Tag Archive | The Dating Project

Hello 2013, and A New Me?

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (or otherwise) break and new year. I know I certainly did.

I don’t really want a new me, I’m happy with the old me, but there are definitely some improvements I can make to make this year better than 2012. Not that it was a bad year, it was a great year, there were just a few negatives though.

Writing/editing – that really went down the drain. January – October and December I hardly wrote anything. I say that. When I say hardly anything, I probably mean about 30,000 words. Not a small amount, but not what I was hoping for. Not when you consider I wrote 50,000 in the 30 days of November alone. Writing in those 11 months was a struggle. I want to get back into it this year, and also do some editing. I know, that scary word that I haven’t had the guts to try on anything other than short stories in the past.

I’m going to be joining ROW80 again this month. I’ve been doing it for a few years, and really enjoying it. It means I HAVE to blog at least twice a week for the check-ins. I also love the community feel, and the help and encouragement I get from others. This year I’ll get better at giving it, as well as receiving it. I’m also going to think about becoming a sponsor for one of the later rounds this year.

I currently have a few projects on the go:

Italian Infatuation – my 2009 NaNo novel. Finished but needs editing. A lot. This was a Mills and Boon style novel which I’ve kind of moved away from, so not top of my list.

‘Holiday’ – my (untitled) novel I’ve been on/off/on/off since early 2009. It’s maybe 2/3 done. I’d like to finish it. I think it’s got legs, but it’s my second priority.

The Dating Project – my 2010 NaNo novel. 1/3 written. Good idea, but what’s written I think is terrible. At the bottom of my list, because it needs rewriting. Not so interested in it any more.

The Man of My Dreams – My 2011 NaNo novel. Almost finished the first draft. Top of my list to be worked on. I think I’m going to jump in to starting the read/edit then finish the last few bits as I go along with it this year. Now I’ve got into the RNA – NWS this year (more later) this will be the novel I submit.

Love Authority – My 2012 NaNo novel. I like the idea, but I didn’t do enough prep. I’d like to go back to it one day, but not right now, and probably not this year.

Last night, I tried to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association – New Writer’s Scheme. Each year they take the first 250 new writers to apply. I’ve tried the last 2 years but not got in. This year I made it. I’m massively excited!!!  I now get to go to events, and also send a manuscript in for comment by a real live author. Woop!

Writing/Blogging – I also want to get back into blogging. I feel like I’ve been a bad blogger this year (although I still wrote 103 blogs, it doesn’t feel like it). I really enjoy writing blogs, and visiting other blogs, so am going to pick this back up.

Writing/Blogging/Book Reviews – I’ve always planned to review some of the books I read as I finish them, but in 2012 totally fell behind with this. In 2013, I want to get back into doing it again. I’m not massively confident doing it, so need to push myself on this. Also my friend Laura who runs Novelkicks.co.uk has asked me to do reviews on her site. Woop! How exciting. I’m don’t know how often Laura would like me to review books, but I’d like to do them regularly, at least once a month.

Health/weight – I’m reasonably healthy, but over the last few years I’ve put on quite a lot of weight. I need to lose it to feel better about myself, happier when I look in the mirror and to reduce my chances of getting nasty diseases in later life. I’m also going to think about having the C word in a couple of years (children), and know it’s easier to get pregnant when you’re not overweight.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about how I’m going to do it. My usual diet method is calorie counting, but I’ve been trying that and at the moment I just don’t have the will power to stick to 1,000 calories a day. A couple of years ago I joined Slimming World and lost a bit, but then Christmas hit and I put it back on, and never got back on it. I thought that was going to be the answer.

Then I started reading I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. It was amazing, with just 4 rules for changing the way you eat forever, not even a diet. But again, it takes a lot of will power, which I’m not sure I have. For example, eat only when hungry and stop when you feel full. Great plan, but in reality… I think if I carry on reading it, there will be more exercises to help. And I will, but I’m going to use it in conjunction with the diet I’ve decided on – the 5:2 Diet.

