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New Year, New Goals!

Thankful as I am to say goodbye to 2020, it contained some great stuff for me. I published my first novel, I wrote my first business book in a decade and ticked of loads of firsts in one of the strangest years in living memory. So at the start of a New Year I know this is a great time to set some new goals for 2021.

Last year I connected with lots of other authors and it seems we are all considering our writing goals at the moment. Some want to complete a new draft or finish their revisions on time. Some are determined to find an agent to get a publishing deal, others are considering self publishing. Whatever our goals are, the critical success factor for any of them is to write them down and then hold yourself accountable for making them happen.

Here is my list and I would encourage any of you to contact me periodically and hold me accountable!

  1. I will continue to raise my profile as a debut author through my website and social media. (I blog regularly, I use Facebook and linked in pages to engage with my readers and I do Q&A sessions with book clubs. I need to get better at promoting my book with people generally, I still feel a little awkward mentioning I am an author in general conversation)

  2. I will complete the Daniel Grant sequel, Hidden Secrets, for publication later in 2021. ( I am about 30,000 words in, the plot is mapped out and the characters well formulated. I need to get back into the habit of writing for regular time periods every day in order to get it finished.)

  3. I will read more and different genres to grow my understanding of writing techniques and styles. (How many of us only read the same sort of books or authors because we feel comfortable with them, like old friends? This year I am using Goodreads to set up a reading list of 50 books; some classics, some new genres and authors.)

  4. I will complete the online Masterclass with Aron Sorkin (wrote West Wing and The Newsroom) about converting books/ideas into TV Scripts. (Loads of the reviews that I have had for Keeping Secrets all say it would make a great TV series/special. It's a different skill set so I have set myself a challenge for learning how to do that. I want to keep learning about writing generally. I want to be a better writer of dialogue, instinctively write 'show' rather than 'tell' andI want to continue to breathe life into all my characters. I have to keep learning to do that.)

These are my first 4 goals for the New Year and I know they will grow in number as I move through the months. Some may change because they are not quite right, others will be replaced because I have achieved them. I know without goals I will be less productive and waste more time.

It has been 30 years since Norcross and Vangarelli conducted their research on New Years Resolutions. They discovered that 30% of goal setters fall at the first fence after just 1 week. For those that carry on, only 55% make it to the end of the first month! A year on and only 19% of those left actually achieve their goals. I think the key is to set goals that you are passionate about (not ones to appease other people). Use visualisation to strengthen your motivation. If you can see the end result in your minds' eye you are more likely to achieve it.

For me, a year without resolutions is a year without direction. Remember; there are far better things that lie ahead in 2021 than any that we left behind in 2020! Happy New Year all!




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