Sunday, 18 March 2012

Resolution Review

Back on the 7th January, I blogged about setting myself some realistic (and therefore attainable) writing resolutions, rather than the usual-breakable-nonsense we all set ourselves up for – are we really watching less TV, exercising more and eating better?!  I’ll leave you to be the judge of that in your own lives (!)...but I’m pleased to say that, three months on, I can tick my list, baby!

So, like any good review, let’s begin by recapping –I said I resolved to:

1.      Write for 15 minutes minimum every other day;

2.      Record a Word of the Day daily;

3.      Enter at least 6 competitions in 12 months;

4.      Have a Girl’s Night In to get to know my characters for Novel Number Two;

5.      Finish my poetry sequence by the end of the year.

I can award myself (big, red and sparkly!) ticks for 1, 2, 3, and (almost!) 5, and here’s the evidence: 

I have been writing much more than that estimate, though sometimes it’s been all-day-one-day and then nothing for a couple of days, to be followed by lots more on another (but then I’ve never been any good at sticking to rote and routine!).  I’ve been noting down loadsa words in my Philavery ( = a word-book; the title coined by Christopher Foyle and his Foyle’s Philavery books listing interesting and pleasing words – I bought the set which comes with its very own plain-paged journal for you to record your own collection!), choosing one and posting it daily.

Yesterday, I sent off 2 more competition entries, after working on them last week, which makes 4 in total since I set the Resolutions.  In my Stocktake of a Scribe post (read it here ), I noted how both The Dare and Dakota needed slight additions to their word counts to make them eligible for entry into most competitions – and now they’re both up to speed and entered!  I’ve also found a competition with the theme ‘She’s the One’ celebrating International Women’s Day, ‘about the women who inspire you and how they have changed your world’ – which made me think of my recent poem Dear Jessica I shall be working on the entry this week.  I’m pretty sure Dear Jessica Fletcher will stand out from the rest as, let’s face it, who else would write a homage to a busybody-ish character from a 1980s, slightly twee TV show!  Whether this is just a fair piece of work, good enough to get me short-listed or even (gasp!) win, is down to the is it being bad enough to stink, stink, stink!  Still, it’s worth a go, right?!

Getting back to the Resolutions, any decent review also explores what hasn’t worked so well and what can be done to get back on track.  Number 4 is my sticking-point of a problem – I haven’t had the Girl’s Night In to get to know my characters from Novel Number least not yet.  I still intend to, but I’ve been deep in my poetry and have decided to concentrate on completing the sequence before moving on.  In my original Resolution, I set a time-frame on this knees-up which was rather short (the end of January) – and the solution to make this goal achievable is to extend the time-frame to the end of July, four months away.  This gives space and time to plan and play, and then the beginning of autumn should see the start of narrative work on Novel Number Two...wish me luck!

Point 5 is the one I’m really chuffed about (very nearly almost!) ticking off – the completion of my poetry sequence is.  Only.  Two.  Poems.  Away!  The First Draft of one of these is finished and cooling its heels, waiting to be edited and redrafted later this week; thoughts are percolating through my brain for the second poem (the topic of which is already decided), and captured on paper as I go, ready for me to begin proper work soon.  The idea for a poetry sequence about my early writing influences, and indeed the first poem to be written (The Writer’s Toil), emerged on the 23rd May last year, and so it is an important and telling anniversary to come, because I hadn’t written anything – at all – for about 18 months before that.  To now be in a very real place of having completed the whole cycle, from the first thoughts of 8 poems all the way through to the final drafts, in one calendar year (possibly even inside that year) is a huge achievement – and one I shall celebrate!

Every Review has, of course, to end – so in conclusion, then: 5 points = 4 ticks (go on, let me off – the sequence will be finished in a matter of weeks!) and an extended one...

I think that’s a bloody brilliant start to 2012, don’t you?!  I hope these beginning three months have been a good time of reflection, action and experience for you, too – here’s to the next nine of 2012.


  1. Yep I think it's fab achievement! And one I've had the pleasure of seeing first hand. Keep up the good work. Zo xx

  2. I set no goals to achieve for myself, that way I'm always doing well! lol Cheating, I know!HA! I love new words so if you ever have an interesting one then please lob it my way! You are doing very well in your goals, keep it up and good luck on those competitions! Oh, and by the way, the porch therapy book is just an old cook book :) waving from the windy hills of North Carolina :)


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