We may be headed towards the end of January but with a month working through the Kick Start Your Creative Heart writing programme I’m now in more of a position to know where I stand with all of my writing projects.
1. Actively carve out time to write
A little more detailed and perhaps more realistic than my ‘write every day’ goal. As much as I’d like to think writing every day would feel very natural, I need a bit of a push to make it a habit. I want to actually schedule time in my diary either on a weeknight or for longer periods on a weekend for writing, and pre-plan what I want to sit down and work on. I didn’t quite hit the every day mark for January, but again, this is a process that I want to get better at throughout 2018.
2. Finish things
Seeing as this is my year to ‘aspire’ for more I’m want to get right down to it. I want to finish something. Anything. But in particular, I want to aim to have written and finished the following:
- A poetry anthology with at least half a dozen pieces on one theme
- Three short stories/flash fiction pieces
- The first draft of a novel
If I don’t do these it’s not a huge deal. I definitely don’t want to pressure myself so much that I don’t enjoy the writing process itself. That being said I do have a habit of starting things and leaving them in a metaphorical slush pile to never work on again. I’ve spent the past few years really concentrating on creativity and finding my passion for writing again, but I really want to have a solid repertoire of work I can send off or start submitting or indeed keep to myself.
3. Submit to 5 literary magazines
Speaking of submissions. Though I didn’t actually hit the goal of five last year (I sent out submissions to two, with one rejection and one publication!) it was a useful goal to have in the back of my mind to push myself to be a bit more confident to send my work out into the World. I also want to try and submit more than just poetry too, so I’ll really be working on my flash fiction and short stories this year.
4. Cull & edit down my project list
This may seem counteractive to my ‘finish things’ goal’, but this is all about focus. To give you an idea I have around 20 unfinished ‘projects’ saved in folders upon folders on my computer, ranging from scripts for both TV and film, full-length novels to snippets of short stories. I’m rarely one to get writer’s block when it comes to new ideas but it can be really overwhelming when it comes to choosing what I actually want to work on. I want to edit down what I’m actively working on. That way I can focus solely on specific projects, instead of dancing between 20 and never finishing anything!
5. Read like a writer
One thing I’ve been awful at doing the past year is also carving out time to read. This year I’m pushing myself to finish the 52 book challenge. For me reading other people’s work is a writer’s best ammunition to becoming a better writer. I want to learn from the best and critique what I feel doesn’t quite work.
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In the spirit of accountability, I’ll be checking in on these every now and then – and possibly sharing some actual writing snippets for once too!