If you read my blog, you may have read when I talked about this last year. I heard about it, where for 1 or 2 days of the week you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) then eat whatever you want on the other 5/6 days. I tried it on one day, and it was ok. I failed a little and got 600 calories, but still it inspired me. Then Christmas and all the parties hit, and I just didn’t have the days to try it.

Yesterday I found a book (by women’s lit author Kate Harrison), and this morning I’ve watched a BBC ‘Horizons’ documentary on it, and I’m totally sold. Not only does it help you lose weight, the health benefits are amazing. It’s not been officially tested on humans too much, so they kind of recommend not doing it, but the presenter was going to carry on with it, and so many other people do it, I’m going to give it a go.

You may wonder why, when I’m saying I have no will power to stick to a 1,000 calorie diet, I’m able to be sure I can do a 500 calorie one? 2 reasons. First is it’s only 2 days a week. If I want something on a fast day, I can tell myself I’ll have it the next day instead (the ‘feast’ day). If I want something bad on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, I can tell myself I can have it… when? When I lose all the weight I want to? When I break the diet for a day? The second reason is that on a 1,000 calorie day, I tend to just make things I know will be low calorie and tot up when I’m done. It can mean over eating, and quite often if I go over 1,000 calories, I think sod it, I’ll just eat more and start again tomorrow. Then ditto the next day. When I know I only have 500 calories to play with, I plan ahead.

I’m excited about starting it. In fact,yesterday was my first day fast day, and I ate just below 500 calories. In that I had a really nice homemade curry. Woop.

Health/Exercise – Last year I was really bad with exercise. I hardly went to the gym, I walked home occasionally from work, but not often, and I didn’t do much running – and certainly no challenges.

This year that’s going to change. I’ve rejoined the gym this year, through work again. I’m basically paying just under £60 a month. I need to make that worth it, because I could do so much more with £60 a month than throw it away on a membership I don’t use.

I’m also going to do at least one running challenge. There are a couple of 10km runs in May/June, so I’m going to sign up for one of those. If I have a goal, I work much better than doing it just for me. I’ve also done a 10km run before, so I know it’s not THAT hard, well, I know I can do it.

House – I must admit, I don’t clean and tidy as much as I should. We’ve decided to stay where we’re living until the summer, and I want to make it a nice few months. We live in a tiny flat so the housework really isn’t a massive job.

So that’s it. While it feels like a lot, it also doesn’t feel like all this is unachievable. I guess we’ll see in 12 months.

What are your plans for this year?

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NaNoWriMo 2011 – WINNER – And Lots of Thanks

2009 – Italian Infatuation – WINNER

2010 – The Dating Project – WINNER

2011 – The Man of My Dreams – WINNER

This is such a sweet post to be writing. Because I’m a WINNER again! AGAIN! Woop! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a consistent record of finishing something.

As I said in my last blog, at 6pm on Monday I had just over 7K to write to get to 50,000 words. At 9pm on Monday, I STILL had that many. A few sprints with some of the NaNoLondon guys (no ROW80ers were available) got me 4k in 2.5 hours. I couldn’t believe I’d got so many (although I had aimed for 5k, but that was for the whole day, not when I was starting after 9pm).

That left me with just over 3,200 for Tuesday and today. So manageable. However, I wanted to finish early. I’d planned to finish on Monday, so I COULDN’T finish today, it had to be yesterday.

I went to a write in last night at 6. The plan is write for 45 mins, chat for 15, then another 45 min sprint, then get chucked out the cafe cause they were closing. I figured I’d write most in that time, then go home and finish the last few words.

Did that happen though? Not exactly.

In the first sprint I wrote 1,400. That meant, in the last one, I had to write 1,800. That was NEVER going to happen in 45 minutes. Would the people at the write in believe me though? No. Hannah and Claire were adamant that I was going to finish.

So I started.

And wrote…

And wrote…

I cut out speech marks. I ignored the red lines of incorrect spellings. I ignored bad grammar.

With 5 or so minutes left I think I had 500 words. NOOOO! I wasn’t going to do it.

