As you’re reading this I am probably taking down the Christmas decorations at home. It is tradition that if you don’t take down all your Christmas decorations by 6th January then you will receive bad luck for the rest of the year. I don’t believe in luck (to quote Obi Wan Kenobi, “you make your own luck”) but I also don’t want to tempt fate.
If you have had any form of online presence, you would have seen the joke about twenty twenty vision flying around the internet.
Joking aside I do think it is important to plan for the future and I think 2020 is going to be a brilliant year. I have a full time job that I love, I have lots of creative projects on the go and I’ve entered the new year with great optimism.
Here are my goals for this year.
- Edit The Truth About Nicole and The White Wasteland.
I have two completed manuscripts sitting on my desktop. The first is called The Truth About Nicole, stands at 80,000 words and is the result of NaNoWriMo 2018 and Camp NaNoWriMo 2019. The second manuscript is titled The White Wasteland, is 50,000 words which I worked on during NaNoWriMo 2019. I haven’t touched either manuscript since I finished them and I’m eager to work through those pages with my red editing pen.
Several people have asked me about my writing process. I think it is like a conveyor belt. First I complete draft zero. These are little more than words on a page. At this point, the manuscript is riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Sometimes the sentences aren’t even legible. Afterwards I go back and edit through this draft, correcting any mistakes and applying the right formatting. This is draft one. Once this draft is complete I’ll start adding additional scenes and removing others. This is draft two. After another read through I’ll add more notes. I repeat this last step until the manuscript is ready for submission.
It took me eight drafts, and three and a half years, to complete Empty Nights. I’m not sure how many drafts There Truth About Nicole or The White Wasteland will require but I hope it won’t take me as long.
I want to reach at least draft three on both projects by December.
2) Explore more of England/The World.
I love travel programmes and I love exploring new places. I want to see more of the world while I have the chance. Last year I did well in this regard by visiting Paris and Gran Canaria. I have another Writing Retreat booked in near Easter on England’s south coast and I also want to visit York. I’m also looking at attending the Edinburgh Fringe festival although, I’ll admit, this may be pushed back a year.
3) Consume more media
This may sound like a strange goal at first. When I was in younger I always seemed to miss the popular shows. I never watched shows like Breaking Bad, Skins or the Walking Dead and as such I never understood many of the pop culture references my friends used. I don’t believe in the saying, TV rots your brain. It enriches your mind and as a writer you should read as many books and watch as many programmes as you can. Although I finally subscribed to Netflix at the start of 2019 I didn’t make full use of it until the middle of the year. I’m making a vow to myself to watch as many shows as I can on my commute to and from work.
This doesn’t mean I will cut down on the number of books I read. As well as reading books (both physical and on my kindle) I’ve also started printing screenplays of my favourite films to read. If you have an interest in screenwriting there are thousands of screenplays drifting around in cyberspace, most of which are free. It’s very interesting to see how the story changes from page to screen. I have also started an Audible account so I can listen to books while at the gym. If you follow me on Twitter you will see that I’ve started the Goodread’s 100 books challenge. I’ll be keeping a record of my reads on Goodreads which will share across on my Twitter feed.
Those are my three main goals of the year.
I’ve also made some slight changes to this website. Previously each article has come under five different categories. Writing Posts, Spitfire Reviews, Inspirations, Interviews and Odds and Ends. I’ve added a sixth category called Rants and Rambles, the first post of which will be out later this month.
What are your goals for 2020? Do you think it will be a good year? Let me know and I’ll see you next time.