Setting your new year’s goals #writing #amwriting

Despite the title of this post, I’m not one for setting goals simply because it’s a new year. But sometimes you need a little boost or nudge to get on with setting fresh goals and the arrival of a new year is the perfect excuse.

I’m taking nine months off work on long service leave to work on my writing, and I already know the time is going fly by.

So what are my goals?

I’ve been dedicated to writing sci-fi, so I’ve decided to branch out and write in other genres. I’ve also been a bit of a slave to the full length novel, so I’m also going to try my hand at a few novellas. As the saying goes, change is good for you. I don’t have work to distract me, and although I am no longer writing as much in the evenings, I am making good word count by day. Usually at least 2k words per day, but I’ve been getting up to a very healthy 4k+ on some days.

I’ve got five different book projects on the go at the moment at various stages of development, which is also unusual for me. Usually, I stick to one and finish it before I move on. I’m finding having several projects to pick from depending on my mood has been really beneficial to my word count. If I’m feeling out of ideas on one, I just pick up another.

It’s early days with this approach but it seems to be working so far. One novella is complete, another is at 75%, and I have had a good stab at a couple of other books. Whether I ever publish them is another matter. I think sometimes just getting back to writing for the joy of it without any end goal in mind delivers its own reward.

My first two books in my new Predictive trilogy are complete and with beta readers. I have some work to do on the first one based on feedback, and I’m letting the ideas incubate before I dive in.

I’m also playing around with the fourth book in the Divided World Series. I swore I would park it to devote time to other projects, but the ideas have been flowing so I figured why not.

And I’m loving being a full-time writer for the first time in my life. And although I know it has an end date, I’m determined to make the most of it.

Wishing everyone happy reading and writing in the new year 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek at book 4 in the Divided World Series…

“You’re not a threat anymore,” Tanis said smiling coldly. “I killed you, remember?”

“Ah, so you did,” said the Master. “But I am still here, am I not?”

“This is just a dream,” Tanis said.

The Master smiled a congenial smile and bobbed his head in agreement making his slit throat gape obscenely. “That is true, but you are listening to me. How else do you think purgatory works? It creeps over the landscape of our lives, taking a piece at a time. First our dreams, then our waking world begins to crumble as it sweeps through, until it finally claims our shattered soul. As you have already pointed out, I am not yet resting with God and my work is not yet done. And she is, by your own code, a threat. You are a Shadowlander—of the warrior caste. You are genetically bound to eliminate the threat. You can no more avoid killing her than you can avoid drawing breath.”

“Hannah isn’t a threat.” Tanis turned once more to the cell door, pounded on the aged wood and called for the guard.

The Master began laughing, a rich, melodious sound that rose above his furious thumping on the door.


Why I believe in setting new year’s goals #writing #amwriting

It’s been nearly four years now since I started blogging, and exactly four years since I set myself a goal to write a book. With this anniversary in mind, I thought I would share my own reason why I believe in setting new year’s goals. I still have a long way to go in my writing journey, but every year spent working toward my writing dream is a year well spent.

I just wished I had started working toward it sooner 🙂

You don’t have to set a goal on the 1st January, whenever you set that goal is the right time. But sometimes a new year provides an opportunity for us to assess where we are and where we want to be.

It can also be the catalyst for us to embrace change, set a new direction, and follow our dreams.

If you have read my about page, some of this will be familiar…

Why I believe in setting New Year’s goals…

I have never been one for new years resolutions, for making plans, or setting goals, or any of those things that most people do every year on the 1st January.

I don’t do diets – too boring.

I don’t want to run a marathon – too hard, jump out of a plane – too scary, or to ‘find myself’ in Tibet.

I have always been at heart a bit of a drifter, and a lot of a procrastinator, and yet at the same time I have never let go of my dream to publish a book.

I spend anywhere up to 20 hours a week working toward this dream and have done so for nearly 20 years. For far too many of those years I never actually committed to converting that dream into a reality…I am the living embodiment of George McFly out of back to the future.

On 1st January 2013, I watched the ball drop in Times Square, and like every other year I never set myself a goal.

The 1st January 2014 was a little quieter, and I had a little more time to reflect. This time, everything changed because I set myself a goal – just one – to publish a book.

It took me a lot longer to get there than I ever expected, but I’m always going to look back on that day and be thankful and grateful that I changed my mindset.

Happy reading and writing and dream chasing in 2018!

Making a commitment to yourself – New years resolutions

This time last year, I made my first ever new years resolution; I said that I was going to publish a book. And while I am not there yet, I am so excited about my progress that it is hard to feel like I have failed.

If I hadn’t made that commitment, I would not have got as far as I have. Since January I have, finished a book – 90k of words, found an editor, and gone through 2 rounds of editing, hacking, chopping, rewriting. In between edits, I have written the second book – another 90k, and began drafting the third.

I have spent hours reading, blogs, books, articles of every kind about writing.

I have started  a blog,  opened a twitter account, facebook pages, and various other social media accounts, where I share, and learn from others doing the same thing.

In short I made more progress towards my dream last year than any other year of my life – and I did this because I made a commitment to myself and because I wrote that promise down.

So whatever it is you want to be or achieve or do, stop waiting for it to happen, make your own commitment, and write it down. Don’t short change yourself, don’t give yourself an easy target, make it hard and make it worth the effort. If you aim high and fail, then you will still have achieved a lot.

If we want to make our dreams a reality, we have to take a risk. We have to risk being a fool or a failure, and recognise that by doing so, we ultimately become neither.

Writing a book – setting a goal

Writing a book is my hobby, it’s something I do of an evening and at the weekend. I enjoy switching off from the stress of everyday work life, sitting down at my computer, and loosing myself in another life. Increasingly, I became aware of how much I enjoyed this, and of how much more writing suited my personality than what I was doing from 9-5.

Sometimes it is funny how we allow ourselves to just drift through our life. We don’t always lift our head up from the day-to-day grind and actually question where we want to go next. I had done this – a lot. I have a successful career, and that has been a distraction from me actually exploring my deeper needs. I think I just kept that dream of being a full time writer in the background, kept it distant. There was always tomorrow after all.

At some point you come to the conclusion that there are a finite number of tomorrows, and that if you want to achieve something you have to do something about it. Magic doesn’t happen, at least not in the real life.

January 1st 2014 was a bit different to all my previous new years. This time I decided that it was long overdue that I did something about these parked and buried dreams. I bought a journey, and I wrote stuff in it. I wrote down exactly what I wanted to achieve.

And so begins my journey – it was time to take the first step.