End-of-year Reflections

I hadn’t really planned on taking a break over Christmas, but here we are. There’s no video ready for Youtube either, which makes me feel a little bad, but I suppose it was somewhat unrealistic to be able to stick to my normal schedule during those busy Christmas days.

But now it’s over, and we’re getting closer and closer to New Years Eve. I have mixed feelings about this to be honest. Whilst I’m super excited to start 2019 with a bang, I’m also a little apprehensive about my expectations and whether or not I will be able to meet my goals. I guess this is completely normal though.

What are my expectations? What are my goals? A few months ago, I played around with the idea of being able to publish my first novel in 2019. I haven’t quite given up on this yet – but I think the more realistic approach would be to aim for the end of that. It has come to my attention how much… well, preparation that needs to be done after the book is actually ready to publish. What I mean is, if I want to do things properly, I need to have the finished book printed and ready in my hand months before I can actually release it.

It’s a little bonkers, but it also makes sense.

As writers, we want to focus on writing, being creative, weaving together stories with interesting characters. But the marketing side of things is just as important as the writing side because we want people to read and enjoy our books, and if they don’t know it exists, well, then they won’t read it. With this in mind, I’ve come to realise that publishing a book – even self-publishing – isn’t as straightforward as I initially thought. But that’s okay.

To sum this up, next year will probably be quite a busy one, and I’m looking forward to it. I just have to try and calm down in my expectations, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter if I don’t finish in time to publish next year. The most important thing is that I keep going, that I work hard and never give up. As long as I do that, I can be proud of myself.

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Fickle friend, thy name is inspiration

Perhaps the term “friend” is somewhat inaccurate. In my case, it’s like an old acquaintance that comes and goes without warning, that can bring gifts yet can easily take them away again, and if she’s in a really foul mood she can cause a terrible despair that not even chocolate can cure. Those days, she usually overstays her welcome.

Goodness, it sounds really awful when you put it into words like that.

But sometimes, the timing of her arrival is so perfect it might as well have been planned beforehand. Sometimes, she comes with high spirits, she is excited and full of exuberant ideas. Best of all is when those two combine. Those days, sadly, she can’t stay long enough.

It’s strange how the smallest, most unexpected of things can trigger a visit from inspiration. Earlier this week, I bought myself a new planner/notebook on a whim and it’s had the most intense effect on me. As I sat down and planned my tasks and goals for the week, I was hit by excitement and renewed motivation, and I ended up following my plan to the letter. Perhaps this is obvious to everyone else out there, but I found that it’s much better to have your goal planning in physical writing, rather than digital. It’s far too easy to ignore a document on your computer, or simply delete or change things you don’t feel like doing. It doesn’t work that way with a physical planner – if you don’t want to do something you have to actively ignore it; which automatically defeats the purpose of even having a planner! I’m sold. This is my new thing now, and it is my highest hope that it will help me make great progress with my manuscript. In fact, I expect it to.