After almost a year’s break, I’m back to the blog! I didn’t do much writing last year as I was focusing on a rather large cycling challenge (John o Groats to Lands End), which was over 1000 miles. However, in November I took a couple of workshops with renowned flash fiction writer, Meg Pokrass and they really kickstarted my creativity.
My aim this year is to get my stories published in literary journals and long-listed/shortlisted and placed in competitions, and so far I’ve had a number of pieces accepted.
On 1 January I had a story long listed in Reflex Fiction‘s quarterly flash competition – great start to the year!
In February I was runner up in Retreat West‘s quarterly themed flash competition with my story, This Time See White, a story based on the death of my father. I also had my story, How to Write Well. Or Not accepted by the Cabinet of Heed, and have a couple of other stories forthcoming in journals.
I’ve just started another online workshop with Meg Pokrass and am hoping it’ll produce some more stories.
I trust you’re all having a wonderful year so far!
When I first starting getting into writing, I didn’t recognise the value of setting goals. I’m rather disorganised by nature and have always gone with the flow, but that doesn’t work when committing to a practice, be it writing or another creative pursuit.
Being part of a blogsphere is helping me enormously in the achievement of my goals, partly due to the wonderful supportive community but also because there are constant challenges available, should you wish to participate and in so doing, not only do you gain valuable writing practice, but you also establish the habit of writing regularly, something that can be difficult otherwise.
Once you achieve a goal, it is necessary to set a new one immediately, even if you don’t feel like it e.g. last November I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo, managing to write 50,000 words in the month. I was euphoric for a couple of days afterwards but then felt rather flat. It was just before Christmas so I didn’t have the time to commit to something else straightaway, but in some ways I think it would have helped, as I’d manage to sustain a momentum which had gone by the time January came along as I didn’t do too much writing in December.
I think it’s important to have different sized goals. My immediate goal is to do a flash fiction course (starting next week for a fortnight), and then finish a novel writing course (& my novel) and hopefully after that do a memoir writing course. My overall writing goal for this year is to finish my first novel (& hopefully get it published, although that is more of a dream than a goal!), and by the end of this year, I’d also like to be writing short stories of a good enough standard to reach the shortlist of a national competition. My short term goals are to submit a short story to a competition or magazine every two weeks and to participate in several weekly flash fiction/writing challenges.
Writing is a major part of my life now and in order to keep it that way, I must keep working towards my goals.