Writing Goals for 2013

sunset on new year's day 2013If there was a prize for procrastination, then I’d have won it today.

I even attempted to wash the car, for goodness sake (and half of it was covered in frozen snow!).

But, here I am now and this is not procrastination, oh definitely not. My fellow-blogger, Tracy Fells, has written about her writing goals for 2013 and this has spurred me on to think about mine.

As she so rightly says, if you write it down, you have a chance of making it happen.

So, here we go:

1.To Writing Longer Pieces of Fiction

My writing buddy Sally wisely suggested (when I was wittering on about wanting to write a novel, AGAIN), that I should try making the leap from short stories to serials.

That’s a move from 1000 words (sometimes even a bit less) to about 12,000 words, so it’s a nice ‘half -way house’ (except of course that a novel’s more than 24,000 words, but you get the idea).

So, in a nutshell, I want to write a serial and get it published.

Before Christmas I sent a very rough and brief idea to a magazine and got the thumbs up (which means nothing of course, until they’ve actually seen part one and a synopsis) but I’m going to have a go.

2. To Write More Poems (and enter poetry competitions)

I am, as some of you know, a poetry tutor for the Writers Bureau and I am, quite frankly, ashamed of how little poetry I write these days, so that must change in 2013.

I am pleased to say that I’ve already made a start. Yesterday I finished and submitted a poem for Writing Magazine’s ‘last line’ poetry competition. It wasn’t brilliant, I’m pretty sure it won’t win but it’s a start.

3. To Win A Short Story Competition

Ooh, get me. That’s a bit like having a resolution to ‘win the lottery’, isn’t it? What I mean is, I want to ‘up’ the standard of my stories (by working harder at them – and not leaving it all to the last minute) and to enter more competitions.

I think I’ve been guilty of too much ‘re-use’ of old stories and thinking ‘Oh, that’ll do’ – when clearly, it won’t!
Otherwise, I’d have won more than ONE short story competition in my life!

When you read the winning entries – even for some of the ‘smaller’ competitions, like Chudleigh Phoenix (amazing name!), which has a first prize of £100 – the standard is very high. Read last year’s winner and you’ll see what I mean. (Hope I haven’t offended anyone by calling the Chudleigh Phoenix comp ‘small’ – I only mean in terms of prize money, NOT in terms of stature or, indeed, name!)

Of course, I can’t do more than try to increase the quality and number of my entries. When it comes to competitions, the rest is in the lap of the gods and depends on a) the taste of the judge(s) and b) the standard of everyone else’s entries.

4. To Get A Story Accepted by Take A Break

I wasn’t going to put that one in but what the hell – I like a challenge! (I may live to regret this, by the way because every time I get a rejection from TAB I get depressed and vow NEVER to try again).

5. To have ‘50’ submissions out there at any one time (article pitches, stories and competition entries). This is the goal that writer Elaine Everest sets herself and her classes and I like it – it’s a nice round number! I’m currently at 31, so I’ve got a little way to go before I hit 50 but I’ll get there.

I also want to keep blogging (of course!), submitting letters to magazines and ideas for articles, as and when I think of something BUT those are not going to be ‘goals’ for 2013. You can have too many!

So, there we are: 5 goals for 2013:

1. To have a serial accepted and published
2. To write more poetry & enter at least one competition a month
3. To win a short story competition
4. To have a story accepted by Take A Break magazine
5. To aim for ‘50’ out at any one time

I feel better, just having written them down. And now that I’ve told you, of course, there’s no going back! I will keep you posted, as they say.

Now, what about yours? Anyone brave enough to post their writing resolutions for 2013? Go on, go on, go on….!

This entry was posted in Blogging, Competitions, Magazines, Short Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Writing Goals for 2013

  1. Elaine Everest says:

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Elaine! I was right, wasn’t I, about the ’50 submissions’?!


      • Elaine Everest says:

        Yes, in fact several hit 60+ last year. Apart from our classes at The Write Place we also have our womag group, for the ladies who are actively sending out stories, so our first meet up of the year next week will be interesting. I have to confess that I’ve only just hit double figures with my short story submissions so you can guess my resolution for 2013 – pull my finger out!

  2. Pat says:

    Good luck with your goals. I feel I should print this out and stick it above my computer, because I’d like to say they were my goals too, but…. I’m already procrastinating! 🙂

  3. Mine are to work on and finish the novel… Write 1 and sub 1 every week, and get a story accepted by any womag. Phew, I’ve worn myself out just looking at that. Oh and blog lots and website lots as well, so that when I have done the novel, I’ll have lots of followers who will want to read it. (Get me as well eh?)

  4. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    Inspirational and informative post, as usual. Last year’s goal was simply to write more and submit more on the basis that the more you have out there, the more likely you are to win/get an acceptance. But I think now that that was too vague and so I’ve decided to quantify my goals. So, I want to have at least double the number of submissions I have out currently (7) – so not unatainable and to have that number out throughout the year. I also want to actually complete a novel (I have 3 partially written ones so need to choose one and stick to that. ) Oh, and to write a short story with an MC called Chudleigh Phoenix!

  5. Tracy Fells says:

    Thanks for the mention Helen. Love your goals and all are SMART! These are very achievable- just keep us updated on progress and the ticking off one by one. I too am aiming for a serial and had similar positive vibes to a pitch, so like you I MUST get on with it…

    • Thanks Tracy. I was flicking through PF today in Smith’s and saw your name! Well done on your first story published in PF (I think I’m right in saying?!). Didn’t have time to stand there and read it – as I would normally have done (oh, I’m shameless) because we were on a mad dash to get curtains and get home before it got toooo freezing – but if I see it again before the issue disappears, I will read your story.


  6. Di Castle says:

    Hi. Look on my Facebook writer site for my new year resolutions all writing related

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. Linda says:

    My main goal this year is to finish the novel I’ve been writing on and off (I confess – mostly ‘off’!) for several years now. I’m very impressed that you’ve got 31 submissions out. I want to get more short stories finished this year so I’ve joined the Write1 Sub1 challenge and if I manage to submit 1 a month I’ll be feeling pleased with myself!

  8. Debbie W says:

    Hello Helen

    Some impressive goals there and I look forward to hearing about when you’ve ticked each one off the list.

    My first main aim is to start a blog. I enjoy reading your blog and the blogs of Patsy Collins and Sally Jenkins especially and many many more. .

    My second main aim is to send out at least 12 pieces of writing this year.

    There are other aims I have but too many to mention, lol. One is to find a few extra hours in the day.

    Debbie W

  9. You’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you for your wonderful blog…

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