Sunday, 31 December 2017

Did I Achieve my 2017 Writing Goals?


It's time to say goodbye to the old writing year and hello to a new one.

Last week I took a detailed look at my writing year which you can read here but, today, it's time to turn my sights to the specific writing goals I set in 2017. In January, best writing chum, Tracy Fells, and I met up in our favourite tea shop for teacakes and target setting. You can read the full post here.

So how did I do?

Well, before I wrote this post, I looked back at my roundup of 2016 and saw that I'd hoped 2016 would be 'the year of the novel'. It wasn't to be and neither has it this year but I've made some big steps towards my goal. Also, my short story sales have moved closer to 300 mark, so overall I'm pretty pleased. Let's look at whether I achieved my specific targets though.

Goal: Complete at least 50,000 words of my new novel by the end of August, for critique by the RNA New Writers' Scheme reader.

Achieved? Yes! I actually finished the 87,000 word novel and, much to my delight, had an excellent critique from the RNA. It also won the Flash500 Novel Opening and Synopsis Competition just before Christmas. It was chosen out of hundreds of novels and this is what the judge, Steph Patterson (senior editor at Crooked Cat books) had to say about it.

'First place goes to The One I Left Behind, which hooked me with a gripping introduction, and a thrilling plot to boot. Early on, the reader is introduced to the main character, and something intriguing about her, which has an impact on her life. The One I Left Behind has the makings of a page-turner. Many congratulations!'

Congratulations also to writing chum, Tracy, whose two novels both did very well in the same competition..

I am now in the process of submitting my novel to agents and have been approached by the commissioning editors of two major publishers who want to read it.

Goal: Write the outline and first chapters to send to my agent before the end of February.

Achieved: Yes... but, sadly (and through no fault of my own) I lost my agent in the summer so it was back to square one.

Goal: Write and submit at least two short stories every month.

Achieved? Yes. I've managed to carry on writing the magazine stories alongside the novel although my output has been less. There have been changes in the magazine world, with both Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman's Weekly changing their fiction staff and only allowing submissions from a list of selected writers. I am grateful to be one of them.

Goal: Attend the RNA conference in July.

Achieved? Yes... and you can read about it here.

... and that's it for another year. I'll be back next week after Tracy and I have had our goal setting teacake session. All that's left is for me to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

21 comments:

  1. What a fabulous year you've had, Wendy. To finish the novel, have it win a competition and then be called in by TWO commissioning editors makes for a very successful year. Can't wait to see what 2018 brings you - whatever success comes your way is well deserved. I'm raising a glass, clink clink, to my incredibly talented friend. (see you in 2018 for teacakes) xx

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    1. I’m quite surprised I managed to achieve them all but it could be that zig made them more manageable this year. Must keep that in mind when we come to do this year’s goals, Tracy.

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  2. What a wonderful year you’ve had, Wendy - and very well deserved too. Your hard work is an inspiration.

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    1. I’m very pleased with how it went (minus the agent disappointment part).

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  3. Wow, Wendy, well done! I'm glad I read this before setting my own goals for 2018! This last year I set myself the target of writing one short story, article or serial episode per week (I managed 50 weeks' worth, but oh, the pressure!) - in 2018 I'll stick to your two a month, which might leave a bit of time for novel writing. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. My target used to be one short story a week but it became impossible with the novel and then I felt I’d failed. Two stories a month are manageable and leaves me feeling guilt free if I miss a week.

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  4. That's a very successful year, Wendy, and I'm sure your novel will be worth waiting for! I really need to set proper goals, I think, and have no excuse as I meet with two writing friends now and then - will suggest it for our first meeting! All the very best in 2018. x

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    1. Both Tracy and I find it really useful, Rosemary. Happy New Year to you too.

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  5. Well done, Wendy. Your list of achievements puts me to shame. Happy New Year.

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    1. We all work differently and have different priorities, Keith. You’ve had a lot of short story success too.

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  6. An amazing year, Wendy! Congratulations.

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  7. Another great year for you, Wendy. I'm sharing your blog with my writing students as I nudge them to plan for 2018 to make their dreams a reality. Good luck for 2018 xx

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    1. How lovely that you’re sharing it with your students, Elaine. Thank you.

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  8. Congratulations, Wendy! I don't know how you find time to write a novel along with the womag submissions!
    Alyson

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    1. I’m not sure how I did either, Alyson!

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  9. Congratulations on a very successful year Wendy, and I hope 2018 is even better.

    Happy New Year.x

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  10. A fabulous year, Wendy, with so much achieved and so many goals reached. And it's absolutely brilliant news for your novel to have won the Flash500 and so exciting that editors are asking to read it. 2018 will bring good news, I'm sure. Wishing you every success xxx

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  11. Incredible achievements for 2017! Congratulations.

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