Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

Almost 2014…

By this time next week, we’ll all be knee-deep in January. Will you have made any resolutions? My main resolution is just to keep going; 2013 has been a challenging one and I don’t suppose things are suddenly going to slack off.

A Progress Report

Last year, I proposed more writing, editing and submitting for 2013. As Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain’t bad. I’ve written FF most weeks and InMon almost ever other week, as well as an almost-finished first draft for NaNoWriMo and a few other bits here and there. Editing TPF isn’t quite finished, but I’ve made fantastic progress and am keen to get that done and out to beta-readers. There wasn’t much submitting, but the advent of my first ever (part of a) digital publication has made me feel less bad about that.

I also proposed millionaire-dom. That was 0 for 0, I’m afraid, but there’s always next year…

The Plan

A failure to plan is a plan to fail, right? I may not have hit every mark this year, but it’s nice to have some marks to aim for – Stretching Goals, I heard some motivational speaker call them. So here’s my Stretch Goals for 2014. (Presumably this motivational speaker wasn’t friends with the SMART goals brigade.)

Writing: continue FF and InMon, although possibly drop down to one or the other each week to increase time available for other projects. Finish NaNoNovel. Write more varied lengths, in particular fleshing out some of the flash fiction pieces I’ve posted here before. I’m going to pull back on the non-fiction posts, again to make more time for other things, but if I have something to say, it’ll be here on Mondays or Thursdays when there’s no InMon.

Editing: Last read-through of TPF then find some beta-readers. Evaluate and incorporate their responses. Also, obviously, ongoing editing of smaller works throughout the year

Submitting: I’d like to get back into the habit of submitting. And to start hawking TPF around agents / publishers.


It’s said that the more widely you commit to a goal, the more motivated you’ll be to achieving it. So share your goals here, or link to your posts about goal-setting. Have a great 2014 and see you on the blogosphere.

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Editing Progress Report – September

As I mentioned last month, things have gone slightly astray on the editing front. That is to say, August was meant to be a re-read, September a re-write based on it, October another read-through. Instead, August’s re-read highlighted an exciting and scary hole in the middle of the text and I’ve spent September filling the whole. Well, the second half; the first half of September I was away and did basically nothing writing-wise.

Somehow it’s now the end of September, and I’m patently not done. I’ve managed to write about 9,000 words of the missing chunk. I’m pleased with that, both in terms of the plot developments I’ve added, and the amount I’ve written, but it’s not done on either front.

So, October is going to be more of the same. Hopefully by the end of October, I’ll have a finished story, ready for some smaller-scale edits during the December read-through. Because November is bracketed for NaNoWriMo. I’m going to see whether it’s possible to complete a 50,000 first draft with a one-year-old in tow!

We’re 3/4 of the way through the year. How are your writing resolutions looking? It may not be going exactly according to plan, but I’m really happy with the progress I’m making on TPF. I hope you’re having similar degrees of success!


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Editing – Progress Report

Back in the dim and distant past (January), I put together a plan for editing my first ever NaNoWriMo novel: working title, The Phoenix Fire.

Part of the plan was to spend May – July on a full-scale rewrite, based on the problems I found in the earlier months. By then, I had 60 “scenes” planned out, and needed to add, move and remove text to make the story work. I’ve been posting updates and you may have read that at the end of last month I’d fallen slightly behind, but things picked up in July and there was a bit of slack built into the schedule, so I managed to write the last word of the final scene on Friday 19th. For that, I’m rather pleased with myself.

I also think it’s a good story now. It’s a very different beast from where it was in January, but mostly in a good way. The plot feels much more rounded and the text sharper.

The biggest disappointment, though, is the length. When I started editing, it was over 80,000 words long, and suitable (on that front) for publication as a novel. However, the editing process meant cutting out a lot of fluff, and my writing style is much leaner these days, so the new version hovers at just 50,000.

The bad news is, publishing trends in this genre (mainstream fiction / magical realism) seem to be going long at the moment, which knocks me firmly back into novella territory. The good news, perhaps, is that novellas are on the up. So, I’m planning not to pad the text I’m working with now.

August is all about another read-through with a highlighter pen and a notebook. I’m sort of looking forward to it – hopefully I’ll enjoy it this time around!

How are your Writing Resolutions for 2013 coming along? Have you backtracked or given up, revised your goals or smashed through them? 7 months in, there’s still time to get some decent writing done this year, and to pat ourselves on the back for what we’ve achieved so far


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The more writing blogs I read, the more writing goals I come across. Like New Year’s Resolutions, they pick up on all the things the writer wants to achieve in a set timeframe, usually the next year. By pinning our colours to the mast, we hope that we’ll be more likely to stand by them.

So I thought, why not? Here’s my flag. I am Standard Bearer, General and Frontline Soldier. I will salute it every morning and evening, and defend it with my dying breath. Unless, of course, life gets in the way, because on the other flag pole is a non-writing flag, which has got a couple of big life-eating pictures on it, like getting back into my career.


1. I will edit and redraft Eric into a polished “Second draft” format for sending out to readers by 1st July 2012.

2. I will endeavour to have Eric “finished” and ready for submission by 31st December 2012.


1. Barring lack of internet connection or another fine excuse, I will post at least twice a week to this blog – on a variety of topics on Mondays and with Flash Fiction on Fridays.

2. I will continue to submit at least one piece in at least one place each month.


1. I will continue to edit and polish last year’s NaNo stories and miscellaneous other short pieces already in my collection.

2. I will write new shorts when they come to me, or when I have spare time. And in particular, at least one in July 2012 once Eric is with readers.

3. I will win NaNo 2012, whilst also being coML for the Toronto region. How hard can that be?

4. I’ll crit any piece I’m asked to.

5. I’ll look into writing or related jobs / careers, including editing.


There. It’s up. Hoisting it was the easy part, protecting it will take work, motivation and determination. If you’d like to raise your own flag, either in the comments or by posting a link below, please go ahead. This is one of those battles where we’re all on the same side.

Please join me in the first salute.


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