New year, new everything

It’s 2017 and I’m not looking back at 2016. It was rubbish in lots and lots of ways. Good riddance. I’m only looking forward now.

I’ve got some new plans to try to move on from the mire I got stuck in during 2016, when I barely wrote any new words, and even found reading nearly impossible. If you look at my Goodreads read list for the last quarter or so of 2016 you’ll find it’s nearly all audiobooks.

Since I think I do best with some concrete goals and structured challenges, I’m going to set up my goals on that basis, track everything and report in here every week after I do my weekly review of progress. I’m sure I’ll witter about other stuff too. And post about books I’m reading and interesting articles I’ve found. OMG, it will be like Live Journal all over again.

Here are the key goals:

Write 1000 words a day
On Writing by Stephen KingListening to the audiobook of Stephen King’s On Writing towards the end of the year made me decide to do this one. 1000 words is so very manageable. If I can’t do 1000 words I might as well be taken out and shot now. But it also adds up fast if you keep on getting them. I won’t do extra on weekends. 1000 words only. I will use the time I was otherwise using for banging my head on the screen to do planning and outlining, editing and brainstorming. In fact every weekend I will do one hour of brainstorming. Full on freewriting where I have to write for that full hour, whatever comes into my head about projects I’m currently working on, ones in the ideas file or totally new ones. Thinking with a pen. I’ll expect to have a few sick days through the year, maybe even a holiday here and there. And I’m still deciding if I keep doing this during times I’m editing something else. We’ll see.

One hour of reading per day
That does not include audiobook listening. Those still count on my books read in the year total. But I have to regain my concentration to sit down and read words. I don’t have to do the hour all in one chunk. I’ll split it up some days.

Cover 15 miles extra distance per week rising to 20 by middle of year
I did well on a doctor referred ten week program of weight loss in the last quarter of the year and I’ve got back into exercising and enjoying it. The new writing schedule gives me more time to do things like exercise. When I say “cover distance” this can be walking about outside, or it can be at the gym on treadmills, bikes etc. The way I’m staying motivated for this one is to do the Walk to Rivendell challenge – covering the same distance Sam and Frodo did walking from Hobbiton to Rivendell in The Fellowship of the Ring. That’s 458 miles. I’ve already started on it, but this coming week is when I’ll be back into a more normal routine and aiming at that 15 miles a week. Each month I’ll add a mile to the weekly goal until I’m getting 20 by the end of June.

I have various other smaller goals, but these are the key ones. I haven’t made specific projects into goals. I will take those as they come. Right now I’m working on a short story I started and abandoned last year. I added 1055 words to it earlier today. I want to finish the draft by around mid January and get it edited and submitted for a call by the end of Jan.

Other news

2016 Top Ten Gay Romance coverExpect to see me on Instagram a lot more in 2017. So come and friend me there if we’re not connected already.

In case you missed it – my short story Me and My Big Mouth is now available in the JMS Books anthology 2016 Top Ten Gay Romance.

Okay, have at ye, 2017. It’s game on!


3 thoughts on “New year, new everything

  1. Wow! I should really make goals like that. But because I feel it will put too much pressure on me and I’ll fail, and feel guilty I don’t stick to them. I want to try and write in my designated days off. But 1000 words a day are cool. Maybe I should think 7000 a week… and try to do those in the 3 days off I have in the week.

    I’m trying to treat writing as a job (I enjoy), and not do it evenings, or at the weekends, to make sure I get out there and enjoy life. (Plus evenings are for reading and my weekends are taken up by my new man).

    I’ve set my Goodreads goal at 25 this year. Last year it was 30 and I got to 24… So I will see how that pans out.

    Happy New Year, Becky. I hope you stick to your goals, and 2017 is so much better than 2016 x x x

    I might look into the Rivendell Run too! What a fabulous idea!

    1. It’s key to find the schedule that works for you, I think. Nobody else’s life is exactly the same as yours, so you have to fit the writing in where it works for you. Weekly goals work better for some people for sure.

      Go for it with the Rivendell challenge. It’s fun to see those miles adding up to a nice big total a little bit at a time. Got two miles added to it today. 🙂

      Happy new year!

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