Self-belief in fiction: setting goals

Is my self-belief as an aspiring fiction writer real – or is it fiction too? How important is it to set goals? It’s the first of November – NANOWRIMO month. Last year I wrote the first draft of a YA novel: it’s still waiting to be edited and submitted somewhere. I WILL get back to it. Maybe I’m like a butterfly – landing on different plants – or should I say, genres, never quite sure where my writing future lies. I keep hoping for a miracle to happen. But writing is not like that – as I am starting to realise, it’s just hard graft.

So why do we do it? Let’s just assume the urge to write is simply in us – or not. It has been inside me since about 1985 when I experienced my first bout of depression and was signed off work. I wrote an article about this experience that was published – and I have been floundering around in the sea of writing ever since. There have been successes – in fiction I had 3 adult stories published by D. C Thompson, also a children’s story. In 2001, I won 1st prize in the Winchester festival (but failed to act on this), and since then, have had 13 educational books published by Routledge. Some people would call this success of a kind. Yet I yearn to be published in fiction. Why? I am an avid reader. I devour books. Maybe that is partly the answer. Becoming an established fiction writer is, for me, the ultimate prize.

So, back to the hard graft of fiction writing – which I believe is much harder than non-fiction writing. I am pleased with myself a little – I managed to send a picture book story for the Writers Online competition- deadline yesterday. It won’t win, but…. Stop! Stop! I say. There I am, already doubting my ability to succeed in this chosen venture. Of course, it will win! I need to imagine myself with that certificate, and cheque, standing there, being photographed. Yes, really. We all need self-belief – the first ingredient of success.

So, where am I going with this blog today? I am getting into gear for setting my NANOWRIMO goal. What can I personally manage for every single day of this month – as my writing output? I am about half way through my children’s story – can I finish it – yes, it’s only another 5000 or so words (total 10,000).

What else? Which of my other (butterfly) projects shall I dust off and achieve this month? I have a second (older) children’s story in process. Perfect. So here are my personal goals for NANOWRIMO:
Finish first draft of my younger children’s story- about 5000 words (then let it rest)
Finish first draft of my older children’s story – about 25,000 words.

So, about 1000 words per day will do it. So, fellow fiction bloggers, what are your goals for this writing month? Good luck to all of us. I look forward to reporting back each week.

Day 1. So I’ll sign off and make a start!!!!

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