With 1 minute left, I checked my word count… 50,027.

I DID IT!

I have a feeling it’s going to have to be edited A LOT (rewrite of the whole scene maybe?), but that doesn’t matter. I did it. Woop! I couldn’t help a little yelp of excitement (obviously) which got me a round of applause from everyone else. Woo! That is the way to win NaNo!

Oh, no. That wasn’t quite the way to win. Going for cocktails afterwards – THAT’S the way to win!

I’m now going to sound like I’ve won an award – I’ve some people to thank, because I’m not sure I’d be sat here a winner without a little help. (In no particular order)

The ROW80 sprinting people. Em and Lauren, this is mainly you, but everyone else too (I don’t have Twitter access to chase it back to see who, but if I sprinted with you – I mean YOU!). Although I couldn’t always join in, the ones I did, were so helpful. I liked the accoutability too – having to tell people how many I wrote in half an hour stopped me from messing about in that time.

The NaNoLondoners – Jenn and Claire, you are amazing MLs. You organised some great events (still gutted I missed the night long write in! I calculated if you keep doing that on the last Saturday of the month, I should be able to come in 3 years – when boyf celebrates his birthday the weekend before!) – Hannah – you got me through those last words, thanks. And everyone else I met at write ins, NaNoRilla and the kick off party. Can’t wait to celebrate with you all tomorrow and Saturday!

Laura – technically you fit in with the ROW80ers, but you need a special shout out for being my buddy and helping me through. especially a very well-timed text urging me through. Here’s for keeping each other on track for the next month.

@McPete – my other half. Thanks for talking me into doing it again this year, for lending me your laptop (and sometimes carrying it home), for giving up your PC games for a month while I was using said laptop, and for not complaining too much for living in a pigsty for the month. I promise now I’m done I’ll start cleaning and cooking and hey, you never know, ironing (although don’t hold me to that).

Seriously, guys you all rock. My success is your success (only, it’s mainly mine, ha ha).

This is my NaNo graph for this year. Compared to the last two years, I pretty much stuck to where I was supoosed to be – only dropping lower by about 3.5k a couple of times – but only for a day!

So what’s next for December? Well, I had a plan, and it got turned on its head the other day.

My goal was to finish The Man of My Dreams. That was all I wanted from December. Due to a certain person and event, my goal is now goalS and much, MUCH more. I have writing goals, blogging goals, exercise goals, and eating goals. I don’t have time to go into them today (silly 1 hour only lunch breaks) but I’ll explain all tomorrow.

Thank god for ROW80 allowing flexible goals. My new goals blog is here.

Well done everyone who’s ‘won’ NaNo.. and see you next year…?

NaNo Plotting

After my blog on Monday about not writing, I went home to write. Wouldn’t you know it though, boyfriend was on the laptop watching old TV shows. Can’t complain it’s his laptop. When he (finally – after we’d had dinner, I’d done washing and cleaned the kitchen) gave it to me for writing, I decided I didn’t want to write ‘Holiday,’  I wanted to plan my NaNo novel.

I’m now the proud owner of 4 or 5 scribbled A4 pages of ideas. I moved a character name about (Nathan is so much more a boyfriend’s name than another man’s), found other ideas for plot and brainstormed titles. I’m quite happy with my progress.

I think I’m there with the title, but not 100% sure. I’m not very good at titles. It took me so long to come up with The Dating Project last year (in the end I loved the title, but it took me so long to get there). Italian Infatuation actually came to me before I even had too much of an idea about the book. That was easy, but it’s not been easy since. Jeez, I’m still using the working title of ‘Holiday’ for my other novel. 3 years in and I can’t think of anything better. And I have been trying!

Although I’ve not done any actual words this week, I feel happier that I’m making progress on NaNo novel planning. It’s helped me feel a little more relaxed about the daunting task ahead. 1,667 words a day? What am I doing? Surely doing it twice before is enough punishment for one person?

