If We Were Having Coffee: A Quarterly Review – Muddling Through 2018

IMG_1745The end of March is closing in and the first quarter of the year is almost done, so now seems about as good a time as any to take a look back over the last three months and see if I’ve managed to get any closer to completing my 2018 goals. Even if you don’t make new years resolutions, we each have targets that we want to see ourselves achieve. Some are small such as finally sorting through that box of pens that moved back home with you from uni, some are larger, like completing the next stage of your accountancy qualifications. Either way, it is important to acknowledge whether or not we achieve them, and if we haven’t, what progress we’ve made and what we need to do to reach that goal.

Writing Goals: 2018

Each year, for the last six years, I’ve told myself that I will finish writing that novel. That novel is still unfinished, but it’s certainly closer to being complete than it’s ever been. This month I managed to write out a chapter by chapter breakdown of the plot and for once I haven’t got an ending that doesn’t feel much like an ending. If that doesn’t make much sense, then what I mean is the last part of previous drafts tended to feel like they just petered out. This time I think that I might have got it right. Of course I still need to get on and re-write the draft.

Aside from finishing my novel, this year’s writing goals include me trying to submit more entries into competitions. In the past I’ve entered one of two competitions a year, for 2018 I set myself the goal of entering at least three writing competitions. So far I’ve submitted to the following:

  • The 2017/2018 International Book & Pamphlet Competition
  • The Laureates Prize (Automatic entry for this is included with the above)
  • The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize

Technically that hits the goal I set myself for the year, so I decided to move the finishing line. Seeing as we’re a quarter of the way through the year I thought it was only right that I multiply that goal by four. Instead of aiming to enter three competitions in 2018, I’m now aiming for twelve. I’ve got a month by month lists of the up-coming deadlines for writing competitions and I’m picking and choosing which ones I want to submit to. Two that I’m set on are the NYC Screen Writing Competition, and The Birdport Prize Novel Competition. Screen writing is not a completely new genre for me but it’s one that I’ve only dabbled in so the challenge should be a fun one. The novel competition will be just the first 5,000 words of my book but it’s a good motivator to get those 5,000 words to a place where I’m happy to show them to the world.

The end of March also brings the start of April and that means three things.

  • NaPoWriMologo-napowrimo
  • Camp NaNoWriMo
  • The A-Z Blogging Challenge

The next redraft of my book will include a lot of writing from scratch as I realized a lot of the current draft is fluff that will probably need cutting. The aim is to use Camp NaNoWriMo to get a rough draft of those chapters down on paper before the start of May so then my focus can really move to editing rather than writing.

National Poetry Writing Month is my favorite challenge of the year and in 2016 I smashed it! Last year not so much, so I need to prove to myself that I can do it again and it will also be a great challenge to get me writing lots of poetry that I can perhaps use for some of those competitions that I want to enter.

Lastly we have the A-Z Blogging Challenge, this is one that I’ve not before. I almost took part last year and then didn’t really write for the whole of April. I’m sure I can work the concept into my daily blogs though and it’s very much a community based challenge like NaPoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo which I love.

Blog Goals

Now a lot of my blog goals co-inside with my writing goals, and if you read this blog regularly you will have seen my 2018 goals listed in previous goals. So far I haven’t managed to hit any of them. I was doing quite well at the start of March, I’d picked myself up out of a slump and was posting pretty much every day. Then we hit mid-month and that fell out of sync.


As you can see from the stats above. I’ve not been very good about posting in the second half of March and that was something I told myself I was going tackle this year. I have to say though, my house looks fantastic! Two weeks of spring cleaning instead of writing has really got the place looking good.

However, back to the matter at hand. Getting onto a blogging schedule seems to be the problem for me, so the following goals are the ones that I want to have achieved by the middle of the year in the hopes of fixing that problem.

  1. Find a schedule that I can stick to with my blog with at least one piece of flash fiction a week, two/three pieces of poetry, and a chatty blog post about my writing outside of this blog.
  2. Increase my daily traffic so I can finally beat that ‘Best Ever’ view count from October 6th 2015. Yes that’s right, that view count is from almost three years ago and it’s simply laziness that’s kept me from getting close to it again.
  3. Write the second installment for the ‘Case One: The Missing Boy‘. This went up on March 11th and the aim is to write the sequel by April 11th. There have also been a few calls to write a follow up to ‘The Curse Of The Ex-Wife’ but that one is very much on the back-burner for now.


So, that’s it for the first quarter of the year. You’ve seen my triumphs and my failures so far in and hopefully I’ve given you a little encouragement to have a look at what you want for yourself this year and achieve it. Let me know in the comments below what you’re aiming for this year and if you’ve managed to achieve any of those goals yet? Perhaps you have some advice for me on keeping up with a blogging schedule, or perhaps you just fancy a chat. Either way, you know where that comment section is and I can’t wait to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and happy writing.

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