Reviewing 2015 & Plans for 2016

tree 0022015 was one hell of a year. My family’s health became a top priority (thank you NHS), I moved (& bought a) house, I got a new job in a different field, began planning a hand-fasting, and still tried to be a part-time writer. And those were just the big stressors; ignoring the day to day changes, family events and milestones.

Blog posts dwindled quite epically, but I think from that list alone you can probably see why. Despite the year’s drama, my short story was published in Twice Upon A Time, I met my goal of writing 100,000 new words of fiction, attended a convention, sold another short story (details in the new year!), and completed the first draft of two novels.

And 2016 makes no promise of slowing down. But before I worry about that, it’s time to review 2015.

My 2015 Goals:

* Begin submitting.

I submitted a few short stories, and took valued feedback from a new beta reader that Planes Shifter isn’t ready. But I did begin researching the process so once a novel is set, I’m good to go. Also, near the end of the year, I have a second novel I feel is quite close to being ready for submission in 2016.

* Complete another novel.

Double Tick! I completed The Felled Gods, and during NaNoWriMo, completed a draft called Fury’s Seal.

* Keep track of wordcount. No official aim, but unofficially chose 100,000 words.

Tick! I passed 100,000 words, and kept track of my words throughout the whole year.

* A four-monthly cycle, resulting in two completed books:

Jan-Mar :: Project 1 (e.g. editing PS)
May-Jul :: Project 2 (e.g. continue drafting TFG)
Sep-Nov :: Project 3 (e.g. editing TFG)

I did not quite follow this plan, due to moving house/health stuff/hand-fasting stuff, but I did finish two new first drafts and did some editing on Planes Shifter, Kindling and The Felled Gods during the year.

* Read 24 books.

14/24 – This is a goal I really didn’t manage. Thinking about lowering this for next year, as I’ve begun a habit of setting myself up to fail.

~

In 2016, we’ll be tying the knot, getting cats & I’ll also be going for a dayjob opportunity which will require more work than my current position.

Goals for 2016:

  • Read 12 books: Although I believe it’s important to keep reading, pushing myself to read a number of books a year isn’t working. I often pick short, non-fiction books to hit the target number, without focusing on good stories. Also, when I’m drafting my own works, I try not to read as much as I am easily influenced. I wanted to aim for 16 for 2016, but I want to be realistic.
  • Submit a novel draft to an agent: The main block this year was feedback from both an editor friend and a new beta reader that my story still need a lot of work. I didn’t think it was ready, but having that feedback was a useful reassurance. This year I have two finished drafts I could edit to a decent standard without a full re-draft, which makes this feel like a realistic goal.
  • Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: I like to aim for a completed first draft of a new story per year, but if I really want to focus on submitting, I have to let something go. Besides, I’ve completed seven novel first drafts since 2009, and am therefore technically ahead on a one-per-year goal.
    Thus, 100,000 words in whatever form they come will do for now.
  • Re-create a wellness routine: I spent 2015 constantly run down. I know the things that nourish me and thus my writing include reading, meditation (metta+reiki+mindfulness), exercise (shivanata+yoga+weights) & learning (home study course+trainee prep). In 2011, I focused on these practises and felt much more able to manage life’s twists and turns. I’d like to at least remind myself of those techniques.


How was your year? 

What journey will you be taking in 2016?

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One response to “Reviewing 2015 & Plans for 2016

  1. good luck on your goals! I’m also re-creating a wellness routine; my writing definitely suffers if I’m not taking care of myself.

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