Hello February! Wow, it feels weird saying that, even though we are two weeks into the new month. While January didn’t fly by as quickly as previous months, it has gone pretty quick. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was working out my new goals for 2019, and now we’re on to the second month of the year.
January was a better month for my writing goals. I didn’t complete as many as I would have liked, but I did much better than the previous months. It was a good start to the year. I was more determined to stop talking and start doing. I made changes to limit any distractions, and I feel they have helped me to get more work done.
Okay, enough waffle, let’s see how I did in January:
- Writing Goal 1: Novel 4th draft – edit chapters 12-42
Result: Sadly, I didn’t edit up to chapter 42, but I did edit seven chapters, which is my new monthly record (does a little dance). So, while that’s not great, it’s better. However, I need to do a lot better this month if I’m ever going to finish the fourth draft by the end of March.
- Writing Goal 2: Write the last three drabbles for eBook collection and edit all drabbles
Result: Again, I didn’t fully complete the goal, but I did write the last three drabbles and edited ten drabbles. I now have six drabbles to edit for my eBook drabble collection – I have already edited four in February so far. I do, however, need to get a wiggle on because I plan to publish the eBook in March.
- Writing Goal 3: Complete novel outline summary for 2nd standalone novel
Result: Yay! I finally completed a goal. I’ve done the novel outline summary. I had nearly finished this before anyway, so it didn’t really take me long to complete.
- Reading Goal 1: Read a short story
Result: I read ‘An Unexpected Diner’ by Denise Bayes. The story was Writing Magazine’s March 2018 Food Short Story competition winner. Now, you may be wondering why I’m now reading the March 2018 issue when it’s 2019. The simple answer is that I’ve been behind with reading the issues. I normally read it while eating my lunch, but there have been times that I’ve played Candy Crush or watched YouTube videos instead (hangs head in shame).
- Reading Goal 2: Read a poem
Result: Here’s another completed goal. I read a poem from Writing Magazine’s March 2018 issue titled ‘Lost Homes’ by Judith Daniels. The poem was part of the ‘Poetry Workshop’ section of the magazine, but hey, it still counts as reading a poem.
- Reading Goal 3: Read a book from the supernatural cosy mystery series reading list
Result: I’ve not had a chance to start reading the books from this reading list yet because I’m still reading Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King. The book is huge, so it has taken me a while to read. I still have some of the book left to read, but I should finish that by next week.
So now it’s February, which means it’s time for some new goals.
My February Writing and Reading Goals
- 1st standalone novel 4th draft — edit 25 chapters
- Drabble eBook collection — edit last 10 drabbles, design eBook cover and start formatting eBook
- 2nd Standalone novel — Start research, do character profiles, and start plot building for 2nd standalone novel
- Read a short story
- Read a poem
- Read Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
January was an interesting month. I applied to the Room 204 Writer Development Programme. The last two years were not as productive as I would have liked, so I’m hoping a programme like this can help me to push myself further and achieve more. There’s no guarantee that I will get into the programme — there are only 15 places available, and there are many talented writers in the West Midlands, but you have to be in it to win it. This is also a great way for me to feel the fear and do it anyway. There have been many new writers joining the Oldbury Writing Group — they found us through the Writing Magazine. Last year I wrote a piece about our writing group for Writing Magazine’s ‘Writers’ Group’ section of the magazine, which was published in January this year. We were all so thrilled to see us in the magazine. I also found my motivation in January. I don’t know where it’s been (it’s told me not to ask any questions), but I’m glad it’s back.
I really want to do better with my goals this year, so I have created deadlines for my 2019 writing projects. Deadlines help to keep you focused and on track. If you know when you need to get something done by, you will likely get it done. I believe having no deadlines has contributed to me wasting too much time and not getting work done. I can now see when I need to get stuff done by to make sure I complete all of my goals.
As you can see, I have similar goals for February. This month I’m still working on my novel’s fourth draft, planning my second standalone novel and creating my drabble eBook. I also have the same reading goals. I think it’s best that I keep my goals down, so I have a better chance of completing them. Well, that’s the plan.
How did you do in January? Did you start the New Year with a bang? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear how everyone else is doing.
Keep writing, folks!