It’s the NaNo Kick-Off Party in London tomorrow. Woop! I actually thought it was tonight until this morning when I double checked where it was! Oops! Lucky I did check! It’s good that it’s tomorrow, it means I can go to the gym tonight (I got a 3 day free pass for one round the corner from work!), then go home and do some more plotting. Or maybe ‘Holiday’ writing.

By tomorrow I want to have decided on the novel’s name. I’ve made the decision that it’s going to be an adult novel (I was toying with the idea of YA – I think it’s going to be better as an adult one, more ideas for conflict in it) so the next goal is a title. Then I’ll think more about the content. And the ending. Maybe just the middle – I know how it’s going to end!

In other news, I’ve just started a new novel – Die for You by Lisa Unger. I’m at the beginning (well page 20) but already I’ve been sucked in. There are so many questions already! Brilliant.

I’d never heard of Lisa Unger before I went to the library last week and looked for a ‘U.’ This is why I’m loving this A to Z Reading Challenge – there is no way I would have found her without it, and from what I’m reading so far, she’s an author I want to know!

Right, I’m off to visit some more ROW80er’s blogs. Catch them here.

It’s Friday Kids, But Not as We Know It!

I feel like I’m going to have some time to do some writing today. Ordinarily if this happened, I’d take part in Fiction Friday, but as I have this massive goal of finishing my novel by 31st October, I really think I should do that instead. Poo.

My excitement about Holiday at the weekend has carried on this week and I’ve been doing more on it.

On Tuesday, on the way home I thought about how a scene would work out. When I got in, I decided to write a few hundred words (500) before I got dinner. I got to 508 or something and knew I HAD to write more. So I gave myself another 15 minutes or so, and got another 500 words in (I think that’s right. I can’t work out if it’s actually possible to write that many in such a short time – it seems a crazy amount?).

I then made myself stop, or else I would have starved*, but once I’d turned the laptop off, I thought of something else, so made some notes on an envelope. Then I got into it and wrote another 100 words of actual story.

*As I’m a stone over weight, I seriously doubt I would have starved, but hey, I can tell myself that!

Yesterday (my next night in as I was out on Wednesday)  I got home early having had a hospital appointment which finished earlier than work. Yay! However at the appointment, they put some drops in my eyes that made EVERYTHING blurred. When I say blurred, distances just looked like I didn’t have my glasses on, but reading and looking at things close up, oh and being out in the SUN, really hurt and felt like it was going to give me a headache (the drops dilated my pupils so my irises were almost invisible).

I couldn’t write. But, I had this idea about a rewrite for one scene (I know I should wait until the first draft is finished, but I’m not going to be happy leaving it how it is, because the same thing is going to happen again. At the end actually. I found another envelope, and made some (very large) notes on that scene.

I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Except, now I want to do some writing and I’ve left the envelopes at home. Which is probably a good thing, because, well you know, I’m at work and should really be working. Especially as I haven’t done much at all today.

Oh how things have changed from when I worked downstairs on reception. I think I had about 3 hours a day then to write/blog/trawl through the internet. I do get paid better now though, so that’s one thing. I probably do better writing now too. When I was writing on reception I was constantly interrupted by guests or the phone, so although I (sometimes) got a lot done, it didn’t feel it had the quality of the writing I’m doing now.

I wonder if that’s why I don’t seem to be able to edit Italian Infatuation. That was pretty much all written on reception so may be of a different standard of writing. I think I’m looking for excuses here.

Had a chat with my other half the other night (the first envelope night). He said I’m not a finisher. I tried to argue with him, but when I was thinking about it later, I hate to admit he’s probably right (and now I’m hoping this isn’t one of my blogs he reads – knowing my luck he will and I’ll get the ‘told you so’s all weekend!). I do start things, and I never seem to follow them through. Although, that’s not to say I’m not going to, just that I’ve be distracted by something else temporarily.

This weekend, I was cleaning up the flat, and trying to do about a million things at once – washing up, laundry, hanging clothes out, tidying the bedroom etc etc. I don’t know if I ever finished one because I kept doing a little of everything else too.

