In 2015 I set myself some very definite goals for the year and achieved exactly ZERO of them. So in 2016 I decided I wasn’t going to set myself anything specific but just have a general gist of what I wanted to achieve. Whilst I did pretty well at that, when I was reflecting on the past year I was surprised to find that I was disappointed with the results.
Now it might seem fairly obvious but I had clearly set myself some goals, only to pretend that I hadn’t, to do nothing about them and then feel disappointed when they didn’t come to fruition. Which also seems pretty daft to me now that I think about it!
So this year I thought I would set myself some definite goals. I took a good look at my social media networks and saw what was working and what wasn’t. I looked at my personal life and my work life and thought about what I might want to (and importantly) what I might realistically be able to achieve.
One of the major points is the completion of my second manuscript. In May this year it will have been two years since the release of Secrets of the River and two years since I began work on my second book. I have seriously lacked momentum to keep the writing going although the characters are still very much wandering around in my imagination.
The trouble that I have found is that whilst working as a freelance writer gives me the freedom to be at home and pursue my writing career…I spend that much time writing content for other people that there is no brain space left to sit down and write creatively. When I have finished my work for the day, I can’t bear the thought of having to continue staring at the computer screen or trying to force out something interesting to write down in my notebook.
What I want is to curl up with a good book and lose myself in someone else’s writing for a prolonged period of time but that doesn’t really help me, let’s be honest.
So what to do?
One of my goals for this year was to get on top of my freelance work. I mentioned a while back that I was thinking about returning to the office and (typically) I had just given up on that being a possibility when a potential opportunity landed in my lap. I don’t know yet whether this will come to anything but regardless, whether I go back to work in an office or whether I remain freelance, I need to have set days when I am working and set days when I am not.
This isn’t always possible but for the most part, I should be able to guarantee myself one day a week which I can give over to just writing creatively. I adore writing, I adore following the pattern of my thoughts and seeing where it takes me. I never really have a set outcome for my plot lines, I just follow the characters as they leave and appear on the pages in front of me and that is really quite exciting. Better yet when you share those thoughts and notes and scribbles with other people and they really enjoy reading about them too!
Whether I get the manuscript finished this year is a rather large question mark but I certainly intend to give it my best shot. Cue me, last Friday, sitting in a posh coffee shop (my first time there) trying to pretend I wasn’t the only person there, trying to pretend I wasn’t just hanging around like a billy no-mates for two and a half hours, trying not to get distracted by just about every other conceivable thing…and lo and behold I managed to write a whole 4,000 words!
Granted, it cost me £15 in pots of tea and possibly the nicest poached egg on toast I’ve ever had but I did it.
I just need to keep the momentum going now!