new year plans (or not) – #WhatImWriting

It’s time for the first #WhatImWriting of 2015! Chrissie is hosting this week so if you’re hoping to link up, please head to Muddled Manuscript for tea, cake and a good old chat.

jasper mountainSo, where to begin? Um… I have no idea. I took two weeks off blogging and writing over Christmas and it’s totally thrown me out of all my routines and I kind of feel like I’ve forgotten how to write.

It was great to have a break though and I have to admit, as far as blogging goes, it was a massive relief. I hadn’t quite realised how tied to blogging I feel – the need to post a couple of times a week, to join in linkies and read and comment on other blogs. I enjoy it, but having a proper break made me realise that I do kind of view it like work. Fun work I don’t get paid for (admittedly), but with that sort of ‘must do, can’t get out of’ ethic that I don’t associate with hobbies of any sort. Anyone else feel like this?

Then there’s the creative writing. The first week I really missed it, I ITCHED to write but, what with kids and present-wrapping and general build-up of festive activities, I literally didn’t have the time. Then we were away for a few days over Christmas and writing of any sort wasn’t on my mind at all. When we got back the itch seemed to have gone. I started blogging again a few days ago (this is my fourth post of the year which is a bit extreme for me!) but as far as creative writing goes, I haven’t written a single word.

I feel like there’s maybe some lesson for myself in all this but I’m not sure what. If it was a relief to stop blogging should I blog less? Should I make sure I don’t take too long off writing in the future since it’s brought me to a standstill? Should I transfer my energies from blogging to writing this year?

You see, I do feel like I should have a plan. I’ve read a fair few blogs over the past few days and everyone seems to be full of decisions and intentions for 2015. Meanwhile I haven’t made any decisions at all! I was hoping some goals would reveal themselves while writing this post but they haven’t really.

It’s not that I can’t think of anything I want to achieve. It’s more like there’s too much I want to do and I don’t know what to focus on this year. Do I write more picture books, work on the ones I’ve got and try and find an agent for them? Should I finish the novel that was a big focus of mine in the first half of last year (it’s at 55,000 words at the mo), finish my other novel (the one I only wrote 7000 words of before getting distracted by other things I wanted to write) or  do I start a whole new novel for kids that I’ve had an idea for bubbling away for months? And then there’s my old romance novel to consider too!

No wait, no time for that, I want to make more flash fiction submissions this year! I write so many pieces for my blog and I’d love to channel more energy into writing them for other publications instead – to try and get my work published elsewhere rather than just on my own little blog. But how would I fit that in with the fact that I’d also love to self-publish my own little book of limericks?

You see? A whole new year has arrived and I have no idea how to make the best of it! I don’t know what goals to set myself as I don’t know where my real (writing) priorities lie. But here’s a plan – this week I’ll do some kind of creative writing (whatever type leaps out at me), I’ll publish no more than one blog post between now and next Tuesday and I’ll take the time, now my older kids are back at school, to try and work out what I want to aim for this year.

And there’s one thing I’m certain of – no matter what form it takes, 2015 is going to be a year of writing.

Muddled Manuscript

40 thoughts on “new year plans (or not) – #WhatImWriting

  1. Nicola Young

    I think we have all felt like this about blogging at some point or another. Having time out makes you question things, but it also makes you realise that there is a balance to be found somewhere. It sounds like you have too many projects you want to do, so it all seems like a bit much at the moment. My advice would be to focus on one at a time and see how it goes from there.

    Reply
  2. Reneé @ Mummy Tries

    Having read my book, you probably know what I’m going to say next… pick the thing that you want to conquer the most and set about achieving it. Personally I would love to see your limericks made into a book, and considering they’ve been written and illustrated already it probably wouldn’t take you too long to get it sorted. BUT it would fill you with such a sense of achievement and spur you on for your next project. I know whatever you decide it’ll be fab honey. Looking forward to following your journey this year hon xxx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Interesting point about the limericks. Thing is I had a kind of idea about an A-Z of them which means far more work as I’m missing lots of the letters. Plus I haven’t the faintest idea how to set about making a book out of them so it would take a fair bit of time and research. It is tempting though… will mull this one over… Thanks Reneé xx

      Reply
  3. Helen

    Sounds like you have lots of exciting plans. Sometimes I think the idea of planning for a whole year ahead is just unrealistic (and a bit arbitrary) – maybe if you did it by season you could allow yourself several different focuses in the year? Looking forward to hearing about them!