I’m the same with writing. I started a writing course, but didn’t get too far before I started writing Holiday. But then that didn’t get too far because I did NaNo. After NaNo though, I didn’t edit Italian Infatuation because I started writing Holiday again. Then it got to November and I HAD to do NaNo again, so The Dating Project was half written. Now that’s unfinished, Italian Infatuation is written but not edited, the writing course is maybe 4 modules in, and Holiday is maybe half way done.

Presently, I’m not a finisher, but I want to be. I want to edit Italian Infatuation. I totally think it’s got legs as a Mills & Boon book and I’ll like to sub it to them. I really really would like to. I also want to finish Holiday, think of a better title, and edit that too. Oh, and I totally want to finish the writing course. All this, and I want to do NaNo again in November.

I currently have a plan to finish Holiday before NaNo starts. In November, I’ll write a novel (or 50,000 words of one). I don’t know what about yet, and that is worrying me a little, but I’ll worry about it much more when Holiday is done and dusted.

In December, I need another plan.  I’m not going to decide what it is yet, but I’m going to make one. It’s going to include finishing one of these projects. All the way through. Next year, I’m going to submit a book. Or two. Wooh, that’s a plan. A plan I really like.

I think… I may have said that about Italian Infatuation this year. Ah. Well… Um… Yeah! Next year though. Definitely. It doesn’t matter how scary it is (I think it’s fear holding me back – what if I finish a novel and edit it? I’d have to submit it, and that’s mega scary!), I’m going to do it.

But this year. This year I’m going to finish draft one of Holiday. I’m so into this at the moment, I don’t think anything could stop me. I hope nothing will stop me anyway!

#ROW80 Check in – Sunday 12th June

My bedroom clock says 0.00 Monday, but my mobile says 11.57, so I’m not late, ha ha!

I’m not doing great, but I’m not doing too badly. Although that’s only because of today. This morning I managed 540 words – almost double my daily goal. However I’d done nothing since my last check in on Wednesday – the check where I realised if I hit my target of 300 words a day I’ll get 4k+ by the end of this round of ROW80.

Although on this mini goal I’m now 700 words behind, I’m determined I’m going to do it. I started a story for Fiction Friday last week, and I worked more on it earlier today, and I’m feeling quite into it, so I’m going to keep at it for a while. I don’t think it will go anywhere as there’s not really a good enough story line, but it’s an experiment in creating sexual tension, and a couple getting together for the first time. I know I need more of this in Italian Infatuation so I think this is really useful to do.

I also had a bit of a realisation today – I want to work more on ‘Holiday.’ ‘Holiday’ is another novel I’m working on, that I actually started writing well over 2 years ago – it’s just slow going. Having said that, I have high hopes for it, I love the story idea and think it will make a brilliant novel. When I get finish it. Oh, and change the title to something I actually like – ‘Holiday’ is definitely a working title!

The thing that has been putting me off it is that I’ve got so many bitty bits of it that I don’t know what to write, when. When I did Italian Infatuation and The Dating Project for NaNoWriMo 2009 and 2010 respectively I did them chronologically so I knew where I was at all times. ‘Holiday’ scares me because I don’t have a clue.

I really didn’t think this was a good way of writing, but at the time I was writing things as they came in my head, or later on when I knew how the story would shape up, as they interested me. When I met Chrissie Manby a few weeks ago at the Girl’s Night In at Brixton Library she said that she writes like that – in a random order. There’s something comforting knowing that someone has had success writing this way – it’s inspiring.

So, at some point in the very near future, I’m going to get out my old laptop and look at ‘Holiday,’ see where it is and where I need to go, and work on it a little more. I’m determined I’m going to get a pattern together in my life where I write and edit, oh, and work on my writing course.

It won’t be tomorrow though, tomorrow I’m going to make an appearance at the writing group I joined a few months ago, but that I have only been to twice. Go me!

Fiction Friday – 21st January

 The prompt for today from Write Anything is: Your character  realises that someone they admire is imperfect. I’ve used the same characters this week as I did last week – Madison and Lucy from the YA novel I started during NaNo last year ‘The Dating Project.’ (remember it’s unedited)

‘What did you say?’

