Writing and Beyond in 2019


“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

How many times have you told yourself you’ll do something, only to find that when the time comes, it’s always a case of, “I can do that tomorrow” or “It can wait”? Yeah, a lot. I can imagine.

As 2018 drew to a close and 2019 appeared, I thought I’d take a little time out to reflect on what I have achieved over the past year, and what personal goals I can set myself for the year ahead – in my writing and beyond!

It’s sometimes very overwhelming to see where you have come from, to where you are today. For me, I’m thankful for this vision year after year. I’ve become so much stronger than I was a few years ago, and the decisions I have made on that path have transformed not just my writing, but the way I live my life each day.

So, let’s get to it. What exactly did I achieve in 2018?

A brand new story idea? Okay!

2018 was the year I got the idea for my current WIP. The Kind Stranger was born! (Thanks, Han. Your encounter wasn’t so awkward after all – it gave me a story idea!)

My first draft of The Kind Stranger is set to be completed around March time. Then, to the editing stage! I’m really looking forward to filling in the gaps and writing the ending of my first ever novel. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for an awful long time. I spent a lot of months in 2018 getting everything planned to perfection before attempting NaNoWriMo, which brings me nicely onto my next achievement!

I wrote 50,218 words on my novel thanks to NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo was mentioned to me a few times in the past, then I saw it a lot more on Twitter when I joined! I decided to give it a go and see what I could come up with. Even though some days were a struggle, I reached my target word count in 27 days. A huge achievement for me.

Whether I take part in NaNoWriMo in 2019 – I’ll have to wait and see. If I’m ready to start a new book by then, then definitely! I’ve got a head full of novel ideas just waiting to come out, but I want my current WIP to be perfect first.

I met some amazing writers.

Not just writers – authors. Incredibly talented authors who have inspired everything I do in the novel writing world. I’ve made some great writer friends who I’ve trusted enough to read the first chapter of my novel, (trust me, that took a LOT!)

Being a part of the writers community has grown my confidence so much in such a short space of time. I’m not afraid to ask those “silly” questions or to ask for advice when it’s needed. Everyone is super friendly! I’d encourage anyone writing a novel to take the leap and dive straight in to such an accommodating community.

I started a book club!

I mean we started a book club! We being myself Maria and Jay. We’d talked about it for a while and recently took the plunge. We created Books Of All Shades – a way to give authors three free reviews all in one chunk. Something that can be really difficult when you’re just starting out as a writer.

My most recent review of Andrew Whittaker’s The Devil From The River was published a little while ago, and my next review of Molly Lazer’s Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale will be coming in the new year.

Let’s set those 2019 goals!

Here’s the exciting part for me – my goals for this year! I’ve thought really hard about what is actually achievable for me, instead of being unrealistic and getting down about what I’ve not got round to doing. There’s a tip for ya!

Finish the first draft of my WIP by the end of March.

Gulp! Well, actually, if I can write 50,000 words in 27 days, then adding another 20K in 3 months should be easy peasy. If I didn’t set this goal, I’d be forever procrastinating, probably even thinking up yet more ideas for a new novel. One thing at a time in 2019 please, Em.

Write something every week.

My downfall has always been keeping up with writing. Sometimes, I’ll go months without writing a single word on a project, then I’ll forget where I am and lose all motivation. If I keep going that way, I’ll never publish my own book! This year, I’m determined to write each week, no matter how much or how little. Something is always better than nothing!

Finish my first novel completely by the end of 2019!

Yeah, I know, seeing as I’ve done most of my novel already, it should be pretty easy to get it all finished in the next 52 weeks, right? Well, for me, this will not be the case. I know I’ll be stressing about it for a while, but I know it’ll be worth it. I’m actually really excited to start editing! Let’s see how balancing work, life, and everything in between goes…

Seek an illustrator for my children’s book.

This is one of those goals that would be nice to achieve, but it’s not necessarily something I’m going to go out of my way to find this year. It would be amazing to get something published, but I really want to get The Kind Stranger out there. If you’re a children’s illustrator or you know a bit about the process and could give me a few tips, hit me up!

Your 2019 goals – make sure they’re achievable!

If you’ve set yourself some writing goals this year, make sure they’re doable. Don’t set yourselves the task of getting 3 novels written when you know there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to achieve that. Play to your strengths and don’t set tasks that are too out of reach!

What are your goals for this year? Let’s achieve them together! 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ChianteG says:

    I loved reading about what you have accomplished this year, and I’m really excited to hear more about your WIP as you continue!! My biggest goal this year is to edit, polish, and query my WIP. I’m kind of at the same spot as you; I’ve got a manuscript that is ready to be edited. Best of luck to you this 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It’s definitely comments like this that make me want to continue and get it done 😊 Best of luck with yours too, I’ll keep an eye out for it!


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