    Reply
  4. Iona@redpeffer

    I am increasingly coming around to the idea that going with the flow of my mind is the way forward and flexibility is key. I do know what you mean about the blogging thing, but I’m teaching myself that if I feel that too strongly then its time for a short break. And more time for other projects. I took Christmas off because I really needed it and am gradually getting back into things. I’m not for planning too much this year, but I want to increase my range a well as my income so we’ll see where 2015 takes me!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I agree there’s a lot to be said for going with the flow and not being too prescriptive. Hope 2015 takes you in some interesting – and successful – directions! Thanks Iona. x

      Reply
  5. Jess Paterson

    I know the feeling – although haven’t got as many potential projects in the offing as you, I’m perennially torn between my blog and creative writing. The blog is a quick hit, and so much more achievable, but the book would give me greater satisfaction on the whole, I think. Maybe! Good luck whichever way the writing wind blows you. X

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh I can see why you’re torn Jess – your blog is such a success-it keeps being blog of the day and on Huff post and stuff! And the way your craft your articles I can imagine being much more immediately satisfying than the long process of writing a book. But then nothing beats creative writing does it? You should definitley write the book AND blog. x

      Reply
  6. Aimee

    Eeek! So exciting! I think make a list of everything, then put them in order of what you want to do the most. Then set deadlines!

    You can do it!!!! xxx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh I LOVE lists! Yes I’ll write one and try to decide an order of preference and see how I go from there. Thanks Aimee. x

      Reply
  7. Emily Organ

    You may not have a plan, but you clearly have tonnes of ideas! I agree with Aimeen- list and deadlines! Personally I’d go for the 55,000 word novel and see if I could get the first draft finished. Blogging can be a millstone at times, I did it relentlessly for a few years and it took over so much. I much prefer my casual one or two posts a week blog now – no pressure! Good luck with deciding on your focus for 2015.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Emily. I do think one or two posts a week for the blog sounds more manageable. But then I’m hardly a prolific blogger – at the moment I’m mostly doing three a week it’s just that one of those is a creative writing piece which takes me ages! And a vote for the novel! I have to admit I’d like to get it finished but, having stopped, it suddenly feels like a massive deal to start writing it again. We shall see!

      Reply
  8. Sophie Lovett

    So many options! It has to be better that way than not having any ideas about what to write, right? It can be really hard to choose something to focus on though I realise. I’m itching to get on with my next novel but have to knuckle down on a new round of redrafts instead which I’m only just starting to get my head around… I know what you mean about the blog too – I feel like I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it at the moment, but on balance I think it gives me more than it takes, and having taken a bit of a break over Christmas too I’m definitely glad to be back :) xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Yes blogging is a double-edged sword! I’m feeling much happier about it today now I’m doing #WhatImWriting again – I’m missed you all! Good luck with your re-drafting! xx

      Reply
  9. Beth @plasticrosaries

    With so many ideas I have no doubt you’ll achieve something awesome :)
    Prioritising is hard but I’m sure once you take a look at everything something (or perhaps some particular character) will jump out? I find characters appear in my head and need to be written, when I’m writing anything :)

    Reply
  10. Carol Cameleon

    Ooh yes, the book of limericks. The limericks that never fail to make me smile Maddy! Writing for something other than your blog is refreshing and stimulates so many blog-related content. #WhatImWriting

    Reply
  11. Dana

    Oh, I can so relate to this Maddy! I think it’s tough to find a reasonable balance between blogging and other writing. Sometimes it helps to scale down the postings, like for me once a week is more than enough, even though in a perfect world I’d love to post more. Sometimes I even feel a little guilty when I’m posting instead of working on my novel.