‘I said she’s a stupid little ho-bag.’

‘Ho bag?’

‘Yeah, like a tart. Slut. You know?’ Madison nodded. She wasn’t asking for an explanation of Lucy’s terminology (although that was weird), but she couldn’t believe Lucy was slating someone.

Ok so she’d only met her two days before, but up until then, she’d been so nice to everyone and about everyone. Madison had really started to look up to her. But now she was calling someone a ho-bag? Some that she used to be best friends with? It shocked Madison.

‘We are talking Sarah Greenwood aren’t we?’ Madison had to clarify. She hadn’t heard the whole story of why Sarah wasn’t best friends with Lucy and Emily any longer, but where Madison came from a friend was for life, whether they stayed best friends, or moved on to other friends. Mind you, Madison came from a tiny little town an hour or so outside of Texas, there were only 10 kids there around her age, so you had to be friends with everyone, or you’d be friends with no one.

‘Yeah. I mean it’s not like I care about Josh any more. And I know he doesn’t care about me. But parading around in front of me with him? That’s just slack. I wouldn’t do that with what’s his name? Dirt bag ugly guy from the garage down the road?’

‘Derek!’

Madison nearly jumped a mile as Emily came round the side of the wall her and Lucy had been sat on. They were on the edge of the playing field, and the sun was out so there was lots of noise – boys playing football; girls sunbathing in the early autumn sun, music blaring from someone’s phone; a few first years running round, probably playing kiss chase or something.

‘Jeez Em, you’ll give a girl a heart attack creeping up on her like that.’ Lucy took the words right out of Madison’s mouth. As Em sat down on the opposite side of Lucy to Madison, Madison tried to stop this negative feeling she was having. She felt it whenever Emily was around. She was quite sure she didn’t like her, but couldn’t work out why? Madison had gone out of her way to be nice to her – she was the new girl, of course she was going to be. But Em treated her like a great aunt or something, politely and not getting too close. Maybe they just needed some one to one time to get to know each other.

‘So you’re talking about Sarah then?’ Emily asked.

‘Yeah. Can you believe the little bitch?’

‘You know I actually can. I always thought she liked Josh. He obviously doesn’t like her, it’s just a way of getting back at you.’ Lucy scrapped her toe along the ground, kicking at the long grass with every swing.

‘You think?’

‘Defo. Look. He’s going to get over this whole break up thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you were really good friends before you got together, once he gets over the hurt of rejection he’ll want to be friends again.’

‘And what do I…?

‘And until then you stay strong. Ignore him when he’s being a dick. Ignore that fat cow Sarah – she’s nothing on you. Soon, very soon, he’ll stop the nasty comments, he’ll stop hanging off other girls in front of you, and everyone will be able to get back to normal.’ 

Madison had to give it to Emily, although she pretty much ignored Madison when she could, she was a really good friend to Lucy, saying just what she needed to hear.

Madison looked up at the guy walking across the field in the far distance. Even from this distance she knew it was Josh and her heart knew it too. It started beating double time and her legs felt weak. She looked back over to Lucy who was now reading something on her cell phone, and tried to slow down her heart and gain the strength back in her legs. Lucy may have dumped Josh, but she sure wasn’t over him. And Madison wasn’t the kind of girl to jump in where another girl left off. Especially not someone as nice as Lucy. Because even though she’d discovered Lucy wasn’t a saint, she was still a really nice girl, and, Maidson hoped, a great friend.

Writing this was quite interesting – the novel is written in Lucy’s first person, so I’ve not really explored Madison’s thoughts too much, and definitely hadn’t put into words how she feels about Emily and Josh. I’m now wondering if I should write more from Madison’s POV. Although as she’s American and I’m English, I might find it pretty hard.

Anyway, I’m digressing. What did you think? I know I went away from the prompt, but I just got carried away. Don’t you love it when that happens? Please let me know what you think, good and bad comments welcome.

