Setting goals for the year (couldn’t have done it without you)

Last year was rubbish for me. I met none of my creative goals but floundered around in a fug of worry and self-doubt. (A lot of life happened.) Not a helpful state. Something needed to change. So…

Recently I attended a workshop on setting creative goals given by writer, journalist and writing coach Kaite Welsh. The purpose was to learn how to set goals and start putting some in place.

My tech is dying: a moan with a point

Last year, I experimented with writing using pen and paper, hoping that the slower speed would result in better writing and that the transcription stage would introduce a valuable editing. It didn’t: I transcribe first, edit later, making only slight changes to the hand-written text. So I went back to writing using keyboards. All was good. I finished a novel and settled in to edit another one.

Then my tech started dying.

Finding a balance: work, life and writing

Writing is time consuming. Thinking, planning, writing, reading and editing: it all takes time. Editing is what takes up most of my time.

The first draft of a story doesn’t usually take me long but kicking the budding story into shape does. I spend considerably longer editing than I do writing the first draft. (Yes, I am thinking about changing how I write, to see if I can get more of it right the first time, but I’ll always have to spend time editing. No matter how long I mull it over, the first idea is badly formed compared to the final one. Writing helps me develop the idea.)

I’m trying to clear my various desks for November so that I can focus on NaNoWriMo. I have two stories to finalise and submit to writers’ groups and magazines. Time is short and I’m not sure how to squeeze everything in.

Isn’t it unfortunate that I need to pay the bills? If I didn’t, and if I didn’t have a food habit, I could spend more time doing the things that I enjoy and the things that make me a better writer. Like so many writers, I have to work on my craft while also working 40 hours a week, maintaining a social life, eating, sleeping and trying to remember to exercise. We’re really busy people, what with the networking, submission preparation, reviewing stories, preparing for spoken word evenings, reading for research and for fun.

It’s not inspiration that makes a good writer, it’s hard work. I find that encouraging.