It’s the end of 2019. The end of a decade.
Wow, seems weird when you say it like that.
I’ve seen lots of those “decade” challenges floating around on various social media platforms, showing how much people have changed over the last 10 years. To think back to where I was in 2010, barely starting university, lost in life, and no clarity about what I want to do in the world, I can safely say I’ve come a long way since 2010.
But there is still a long way to go.
So this blog is split into two – the reflections on this year and decade, and then where do I want to go in the next year.
The last year (or ten)
The early part of the decade was a transformative time. I went to university, met my now husband, and qualified to do my job. It’s involved relocations, moving about three times, and right at the end of it, getting a pair of lovely fluffy monsters in the form of cats.
On a writing front, it’s been transformative. I’ve gone from a very light hobbiest, to publishing my own work onto the internet (on this website!) in 2014, to now working on my very first novel. And whilst I’ve written stories throughout my life, now it’s the time that I realise the dream could be real. And it doesn’t matter about the chances of getting published (low), the amount of money you make as an author (also low), or the potential readership in adult fantasy books (not the largest sector). All that matters is that I want to write, that I can write, and that I want to share my stories with the world.
The last year has been a condensed version of that. I’ve really focussed on my one WIP (Assassins 1) and have been steadily plugging away at it for the last 12 months. Its still got a way to go, it’s grown beyond belief, but the story is compelling in my mind and it gives me hope someone will want to read it one day too. And they’ll love these characters as much as I love my favourite characters from my favourite books too.
The Next year
My goal for 2020 can be easily summed up as “finish my WIP”. I want to get to a point where my manuscript is ready to be sent to an agent. Even if I haven’t written the query letter (or started researching them), even if I haven’t yet done my market research, I want to be able to hand someone a finished document that is the best book I could write.
Tall order? Probably. Likely to finish? I honestly don’t know. I know that I’m still working at the 80% of the creation and it’s the last 20% that really takes the time. However, sometimes having an impossible goal is the best way to try and tackle something. It works for me when doing Nanowrimo, so I’m going to try and apply it for the rest of the year.
Outside of my WIP, I want to keep up with my blogging and short stories. Seeing lovely likes & comments on my stories that I post every week brings such joy to my heart that I have to keep writing them! Also, I would love to enter some more competitions or magazines, but I don’t want to do that at the detriment to achieving my main goal of finishing my WIP.
Apart from writing, I really want to start reading more, actively finding authors who would be in my genre or type of story and see how they construct their stories & worlds. There are a number of series I want to finish, other’s I want to start, and there is probably a Wheel of Time Re-read in there somewhere too!
What are your writing goals for next year? Do you make goals? Share them in the comments below!
Other things Alex has been up to.
I’ve recently finished watching “The Witcher”. Overall consensus was that it was good (even with a few iffy plotlines). To me it felt like a huge 8 hr prologue to the actual storyline, so I am interested to see where Series 2 goes. Plus, it’s also got me playing the game (not that I need any more distractions!).
I’ve also got a lot of lovely new books to add to my “Want to Read” shelf – especially looking forward to “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon and “We Hunt the Flame” by Hafsah Faizal. I’m currently reading “The Emotional Craft of Fiction” by Donald Maass, which I would definitely recommend to anyone whose looking to inject some emotional engagement into their writing. Only a 1/3 of the way through so far, but already itching to cover it in sticky labels and tabs!
Hope you all have a wonderful New Year, and a fantastic 2020. Thanks for following my writing & stories, and look forward to sharing more with you in 2020!
Image Credit: Photo by Pepe Reyes on Unsplash