2019, 2020 and a bag of goals

I’ve pinched this image from the internet but couldn’t find who owns the copyright… sorry!

The year is at an end. I love this time of year. I loathe this time of year. There’s a mixture of melancholy and optimism. Christmas is gone but everyone’s off work. There’s more football on the telly than you can shake a shitty stick at and the other channels are rolling out blockbusters like the tape is about to expire.

Looking back on 2019, it’s seemed a bit of a tricky one on some fronts. We’ve had a lot of low-level shit to deal with that has grated and ground away at us. I’m optimistic for a better year but wary of more of the same.

There have been a few positives. I’ve got my career back on track at a new job in an exciting and encouraging organisation. I’ve got a new place to write and when I hit the keys, I feel like things are going well. If anything, I’m in a place where I feel as though I want to work on about fifty stories at the same time. Needless to say, I’m not that dude from Limitless and multi-tasking inevitably leads to me finishing nothing at all!

In 2019, I wrote and edited another novel. I did a few drafts of this one inside nine months. It was with a beta reader by the start of October. I was really pleased with how it came out. It flowed more naturally than anything else I’ve ever written.

However, in true 2019 fashion, the rest of the year felt kind of squandered. I convinced myself I could start and finish another novel by the end of the year. I got about 25k in (across two attempts) before I jacked it in. I love the idea but right now, it’s too raw to work into a novel in this short space of time. I put myself under pressure to finish that novel, I didn’t really plan and failed as a result.

All of this brings me to the main point of this post. Goals. Everyone has them. I have numerous goals for the other areas of my life but I’ve settled on a few for my writing. They are: –

  • To edit, prepare and submit my second novel. The obvious qualifier here is that I want it to be accepted by an agent/publisher/whoever.
  • To place 5 short stories at decent markets
  • To complete another decent sized project. This may be a couple of novellas, or a new novel. I have a couple of things planned out but I’m not sure which one will lead me to the page first.
  • To record more of what I’m reading and track my reading habits with a view to improving. I’ve just joined Goodreads so I can do this more easily.

And that’s it. Keep the goals small, keep them concise and make yourself accountable. I think I’ve managed that here and I intend to keep updating this site as often as possible with the progress I’m making.

Best wishes for 2020.