Following on from my post about how you need to be a blog reader as well as a blog writer …
I’ve just been reading ‘The Becoming Year’.
Initially I came across the blog post ‘SVP and I, Volume 1‘ a collection of stupid comments from Abigail’s former boss, which I noticed in a link she posted on the very amusing, Freshly Pressed, ‘Post It Notes from My Idiot Boss‘ both of which have definitely inspired me to write a second installment of my ‘Tales of a Starving Artist‘ very soon, however it was actually the description of The Becoming Year which caught my eye.
Abigail describes her blog as ‘A thirty year-old gal with scraps of creativity and an abundance of judgment, I’ve quit my career as a leadership consultant to pursue my original dream of becoming a published author, becoming thin, and becoming kind. This is my story. This is my year.’
As I explained just a few days ago in ‘Inspired ...’ I’m coming out on the bright side of a bit of a mope-slash-panic about returning home after two and a half years travelling without a book deal, and have to say I found Abigail’s opening paragraph really inspiring.
I LOVE nice ‘neat’ blog frameworks, where you follow a year in someone’s life, or someone completing a specific challenge, from start to finish, and am kind of envious because my own blog has ended up as a bit of a mish-mash of my personal opinion and my fiction writing!
However, I definitely think I can apply some of her thoughts to my own life at the mo.
In just over a month I return back to England. And I think what’s going to help me feel like I still have some structure in the haphazard unstructured world of being an author, is by giving myself definite targets. Obviously there are some targets which I can’t have too much input on. For example, for now at least, with my novels ‘Flicker’ and ‘The Dream Navigator’, I’ve essentially done all I can do. I wrote, finished, edited and re-edited both novels, until they were in a condition which my wonderful agent, Lucy Dundas at Peters Fraser & Dunlop, deemed publisher-worthy. And unfortunately (because this is the bit I’m really awful at!) now I just have to sit back and wait!
However, while the ball on those two projects is now firmly in someone else’s court, that doesn’t mean I have to sit around twiddling my thumbs!
And so … I’m going to take a leaf from Abigail and The Becoming Year, and set myself some targets for the year. Now I know it’s not the start of the year … however I for one definitely need to learn to be a bit less rigid and precise about stuff (as you may have noticed from my extremely strict approach to writing a novel!! – ‘The Secrets to Finishing a Novel‘)
Also, yesterday was my Dad’s 66th Birthday. (He died just over 8 years ago) So it’s a particularly memorable day for me …
By my Dad’s 67th Birthday I hope to achieve the following …
- Obviously I’d love to get a book deal … but that’s one thing I can’t directly influence. Though I can obviously work as hard as possible to pursue that particular dream.
- I’m going to take a Screenwriting course (have been looking at 8 week intensive courses at the New York Film Academy … give me a shout if you’ve done one of their courses!)
- I’m going to turn My Ten Future Lives into a screenplay … because, without revealing too much about the plot, it would work really well as a film … possibly better than a book. (Characters change from imaginary life to life, so the same actors could play a variety of characters 🙂 )
- I will finish my new book ‘Mercury’s Child’ … which is currently just a lot of notes! It looks like I might be having a rather cruisy few months back home over the summer, after a winter working 70 hour weeks as a nanny, so I’m aiming to have MC finished by the start of September … which would be when I’d be flying out to New York. If all goes to plan, four months seems to be how long it takes me to write a first draft.
- I’ll still be keeping this blog, and using it to learn about the life of an author, and share my observations with you guys
- In a year’s time, I’d like to feel more like writing is my ‘career’ … which is a very loose ambition, I know … but I think that embodies how unspecific ‘writing professionally’ really is …
In previous years, when my ‘year’ has been strictly regimented by school and university semesters, I’ve always had very specific aims. And yet, I think my main aim for the year is just that I feel I’ve truly made the most of it – whether that’s (shock horror!) by taking a third ski season (rather tempting at the mo, when I know how much writing I get done working as a nanny). I want to look back, this time next year, and feel I’ve made some steps firmly in the right direction.
Only time will tell how large those steps are …. but I guess the main message should be that I haven’t been deterred from my overall aim.
To be a career author –
To be able to look my best friend’s parents (who have been my adoptive family since my parents died when I was 19) in the eye, and tell them them that I don’t need to ‘look for a career’ because I’ve genuinely found one!!!
No doubt over the coming days, weeks and months I’ll find other aims to add to this list, and I’ll keep you posted on them, but right now, these are the things I want to achieve in the coming year 🙂
And as for Abigail’s other aims … what girl wouldn’t want to be a bit thinner in a year’s time 😉