The Year Ahead

Now normally, I’d use the first post of the month to lay out my goals for the month ahead. But I’m going to take advantage of this being the first post of the new year and set a few general goals for 2017. I’m still going to do some monthly goals, probably on the next post, definitely before the week is out.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank @Solscript. I’m not sure I would be doing an annual goals list if he hadn’t commented on a previous post and put the idea in my head. Thanks, Sol.

1. Read more books.

Just about everything I’ve ever read about becoming a better writer recommends reading as much as you can, with as wide a range as you can. I had tried to read more during 2016, with some success (I think), but I do want to make that more of a focus going forward. I’m going to aim for 52 books throughout the year and that’s what I put on for my Goodreads challenge. That may prove to be ambitious, but isn’t that the point of goals?

2. Keep writing reviews.

I’ve said, time and again, that I want to be able to support other writers. And, aside from just encouraging messages and the like, there are two simple ways to do that. The first is to buy and read their book. The above goal should cover that one. The second is to write a review. I’ve been lucky so far that the reviews I wrote last year were well received. Well, no one said anything if they objected. I doubt I’ll review every single book I read but I think I’d like to try for at least half, which makes for about two reviews per month.

 3. Do more Twitter or Facebook challenges & competitions.

Besides the simple things like #2bitTues or #1lineWed. Last year I did a month long interaction for #WIPjoy and enjoyed it so I’d like to do more of that. I’ve already got one in mind for January (more on that in a post later this week) and I hopefully I’ll get to take part in others.

 4. Look at ways of improving & making my blog more entertaining. 

Since I’ve gained a number of new followers in the past few weeks (thanks again, Raimey), I should be looking at ways to keep you all around. Whether that means doing different reviews (I do watch a lot of films), doing interviews or just generally being more interesting, it’s something to keep in mind.

 5. Write first drafts on three short stories. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had half a dozen (or so) short stories in mind. They’ve been in mind for a long time, and it’s time they were down on paper. Which ones I should work on, I haven’t decided yet.

 6. Write a first draft on House In Exile.

The big one. I want to get book 3, not just underway, but I want to get a rough draft done by the end of the year. I don’t want this one taking X amount of years like the previous two books. I already got some fragments done in December but I don’t think any of it could be counted as a complete chapter yet.

I think six is a good number and that’s probably enough longer term goals. Of course, I say that and tomorrow something else will occur to me but for now I’ll leave it there. Any thoughts/suggestions about #4, feel free to leave them in the comments section, they’ll be appreciated.

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