It sounds a bit like a wedding vow, doesn’t it – I will! I will! I have to keep saying this to get myself back on the writing track. Doubt is hanging around me again so I have to waft it away like a bad smell. My birthday yesterday, featuring our family get-together, was the last event of the Christmas and New Year season and hopefully I can now get back on track for 2020 with no interruptions to my routine. I should be… no, I am, ready to attack my writing goals for the year. Here they are:
Finish my series of five books for parents on learning through the school curriculum: Parents Help Your Child Succeed: deadline Easter 2020, seriously market and sell;
Write and send one short story per month for a competition or magazine submission;
Finish the first draft of my 9-12 children’s story;
Edit and polish my 5-8 children’s story – and submit;
Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and be ready for their next Undiscovered Voices submission (July 2021).

Wow! If I do all of this I will be quite pleased with myself. The wording of my goals (have been setting goals for as long as I can remember) seem to be more about the DOING than about the response in terms of success. Yet, didn’t I read somewhere that the message of C. S. Lewis is that failures are as finger posts on the road to achievement. And we all know the cliche about walls papered with rejection slips. So I have to remind myself that rejection is the first step. The ‘doing’ and the sending out must come first. Yes, I know it seems obvious, but how many of us actually fully prepare what we write for final submission – to give ourselves the best chance of acceptance? I am not the only writer who hates editing and polishing – but I know that it’s part of the job (perhaps the most essential part).

Here are two suggestions from my Writing magazine:
Jot down ideas for a years-worth of stories and let them germinate in the mind, I have tried to do this and found it difficult to just pluck ideas out of thin air. However, finding ideas is the essential start.
Go somewhere out of the house to write on a regular basis – as if it is a paid job.

How I wish it was – paid, I mean. As I write this blog, I am sitting up in bed, unwashed and in my dressing gown. Breaking the habit of writing in this way will be hard – but will it work? Maybe I will give it a try. So….

Will I dedicate time to my writing goals? I will!
Will I find the determination to keep going in the face of rejection? I will!
Will I apply the necessary discipline to my writing on a daily basis? I will!
Will I focus my vision on the rainbow at the end of my personal yellow brick road? I will!
Will I turn my back on Doubt when he comes calling? I will!

The pact is sealed. My vows are made. Let’s see how I to get on.

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