    But it sounds like you have lots of wonderful writing to focus on in 2015! I agree with several others here, make a list and/or use your intuition to find which piece most wants your attention, and then put all of your creative energy into finishing.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to find out what moves you the most!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Dana – yes, blogging once a week sounds much more manageable. I tend to feel guilty when I post less often though, especially if it means not joining in with linkys! xx

      Reply
  12. Morgan Prince

    Here’s to the year of writing!

    I think as long as you’re doing something you’re happy with, it’s all good. Having so much stuff whizzing around your head can be debilitating and stop you in your tracks. But it’s great that you have so many ideas! They should keep you going for a while.

    Good luck hun, I hope you find your zen soon. xx

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  13. Rachael

    I think sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves, especially at this time of year, to have ‘plans’ and then feel bad when we don’t achieve them all… You have a good list going already and your plan for this week sounds good. Maybe take a bit of time and then see which project grabs/jumps out at you/looks like the one you want to do most? Then start with that and see what follows? I also like Iona’s idea of going with the flow. If you have these outcomes in the back of your mind anyway then you might find you’ve started doing one thing and the decision is sort of made for you.

    However you decide to do things, here’s to a successful year! x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I think one of the things about being in the blogging world is an awareness of what ‘everyone else is doing’ which somehow piles on the pressure. Which is silly! Thanks Rachel. You’re right. xx

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  14. Zoe

    Your head sounds like mine! So many projects crying out for attention and the overwhelming sense of where to begin? My advice is to do what you feel like on that day. Ease up on yourself. Writing should be fun, so if you plan and schedule and choose projects you might be taking the fun out of it and end up resentful. So long as you do something, any one of your projects each day, you’ll make progress. Make a start and see what happens :) Fab linky by the way – wish I’d found it sooner!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Zoe – glad you’ve found the linky and thanks for joining in! I definitely don’t want to end up resenting ‘having’ to write but at the same time, I need to push myself. ‘Little bits of what I fancy’ sounds good though! xx

      Reply
  15. Chrissie Metcalf (Kristina)

    So. Many. Things! You should do them all in moderation.

    Seriously though, the novel. First draft, done. Then while you’re in the post novel glow, the little bits.

    We may look like we’re organised but we’re all just faking it. Xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Another vote for the novel! It feels like such a big project though and if I start with it then everything else gets left behind. I’ll get back to it soon though, honest! xx

      Reply
  16. Katy Cox

    Sounds to me like you’ve got all sorts of cracking things on the boil! Better to have too many ideas than none at all. I have only been blogging for a few months and have caught the bug. Ideally I would like to write something much longer….like a book but I constantly have a toddler humping my leg or a 5 year old nagging me to read the Hungry Caterpillar for the 8th time!
    I guess we all just have to do what we can and keep at it and all will work out! X

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Katy! If you want to write a book though, you should just go for it! It’s amazing what you can achieve while children are causing havoc at your feet! xx

      Reply
  17. Marija Smits

    Just wanted to say that I can totally relate to this post! I have lots of ideas for short stories, books, poems, articles, etc. all stacking up in my head and sometimes it feels as though I’m going to burst if I don’t get it all down. But of course, with little ones around there isn’t enough time, so I’m just waiting and going with the flow and making use of any snatched moments to write what I feel like writing at that moment. There’ll be time enough in the future for all of it to *eventually* be written down, or so I keep telling myself… ;-)

    Happy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      It’s frustrating having so much in your head that’s bursting to get out isn’t it? There will come a time when life settles down though… surely? Thanks for commenting and it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone! xx

      Reply
  18. Kirstie

    We took Christmas off too. I shared your sense of relief. My advice is put the novel down for a bit and tackle the small stuff. Otherwise after a break it can be a mountain to climb. Gather your limericks, put some ticks against things on your to do list, and come back to a bigger project in the spring.

    Reply

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