As I did a fairly comprehensive review of my writer’s goals for 2013 in October I won’t bore you with a repeat. However, I do want to offer some advice:
Make your goals for 2014 as specific and achievable as possible.
As an example, see how I set my writing goals for 2013. Of all those that I set myself, only one has not been accomplished – to prepare NaNo#1 for beta readers – and this is because it was far too grand and obscure. I’m not going to make that mistake again.
So, as a little review of 2013, here’s how my year shaped up through blog posts and milestones:
I completed the first draft of my second novel and started re-reading my first ever attempt at a novel and realising the mistakes I’d made
I successfully completed my first ever short story in both draft and edited formats and submitted it to a competition
I attended the Huddersfield Literature Festival and have since become a member of the committee for HLF2014
I joined Twitter and promptly won a competition to see Taiye Salasi at Waterstones! I finished reading the first draft of my very first novel
I experienced the insecurity that comes with being a writer. I also suffered with illness and allowed my readers a glimpse into my life with M.E. Oh, and I took part in Story a Day in May 2013 (though I didn’t manage it all)!
I injected some enthusiasm into my efforts to revise my first draft novel by buying my dream writer’s desk and discovered that I need small, achievable goals to help me stay motivated
I reviewed why it is that I write and panicked about the fact my novel didn’t conform to typical story-telling rules in a very popular post called: ‘What happens when you don’t have the answers?‘ I also entered the Costa Coffee Short Story Award and went book-mad in Hay-on-Wye
I was pleasantly surprised to discover my story had been short-listed in a Writing Magazine competition and as a reward purchased my own domain name
I re-evaluated my Writer’s Biography and began planning for NaNoWriMo 2013!
I continued my NaNoWriMo advice pieces (culminating in my most viewed post to date) and realised I needed to rewrite my first novel rather than just edit it. I also blogged for the Manchester Literature Festival
I took part in NaNoWriMo 2013 and won by understanding that first drafts are a product not a process and missed the launch of HLF14 with Joanne Harris!
I was disappointed not to make the final cut for the Costa Coffee Short Story Award – but reviewed the finalists instead. I also made a tough decision about not submitting to a competition I really wanted to enter.
All in all, it’s been a pretty good year. I feel more confident as a writer and I’ve branched out in my interests through both being involved in Literature Festivals and connecting regularly with other writers via blogs and Twitter. I can only hope that 2014 will be just as successful and will see me grow as a writer even more than I did this year. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!