Jumpers for goalposts: the quarterly writing review

Well, 3 months has gone in the blink of an eye. It’s 2015, Christmas has come and gone (mercifully without any Santa-related mishaps – see Sleigh 1: Elves 0), and here we are in February!

Time to review my writing goals…what have I been up to this time?

Of the 11 goals I set myself, I achieved 6:

  • I finished the first draft of the hot potato on Christmas Eve
  • I put 18 flash fiction stories into competitions (some of these were resubmissions, I’m not that prolific), and entered 4 new competitions – and I received good feedback
  • I earned money for writing again (I wanted to check that it wasn’t a fluke the first time!). One piece is out in May, and I also managed to achieve runner-up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature, which came with a lovely certificate and a cheque. The story will be published in the prize anthology hopefully later this year
  • I attended two writing groups, and other opportunities to meet fellow-writers (that’s 2 goals, if you’re wondering)
  • I continued to meet new writing friends on social media

An emerging pattern; I either overachieve on goals or fall pretty short:

  • On keeping submitting pieces and getting them placed, I did sort of OK after a last-minute flurry. Having considered, part of the problem is the sheer number of opportunities out there to review, so one of my goals for the next 3 months is to get myself into a process to review opportunities and keep submitting stories
  • As regular readers (hello?!?) will know, I haven’t blogged twice a week, which was probably unrealistic. I did manage 16 posts, though. This time, I’ll aim for once a week
  • While I wrote blogs for work, leisure non-fiction didn’t get off the ground
  • As for longer stories, I managed one 750-word story, and that was it – although writing a middle-grade novel may have had something to do with it!

And what else? Well…

  • I placed in the Cheshire Prize! (I’m sorry, I will shut up about it now)
  • I led a flash fiction workshop for a local writing group. It was fun, if a little scatological
  • I came out as a writer to my friends and colleagues, and some of them even read what I write
  • After participating in a ‘Managing your online profile’ exercise via work, I found that I was listed on Amazon and Goodreads as an author. So I ended up claiming myself, which is rather surreal
  • The FlashDogs published their first anthology, which made it into the top ten anthologies on Amazon UK on release! It’s beautiful, full of cracking tales, available in ebook or print, and all for charity, so if you haven’t bought it yet, have a look here
  • My 8-year-old read a story I’d written, and really liked it
  • I’ve been invited to read and take questions at a children’s literature festival. I will document this in due course!

And next time? The spud will be edited to a point where I can send out queries, new things will have been plotted and written, and more stories will be out in the world.

That’s the plan, anyway. See you in May for the next exciting instalment!

The featured image is Levellings, by John Spooner, and is shared by permission of Creative Commons license 2.0

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