Well I don't know where this year has gone, but it nearly has, a fact brought rudely to my attention when I glimpsed a copy of this month's Writing Magazine sitting on a shelf with a tag line which said, "start your best writing year yet". Really, we're already being encouraged to think about what we want to achieve writing wise in 2014? As I walked off feeling rather disconsolate, I cast my mind back to this time last year and what I hoped to achieve in 2013.
Although I never wrote anything down, I'm pretty sure that I hoped to write and publish book 3 in the Chronicles of Arkadia series, start work on book 4 and write about 20 short stories and enter them into competitions. So what happened to the plan and how did I fare? Well book 3 did get written and then published in October, so that's a good start. I haven't started typing up book 4 but a lot of notes have been written in longhand as I kick around some ideas on how I want book 4 to shape up. Okay, that's probably a fail, but not a complete wash-out as at least I've done something towards that particular goal.
I've also been fortunate enough to have an anthology of 20 of my short ghost/horror stories published back in May I think it was and that was certainly a bonus and an unexpected but terrific surprise.
However, it's on the short story writing front that I've failed miserably. My target was to write about 20 new stories, but to date I've managed only 5. Worse still, none of these or any of the older stories I entered even came anywhere near winning a prize in any of the competitions I entered, making me wonder whether I've lost the ability and discipline to write in that format. Certainly when I sat down about a week ago to try and write a new story my muse seemed to have deserted me. I just sat there for virtually an entire morning trying to force the words out. After a couple of hours of tortured procrastination, the words I had squeezed onto the screen were abysmal and reminded me of the sort of stuff I used to write when I first started; I couldn't hit the delete button quick enough and yet another morning was wasted.
Now I just have one short story out there entered into a competition, a competition I've finished in the top 5 of 3 times in the last 4 years. It is my last hope for success this year and to be placed, even 5th place would be a real boost to my confidence, but as always I am up against some very good writers. I can only hope.
So what of 2014 - what do I want to achieve writing wise? Well I hope to finish (start) book 4 in the Chronicles series by the early summer with a view to perhaps book 5 coming out towards the end of the year, but these are not my decisions and I have to convince my publisher to stick with me. Either way I'm determined that 2014 will be a busy and hopefully successful year.