2011 Draft Goals

I feel like I need some goals for the year. I’ve not really had a chance to think about them though, so I thought I’d have a rambling blog thinking about it as I write.

Fiction Friday: This is something I really enjoyed doing most of last year. If you’ve not seen it before it’s over at Write Anything. Every week they give you a prompt and you write for at least five minutes from it. Last year, it was pretty much doing this every week that taught me how to write short stories. Honestly. Before I started ‘playing’ I couldn’t comprehend how to get a whole story in a few hundred/thousand words. My entries started as a snap shot of a much bigger story. After a while I found I was completing whole stories.

Fiction Friday used to make sure I wrote at least once a week. For half the year that was pretty much all I was writing, which is why I’m really keen to carry on with it this year. Although, I’d like to write a lot more than once a week this year.

Blogging: Last year I got so into blogging. I loved it. Then I got a new job where I couldn’t write during work time. Suddenly my blogging stopped. I miss it, but haven’t found a routine that gets it back in my life. I need to find that, whether it’s a couple of days a week during my lunch break, a couple of evenings a week which I dedicate to it, or a mix of both. Maybe even at weekends. I HAVE to get back into it. Hopefully if I do, it will be another thing to inspire me to write – I can’t write a writing blog if I’ve nothing to write about. Right?

Editing: I feel like this year should be the year I learn to love editing. Or if not love it, tolerate it. I think the only things I’ve ever edited are two stories I used for magazine submissions, and my writing course work. I’ve one finished novel that needs editing, and two half written that will, at some point, need editing.

Last year I had a plan to write a story each week (unedited) for Fiction Friday, then the following week, edit it and submit it to #FridayFlash (a Twitter thing where you post edited stories) on the Friday. I think that’s a good plan to get me into the editing frame of mind.

Writing Course: I had totally forgotten I was doing a writing course until Stephen King mentioned writing courses in On Writing. On the tube this morning I tried to remember how far I’ve got on it, but I can’t. At all. I need to work on this more this year. I’ve now been doing it for nearly 2 years, and I’m not even quarter of the way though. That is disgraceful. I HAVE to work on it this year!

Website: I happen to know someone who knows someone who creates websites for a living. And apparently would be quite happy to design a website for me. I like using WordPress, but I’m quite into the idea of having my own website – under my real name. There’s a way of linking WordPress to another website, so I’ll do that.

Get Published: Ok, so I’m cheating on this one, I am going to get something published on a website – a short story I wrote last year. It’s a first step, it’s quite  a new website, for chick lit short stories, but regardless of how new it is, I’m getting a story published. That’s cool. And a great start to the year. A great enough start that it’s going to push me to sub more stories.

Finish a novel or two: I’ve got two unfinished novels. Two unfinished novels that I want to do something with. I’ve been writing ‘Holiday’ for about two years (longer if you count the year or so it was floating round my head) and I started The Dating Project for NaNo last November. I can’t get to the end of next year and still have them unfinished. I feel this year is also the year I find a better name for ‘Holiday.’

Join a Writing Group: I’ve been wanting to do this since I started this blog and writing properly(nearly two years ago) but have always had a reason not to do it – fear, lack of time, working hours etc. THIS year I’m going to do it. No excuses or reasons not to.

Write another novel: I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo twice now, and ‘won’ twice. That means I’m going to have to do it again. 50,000 words, 30 days, November. Bring it on.

Read some books: I’m doing a Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011. The challenge is to read 12 Mystery or suspense books in the year. So that’s 12. I want to read much, much more than that though. Last year I read 45. That’s so much better than the 17 the year before!

So there we have it. My ideas of what I could have as goals for the year. I’m going to have a think through about them then make some definitive goals by the end of the week.

I do have a problem though. I always only feel like I can only have one project on the go i.e. only work on my writing course, or only write a novel, or only edit a novel (the last one being hypothetical as I’ve never actually done that). Which means I need to decide what to do and when. And focus on that. I guess this goes back to setting writing time for myself.

Right, I’ll be back soon(ish) with some goals. Eek!