Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Goals and resolutions for 2008-2009

It's another cold and grey day here, but spring is surely just around the corner, so it's about time I did my annual review of progress on my various projects. (Yes, I know this is traditionally done on 1 January, but it's not until the days draw out that I feel like evaluating what I've done and deciding where to go next.)

Domestic goals for April 2007- April 2008 were:

  • Various minor but irritating plumbing repair jobs need doing. (They still need doing!)

  • Total bathroom refurbishment required. (Not done yet.)

  • Declutter conservatory. (Not quite there yet, but good progress has been made here.)

  • Get rid of more stuff from garage. (Lots of stuff has gone (eg several boxes of G's old books), more stuff has been moved into there in order to declutter the house. Project likely to be ongoing for a while yet.)

Domestic goals for 2008-2009 will therefore be:

  • Get those plumbing problems sorted out!

  • New bathroom

  • Complete makeover for the conservatory (decorate, new furniture and carpet)

  • Spring clean and redecorate G's study/sitting room

  • Keep shunting stuff out of the garage!

Writing goals for 2007-2008 were:

  • Finish and completely revise ANE by 30 November 07. (I didn't actually finish this, though I do have most of a very messy zeroth draft. I feel this goal was about 80% achieved.)

  • Write 40,000 words of Revealing Secrets. (This goal foundered when I realised that the novel just wouldn't work as envisaged and I had two conflicting stories in there. I teased them apart, but then also decided to reverse the order of the Magic College series by writing a different idea first.)

  • Keep submitting MAM. (I have now exhausted just about all the publishers who will take unagented MS and also have tried a few agents. Submissions now on hold for the moment.)

After all the writing introspection I've done recently, I've decided it's time for a slightly new direction.

I've stopped reading rasfc, possibly for good this time. It wasn't helping the writing any more and it had become merely a method of cat vacuuming and a huge time sink. And right now, the emphasis in that group on publication as a goal just isn't what I need.

If the horrible deluge of spam ever dies down, I will no doubt pop in to look at rasfc now and again via Google Groups, but I'm not subscribing and reading on a regular basis. Fortunately I think just about all of my rasfc friends are now here in LiveJournal-land, so I won't lose touch.

After the failure to sell Moving a Mountain, writing was turning into a painful chore. It was something that I felt I ought to be doing but often didn't want to. But that's a totally stupid situation to be in. Who wants a hobby that you hate doing? And as to thinking about doing it professionally -- total madness if you don't love it. The pay and conditions are rotten, there's absolutely no security, so (assuming one was to start selling one's novels) the only reason for giving up a perfectly satisfactory job to be a full-time writer would be because you enjoy it more.[*]

I seriously considered just giving up, but I would need to find another intellectually stimulating hobby and I couldn't think what else I would do instead. So writing it is. (Photography has become much more important to me again recently, but it doesn't quite fill the same niche as writing. It's not something I think about much when I'm not actually doing it, whereas playing with story ideas and plot noodling helps while away the long daily commute and gives me something useful to do with the time.)

So... I've decided on a slight change of direction. The novel I plan to write next isn't quite ready yet, so I'm going to let it mature for a little longer and write a bunch of short stories. I think the practice of doing more middles and endings would be good. :)

Writing goals for 2008-2008:

  • Finish at least 7 pieces of fiction

  • Make a start on the Stonehenge abduction novel.

[*] I'm ignoring here the vanishingly rare situation in which you manage, in your spare time, to write a runaway bestseller that brings in hundreds of thousands of pounds. :)
Tags: writing progress, writing reflection, yearly goals
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