2014 – The year of facing fears

All dressed and ready for the New Year!
All dressed and ready for the New Year!

As I’m still mired in the world of rewrites, this is just a quick post to say Happy New Year and may 2014 bring you everything you desire.

I’m not one for making New Year resolutions – they usually fall by the wayside by the end of January – but my long-term goal is to be healthier and happier than I was last year. This involves things like eating better, more running and taking time to relax (and maybe actually learning how to meditate!).

In terms of writing it’s been a mixed year. I didn’t think I’d achieved much until I came across a clever little ‘roadmap’ created by Charlie at Urban Writers’ Retreat. You can download it here. In it there’s space to record your achievements and even writing really small I managed to fill the box. Here comes the clever bit – there’s a space to record all the things you want to do this year but at the end of that exercise you’re told to cross out all the things you’re doing because you think you ‘should’ or you think others want you to do. This makes you look at what you really, really want to do.

My number one priority I’ve discovered is to get published, by whatever means. So, plans to learn how to write short stories and doing a writing course have been shelved in favour of getting my existing work ready for publishing.

Deciding to focus on this one priority has been great. It’s made my head feel much clearer. I’ve created a timeline for the first six months of the year, but this has slippage built into it because you never know what life is going to throw at you. It’s a nice mix of new writing (which I love) and editing/rewriting (which is a bit like pulling teeth!) to keep my creative juices flowing. I have a plan for how much writing time I can allocate, and how much time I’m going to give over to having a life (I got Phantom of the Opera tickets for Christmas so there’s one night off planned!).

I feel it’s important to have a good work/life balance and although I have a full-time job, writing is now also a job. It’s more than just a hobby now – and when I publish it’s going to become even more than that. It’s a little scary, but as someone once said ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

So make 2014 the year you face your fears and tackle your goals.

Happy New Year everyone – hope there aren’t too many sore heads this morning!

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