This year seems to have been a year of starting and stopping. I began the year wanting to progress with short stories and write a second novel. Yet mid-year, after receiving feedback on my first novel, I decided to put my other projects on hold and re-write that first novel instead.
I guess that’s the nice thing about being an aspiring author. You still have the absolute freedom to write what feels good, free from scary deadlines and mounting pressure.
The target I set myself at the beginning of 2019 was very broad: be my own competition. This basically meant committing to taking my writing seriously and trying to progress beyond what I accomplished the previous year.
In some ways, my progress this year has been disappointing. I’ve achieved a grand total of 0 publications. That is less than 2018.
But it isn’t as simple as that, or so I hope. Despite my disappointing publication count, I have been writing, and I have been pleased with the writing I have completed.
So, what have I been up to in 2019?
- Back at the beginning of the year, I received my first review for a short story I published in December 2018. It was really encouraging that someone had taken the time to write a letter to a magazine, saying how much they enjoyed my story.
- I’ve completed a few more short stories – I just haven’t focused on ‘getting them out there’ yet.
- I got feedback on my first novel – and am becoming better at the process of asking for and receiving feedback (and taking it on board).
- In fact, one of my short stories is being rather publicly critiqued in February 2020s issue of ‘Writing Magazine’. (Yikes!)
- I’m still writing blog posts, and the number of views is slowly creeping up.
- I’ve “finished” the revised draft of my first novel, ‘Lost in Galderwood’.
Last week, I printed my manuscript, ready for final edits and proofreading. It’s so nice to have a hardcopy to read. I find it much easier to spot those pesky typos when reading something on paper, rather than looking at a computer screen.
Once that’s all done, I need to write the dreaded synopsis, ready to send out to agents in the new year.
It feels like the right time to start thinking about 2020, and to set my targets for next year. I want to keep being my own competition, but I want to be braver and more daring, to put my writing out there more and just give things a go, without worrying so much about whether I am good enough.
A few general goals are:
- Get my novel sent out to agents.
- Keep writing
- Keep submitting.
What are your goals for the new year?