Nicole J. Simms

Reflection 2015

Post date: 30th December 2015
Reflection 2015

I sit here looking out at a crisp blue sky wondering what 2016 has in store for me. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was preparing for the start of 2015; I had many plans, hopes, and dreams. Did I reach all of my goals? The simple answer is no I didn’t. I struggled a lot with a lack of motivation this year, especially during the last couple of months. I feel like I might have over-stretched myself, and at the end, I just simply ran out of energy.

2015 wasn’t all bad, though. While I didn’t achieve all of my goals, I did manage to have some success. The first being the four stories that were published this year. In February, I finally achieved my goal of winning one of the Spinetingler competition prizes for my story, ‘You Shall Be Mine’. I had won second place. The next story ‘The Snowflakes of Time’ was published in Firewords Quarterly Issue 4. ‘Not So Fake After All’ followed in April and joined many other stories in the National Flash-Fiction Day’s FlashFlood Journal. And the final published story was ‘The Nativity’ which found a home in the Christmas Chillers III fiction booklet. Even though I would have liked more stories accepted this year it’s amazing just to get one yes.

I also took part in some events this year: NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) and The Festival of Drabbles.

Unlike the original NaNoEdMo, I decided to start my editing goal in November (which is the same time for NaNoWriMo). I was even surprised to see that other writers liked the idea and joined me on the editing quest. Talking about my novel, sadly I didn’t reach my goal of having a submission novel by the end of 2015. I don’t even have a completed second draft. I think I underestimated how long it would all take, especially when you decide to change the plot. I still have completed most of my second draft, so I’m nearly there.

The Festival of Drabbles was a new event for this year. To contribute to the event, I uploaded a drabble (100-word story) onto my blog every day for a week. It was a fun event, and it was nice to get some great comments about my stories, especially about my competition entry. I will be taking part again next year.

Christmas 2015 - My writing group

2015 was also an interesting year for my writing group (known as O.W.G.). We celebrated our first anniversary, and we went on two trips: The Pow Wow festival of writing and Haden Hill House. We are also working on our first anthology based on World War II.

The Pow Wow festival of writing was my first time at a writing festival, and it was an amazing experience. We all learned so much from the speakers, who were keen to share their own writing experiences and success.

Haden Hill House’s use during WW2 made it a perfect location for our WW2 anthology research. As a group, we explored the house and grounds. It really is a stunning location.

I’m also the website manager for our website, and we are hoping for a January launch. To end the year we also had a Christmas meal at the White Swan pub. It was a perfect way to end 2015. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for our group.

So while 2015 hasn’t been the year I had planned for, I have still achieved a lot, and some achievements have been a surprise.

Again, I am optimistic for next year. I want to have a submission ready novel, and I also want to start writing my third novel. As well as the novels, I also want to start working on my novella supernatural comedy series and have more of my short stories published. I just hope I can get my writing mojo back.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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