point) and then took turns at each person reading out something they had written recently with hard copies passed around for the others to read. It being my first week I hadn’t brought anything but still found it a fascinating and useful process, listening to the others’ work and then joining in the highly constructive discussions afterwards. Next meeting is in two weeks and I’ll definitely be going back, with something to read out this time as well. Bonus points – I also got pointed towards two local short stories anthologies that currently taking submissions!

Title image courtesy bensutherland

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your goals could be my goals. Good luck. I’m Looking forward to reading that manuscript!

    It’s also good to hear about your writing group experience. I’d be scared too, but it seems like a good bunch of people there.

    • Next week will be even scarier when I actually bring along something to read out – I’ve never been good at reading things out!

      • Oh and re: the manuscript. I may drop you something fairly soon – probably a portion rather than the full thing.

  2. Any writing group that starts with a writing exercise is a keeper, in my book. You’d be amazed how many writing workshops I’ve attended over the years that didn’t include actually writing!

    I hope you enjoy your group, and you have terrific goals. I wish you a productive 2011.

    • Thanks Cathryn. Yeah the writing exercise was on those things that sounded horrifying at first but once I’d gotten into actually really enjoyed. Don’t they do that every week though.

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