Friday, 1 January 2016

2016 here I come, ready or not!

My goodness! It seems we have all found ourselves at the beginning of a brand new year! And, like every new year I always like to start with a load of unattainable resolutions, setting myself up for complete and utter failure! Why do we do that? Promises to ourselves made in the heat of alcohol induced confidence on 31st December perhaps? Or do we really want to do the things we promise ourselves? Surely if we did then we'd just go ahead and do them. Wouldn't we? Of course we would.............I think! Quite often I set myself a goal. And then I fall flat on my face! Again! But with every passing year my expectations of myself and my 'goal posts' change a little. As I become older (as I'm constantly reminded of by my step daughter), my priorities change and I want different things out of life. Sometimes squeezing into a pair of size 8 jeans doesn't seem nearly as important as losing weight simply to be healthy. Or, being a little more fashionable doesn't seem as important as being happy in my own skin. I often wonder if we never truly make a decent attempt at reaching those goals because we are actually a little bit afraid of success. What would we dream about then if we actually reached those goals? No one said life provides any easy answers. Sometimes its damn well confusing!

So, what weird and wonderful new years resolutions have I set myself this year? All of my goals for 2016 are writing related. As many of you know, I took part in NaNoWriMo in 2015 and loved every back breaking, nervous breakdown inducing moment of it. It was tough. It made me cry. It made me laugh. Most of all, it gave me a great sense of achievement and a certainty that I should always be writing. I always knew I should be. I used to write a lot but life being what it is I always had other things to do. I don't think I'm particularly brilliant at it. Writing I mean. Not life. I'm damn good at life. I've got too much of it going on! I know I'm not going to be the next great author, wowing the world with my books. I just want to do something I love. There's too much going on in my head and I need to get it out. Since I started book blogging and in turn organising virtual book tours for authors I have grown a little in confidence. I now have many author friends who I respect enormously and I see how they have overcome some of life's obstacles to reach their dreams of being published. What a fantastic group of people! What an inspiration! I also see the generosity of the book blogging world and the support given to authors and I know I'll never be alone. I'll never be without a friend for advice, guidance or a shoulder to cry on when needed.

I still have so much to learn and the idea of sharing anything with anyone fills me full of fear and trepidation. I'd rather walk across hot coals than let anyone read what was written during my NaNoWriMo adventure.  Hopefully those feelings will soon ease a little and enough to let me hit the SEND button to share my writing with someone someday. But, the one goal I can achieve and in fact have already started is that I have started rewriting the Nano book. I sat with the laptop in front of me for ages, a cold sweat breaking out. I'd put it off all day but as I started to read the first chapter I thought of so many things that I should add to it. I have re-written it a couple of times now and I probably won't look at it again until the second round of rewrites. I'm taking this slowly. One chapter at a time. That's just how I work. I'll thrash the damn book to death before I'm remotely happy with it. It may take me years but at least I'm doing it! Something I never thought would happen. I'm still struggling with the idea of calling myself a writer. Am I really? Or am I just playing at it? Is it merely only a hobby or a vocation? Are those people who love to take lots of photographs really  photographers? Am I a wine critic because I drink it by the bucket? Probably not. For now, I suppose I am a wannabe. I hate that word but there you have it!

I've also promised myself I'll start keeping a diary again. Its always something I say I'll do and usually start but never continue with. Well, I figured that by telling you about it means I have no other choice but to keep a diary and fill it full of rubbish from my brain. Because, just in case you hadn't already noticed, I like to say a lot. So, for that very reason I have a diary which only allows me one page per day. Its a way of making me more succinct in my writing I suppose and try and cut out the crap I write. I don't want a diary to be a way for me to complain bitterly about my day or bitch about someone (I have this blog for that!). I'd like to add quotes I have found or links to important writing resources. Now and again there might be the odd 'I hate you cruel world' entry in it but I'll try to keep those to a minimum! We could all do without that sort of negativity. I just need to accept that sometimes life sucks! Get over it!

Another thing I've promised I'll do is find time to enter the odd short story competition or some other writing related comp so if anyone knows of any please let me know. I think entering things like this will keep me sharp. I'm going to be on the lookout for writing prompts too. I'm one of those people who sometimes needs a nudge in the right direction. I love grabbing hold of a suggestion or idea someone comes up with and doing something with it. When I was at school all those millions of years ago I used to love being given a title or a word and told to write a short story around it. While the rest of the class groaned their disapproval of the task I was in my element.  Yes my friends think I am a weirdo and they might be right. Didn't someone once say that you have to be insane to write? Probably something to do with those voices that keep popping into your head at the most inopportune moments!

I suppose one of my biggest goals this year is to make my book tour business even more successful. I love what I do and one day it will generate enough business to allow me to stay at home full time to pursue other writing work. Someone somewhere in the big old bookish world might even offer me a job! I'd certainly give up the other job (that currently pays the bills) in a heartbeat to do something I truly love. Can you imagine a job that involves books and writing and meeting authors and attending or organising book launches! Oh I feel dizzy with excitement at the thought of it...............or is that my hormones? I am a woman of a certain age after all! I want Brook Cottage Books to be thought of as one of the best book promotion places to go to. I want to provide a warm and friendly service that feels like the natural place for authors and publishers to come to. A book home from home. One fine day I'll even learn to promote myself a bit more.  Who knows what 2016 will bring. I'm hoping it brings 40 hour days so I can fit all of my New Year goals in but I can't see that happening! Anyway, happy New Year one and all. May 2016 be the year of your dreams.


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  2. Immersed in the world of books as you are and obviously loving the written word I'm sure you're writing will flourish. However, it's not only the writing, as you say, it's the confidence to get it out there to be read. When my first book was published in 2009 it was a totally uplifting experience. At the same time it was incredibly scary - like showing the world your underwear! I guess it's all about confidence, believing in what you do and having the support of some great friends in the writing community behind you. Am absolutely positive you'll achieve that goal. Either that or be head hunted by a publisher - or maybe both! xx

    1. lol you are so right about it being like showing the world your underwear! That describe it perfectly Jo! Would love to be head hunted by a publisher! x

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