Earlier this year, I put pen to paper, listing six writing-related resolutions for 2018. As the first quarter of the year is at an end, I thought I’d better re-visit them. Not simply to check on progress, for I could tell you how that’s going off the top of my head, more to give myself a shot in the arm, a kick up the doodah, a reminder of what I wanted to achieve – and why. Unusually, I spent a fair bit of time thinking these through, so I’d be seriously pissed off with myself if I let things slip for no good reason.
So, on to those resolutions …
Carve out a regular writing slot during my weekdays and protect it
This one is proving a tough nut to crack and I’m still craving my natural writing slot of 10pm to midnight/early hours. Whilst I’m not kicking myself too hard as there are genuinely a lot of time sensitive things on my to-do list, I am giving myself a hard stare, as this is the most important of my six resolutions.
The good bit is that I am writing. I’m doing the A-Z Blogging Challenge for the fourth year running. Yes, yes, I can see you raising your eyebrows and asking “blogging, is that really writing?” And I’d agree with you, except this time … it is. I’m doing the challenge on the site I co-host – Fiction Can Be Fun – where we’re writing a piece of fiction jointly on the theme of the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. The structure is you produce a blog post each day, commencing with A on April 1st and ending with Z on April 30th. You post every day, with the exception of the last 4 Sundays in April. So, as I say, I’m writing and it is fiction.
Each “chapter” will be a minimum length of 1,000 words and we are sharing the writing and editing duties pretty much 50-50. I’m sure we’ll both be writing more about the joint writing experience once it’s over.
Plan/outline a novel length piece of fiction
This could also be considered a fail in that I haven’t done any planning or outlining on my germ of an idea.
Except I have been doing so – if in a rather haphazard manner on the A-Z story I mentioned above. We started the planning/outlining process with brainstorming ideas and by merging the ideas from two very different pools, characters and a story are being developed. The twist with doing this for the A-Z Challenge, is we then have to tie our story to our chosen A-Z theme words, which has required further additions and alterations to the original plan.
I’d also hoped to start writing the story I’d planned, and we’re certainly writing a planned story. By the time you read this, we’ll have published the post for P.
I still intend to plan/outline that germ of an idea, and get started on writing it before 2018 is out. The first is a firm goal, the second is on the “I’d like to …” list.
Review existing WIPs and decide which to work on and which to put on the back burner
There’s been no time spent reviewing … yet.
Go to the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival
I’ve booked! By time the half-year review comes round, I’ll be able to update you on the experience itself.
In all honesty, I nearly missed it again. When trying to decide on a date, it rapidly became clear that waiting for the schedule to be released would mean we’d be commuting from an absurd distance (50+ miles) so we plumped on a date in a pretty random fashion, based on a bit of a rumour. It looks likely the rumour was a bit of a (unintentional) red herring, but as it spurred us to book, I feel absolutely no ill-will.
Enter a couple of short story competitions
This was always – mentally – on the “later in the year” portion of my list, but it’s good to be reminded.
Attend author events
I’ve started browsing for these recently and quickly found one with great potential – Julian Barnes in conversation at the Freud Museum in Hampstead. It’s being hosted by a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, thus combining two loves of writing and psychology. I’m sure there will be more …
Whilst it’s taken a big of a wiggle and some lateral thinking, I’ve ended up feeling I’m doing better than I’d originally thought. This has turned out to be more of a boost and a spurring on than a kick up the proverbials, which I am regarding as A Good Thing.
© Debra Carey, 2018