Bye 2018, hello 2019!

I firmly believe looking back at the old year is the best way to start the new year. What to keep up, where to improve routines, what to avoid. I have to admit, I didn’t achieve all I had set out for in 2018, but it hasn’t been a complete failure either.
Here’s the list I drew up in my post at the beginning of 2018:

1) Finish the first draft of my current WIP — nope
2) Read and write more poetry — done
3) Read more in general, especially non-“on-the-craft” books — done
4) Put work into the blog: take-away-points from webinars, blog posts on story structure and character arcs  — partly done
5) submitting non-novel works – poems and possibly short stories – done
6) Use my time effectively and minimise social media procrastination — partly done

Recapping 2018, I realised I did a lot of poetry. That took up a considerable time that I eventually didn’t spend with my WIP. But I enjoyed writing poems. Some are on the blog, others I submitted to a number of magazines, journals and contests. Nothing ever came off it but I did enjoy the work with words. It helped improve my vocabulary and the sense for the English language.
I did read more in 2018, too and exceeded the 25 books Goodreads challenge by two. (27 books seems few? pls keep in mind that I’m a working mom with 2 kids and a household).
I didn’t finish my WIP, though. The focus on poetry took up a lot of time. But I’m aaaaalmost there. Another month and it should be finished.
In terms of social media, I did well with scaling down on Facebook and Instagram. I didn’t do as well with Twitter, though, partly because of the mess world politics is in right now, partly because many people of the writer community are there. I don’t want to quit Twitter, but working on an adequate time spent there is definitely on the list for the new year.
There’s one thing I didn’t note as a to-do for 2018 but am glad I did: I wrote a 5-Year-Plan to map out How to get to where I see myself in 5 years time. Breaking down large goals into achievable bits has helped me a lot.

Here’s what I’m challenging myself to achieve in 2019

1) Finish the first draft of the current WIP (Déjà-vu again) AND get it in shape for submission in 2020. I’m close to finishing the first draft anyway so the emphasis is more on the second part of this goal. Revisions will take time and since I’ve never done it, this will involve reading a few craft-books on this particular topic.
2) Do Goodreads Reading Challenge again. I read 27 books in 2018. Why not aim high? I’ll set the goal to 30 books in 2019.
3) I want to keep up the good work with the blog, but put up less poetry and more story structure posts.
4) In addition to the work on the WIP, I want to write and revise one short story.
5) In the 2nd half of the year, when I have to set aside the revised WIP, I want to outline a new novel (preferably pre-November) and write the first draft of it during NaNoWriMo.
6) And last but not least, the never-ending story of time management and reduce social media procrastination. I want to join the #5amwritersclub again more often, for a start, and use the time I got more wisely.

Now it’s your turn. What’re your goals for the new year? Anything to add? Write to me in the comments.

 

Books on the Run

I recently learned about the idea of “Books on the Run” and I love it. I think I remember that Melinda once had copies of her books distributed in London’s public transport and the notion to share favourite books with others for free was appealing back then. I think it’s a nice way of promoting reading in addition to free mini libraries and such.

So, a few days ago I wrote an email to the team of Books on the Run here in Germany. They are located in Mannheim and I wanted to be a Book Fairy, too! Now my letter with stickers and instruction has arrived and I am ready to start. Now I only need another trip somewhere a bit further than the bus to the office…