Have you reviewed your writing goals?

image_quote_the_reason_youre_still_hoping2It occurred to me lately that I haven’t yet reviewed my writing goals so far this year. As a result, I haven’t really considered if I’m on track or what it is I have left to do in order to meet them. Therefore, in the month before the rush of NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d analyse how far I’ve gotten with my yearly goals and plan what it is I need to do before the end of the year to make it a successful one. 

As set out in my new year post – Setting the Goal Posts for 2013 – here are the goals I said I wanted to meet:

dreamswithdeadlines1. Enter five short story competitions

2. Attend a Literature Festival

3. Go to a Writing Group Meeting once a month

4. Prepare NaNo #1 to share with beta readers

5. Write three blog post a week

6. Read Writing Magazine every month

7. Read one new novel a month

After nine months writing part-time, have I managed to build on those goals and achieve them? Well, let’s see shall we:

1. Enter five short story competitions
So far this year I have entered – The First Bingo Short Story Competition;  Daggerville Games Monthly Flash Fiction; Writing Magazine’s Last Line Competition and Costa Coffee’s Short Story Award. So that’s four down and only one more to go!
The really great thing is that, for the Writing Magazine submission, I was shortlisted so that has boosted my confidence and made me realise I might be able to potentially win something one day!

2. Attend a Literature Festival
Not only did I attend the Huddersfield Literature Festival in March 2013 but I am now also on the committee helping to plan the Huddersfield Literature Festival 2014! It’s been really interesting so far, and while it may take time away from my writing, it’s hopefully going to stand me in good stead in the future. 
Manchester Literature Festival is happening this month and while I have limited funds to attend events, I did volunteer to blog for them. As a result I’ll be covering two events – the evening with Jeanette Winterson and Audrey Niffenegger and the Fiction Débuts with three first time authors!

3. Go to a Writing Group Meeting once a month
Initially I attempted to attend a group in Manchester on a Sunday, but the journey became too much for me both in terms of energy and time. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a local group that meet 10m down the road on a Monday evening three times a month. Since then, I’ve made some great new writing colleagues and gotten some good feedback on pieces I’ve written.

4. Prepare NaNo #1 to share with beta readers
I think it’s safe to say that this is the one that I am most struggling with. I hadn’t reckoned for the difficulties I would face with editing, and while I may be enjoying it on occasion I’m only a quarter of the way through. That’s because I’ve started over twice. This is one that is likely to be incomplete given the upcoming pressure of NaNoWriMo and the busy Christmas month before the end of the year.

5. Write three blog post a week
I think, for the most part, I’ve been pretty consistent with this one. On occasion I have dipped – holidays and sickness notwithstanding – but I’ve enjoyed reflecting on my journey and feel that it has helped me progress and develop as a writer. Without all the support from my fellow bloggers, I’m not sure I would have emerged from some of the darker moments of lack of confidence that I’ve had over the past year or so.
Not only did I write my blog posts, but I also took a huge leap and bought my own domain! It’s a big step to invest in my future as a writer but it also signifies to myself how much I believe in my own ability to make it as a future published author.

6. Read Writing Magazine every month
At the beginning of the year I would trawl though the magazine as soon as it was ripped from the cellophane. Now I’m a bit more leisurely. I’ve also invested in a digital subscription to Writer’s Digest. This way I feel I’m getting the full array or expertise and advice out there. 

7. Read one new novel a month
I have no idea if I have managed this one! I completely neglected to record how many books I may have read over the past few months! I am, however, confident that the current total stands higher than nine.

quotes-about-goal-setting2It seems like I am pretty much on track to achieve the majority of my writing goals for 2013. While I might not quite complete No.4, there is nothing on my list that says I would write another novel during the month of November (especially not the sequel to NaNo #1). Therefore, I’m fairly happy trading these two things off against one another. It’s safe to say I didn’t know what the perils of editing would be, therefore it has been a steep learning curve. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying though…I wouldn’t be me if I did!

~~~

How are you faring with your yearly goals? Did you set any – if you did, how are they going? If you didn’t, will you next year? I’d love to hear how you’re all getting on this year. Let’s hope that by the end of 2013 we all have some successes to report!

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5 responses to “Have you reviewed your writing goals?

  1. Pingback: 2013: In Review | Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

    • Thanks hon!
      Yes – having them online for everyone to see really helps with motivation. Plus, it’s easy to find them again to see how you’re doing.
      Will look forward to seeing them in January! 😉
      Take Care, Cat x

  2. Great progress on your goals, and a good reminder for your readers to check in on our own! As for your #7 goal, have you considered joining Goodreads? It’s where I track what I’ve read and what I want to read. You can also invite friends to join Goodreads and follow them and see what they’re reading. A great way to discover new books through your friends.

    • Funny you should mention Good reads, I was considering joining up. My only concern is that it’s another thing to keep track of and I’m not very reliable when it comes to updating stuff like that (I joined scribophile but have neglected it over the last 6wks).
      I like the idea of finding books through friends though, might have to give it a proper look over this weekend!
      Thanks for recommending it!

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