2015 – a year of almosts

2015-12-30 20.51.01I love a goal and I love lists. So my New Years resolutions are a pretty big deal (although I don’t always wait until New Year). I love looking back over the year, because it’s so easy to forget the good things that happened in it. Some feel like yonks ago! So it’s a healthy exercise to review the year, and I love to read other people’s goals to help inspire mine. So I hope mine will inspire you and you can help me with my 2016 ones…

This year I split my goal into five categories: health, family and friends, finance, house, and writing. It was a good plan. I did okay in my health category: I started and maintained cycling to work, eating less red meat, and actually went to my four-year-delayed smear test (TMI?). I did okay with family and friends – I put together a friend’s 30th birthday party as a way to say thanks for being a good friend. I also kept up date nights, and finally told my family about something that had burdened me for so long (which prompted my journey on the WHW). I didn’t see my Nan as much as I’d of liked.

My dreams of getting out of my overdraft were shattered. But I did okay with the house stuff, and stuck to my cleaning rota and did some projects that needed doing. I did about half. I’m all for unreachable goals. Didn’t someone say ‘aim of the moon, and if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars’? I like to think I’m chilling next to Orion’s belt.

My writing goals? Well they were a bit hit and miss. In previous years I set a target to ‘win a competition’ or whatnot, but this year I decided I just needed to focus on submitting more, and consistently.

  1. Submit two stories a month – tick.
  2. Do a reading – tick. I read at National Flash Fiction Day and at Novel Nights.
  3. Finish second draft of novel and rewrite voice in 3rd draft.
  4. Sub book to agents.

As you can see, I had a pretty good year with shortlistings, a third place win, and longlistings. I also had some pieces published and was voted โ€˜Author of the monthโ€™ at Short Story Sunday for my story Moonquake. All of this happened because I submitted more and committed to sending my stuff out on a regular basis. I would definitely recommend that goal. I’ll be carrying it over. So to all of you: SUBMIT, unapologetically. Submit your asses off.

Half way through the year I revised my goals about my novel. I had broken down what I was going to do each month, but once I diverted from it and got behind, I struggled to find my way and lost hope with it. Even when I changed the details of the goals. I altered my bigger goal to ‘finish’ the novel and submit to someone for advice by the end of the year. I failed at that too. Life just got a bit much. Some of my other goals had taken over my life. I stopped writing in the morning. I stopped writing full stop.

I had so many doubts about the novel, that it was weighing me down, crushing my motivation. So what I did do, was get a beta reader to read the first half of it in November, and their response was really positive and got me back on track. Definitely worth doing if you lose sight. So of course, all my writing goals will carry over to next year. They WILL! *forces unrelenting aims over the cliff into 2016*

I love having goals. They shape you, they help you to form new habits. Next year I think I might struggle with balancing too many balls, so I’m going to be careful and realistic about what I might be able to achieve in the first half of the year as I have a lot of volunteering projects going on in my spare time too. And I’m still working out how to manage my writing goals when I slip… Any tips?

What will you challenge yourself to do next year?

Let me know if you want to see my 2016 goals when I’ve drawn them up.

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5 thoughts on “2015 – a year of almosts

  1. Love this post! If you achieve all your goals you’re setting too easy goals! Sounds like you’ve had a really successful year in terms of writing. And I think your advice is spot on – on the flip side I’ve not been able to write or submit really at all and my confidence and ability have both taken a dive! I’d love to hear your 2016 goals. Maybe I will motivate myself with setting some too ๐Ÿ™‚ Bless you, x

    1. But you’ve had loads of good stuff happen to you too! 2nd place in a big competition and all the book stuff!! Perhaps your confidence lies in your frustration in not being able to write as much as you’d like or could have? I feel that. All the time! Especially in the later part of this year and I don’t have 2 kids! I have all these stories lined up to write in my head but struggling to just get them down for various reasons. Def do some goals. They help in starting a clean slate. Putting the year’s struggles with the pen to one side. Sometimes it’s just finding a new way to write in the time you have… maybe you need a spotter? ๐Ÿ™‚ perhaps a regular date to swap work with someone?

      1. As a qualified personal trainer I used to be so good at setting goals, it’s felt a bit pointless recently. If I try quite hard I might get 20 minutes to write once or twice a week. But I am starting to use that time at least – instead of feeling there’s no point starting something! I know that if I don’t write regularly I get worse at good writing, but I guess if I do write more I’ll get better again. I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the motivation ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. “So to all of you: SUBMIT, unapologetically. Submit your asses off.”

    Definitely agree with this piece of advice, Freya! My success this year has been down to submitting to lots of places, after doing the reading first. After all, no one can read your writing if it sits on your computer! And a great reading at NFFD too. Happy New Year!

    1. Oh thanks Tino! Missed this message. Agree about the reading/researching part – you’ve got to put the work in. You’ve had a great year too! Look forward to reading with you at NFFD again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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