My 2022 Goals Vs The Reality

It’s that time of year again!! It’s time to look back on the goals I set for myself in 2022 and see how well I did. Every year in January I write down a list of goals for the year ahead and every year in December I reflect back and see how many I achieved. So, here goes!

Goal 1: Publish my new short story and poetry collection: The Old Friend.

Achieved: This was an easy one to achieve, to be fair, as the book was all ready to go. After a final edit/proofread, it was released in April!

Goal 2: Do a rewrite of The Day The Earth Turned Series. All four books are finished and at the same fourth draft stage. I am now going back to the start to rewrite them all, one by one.

Achieved: I had to go back over each one, adding new bits, developing characters a bit more and so on. I made this my priority in 2022 and since then they have all been edited and proofread. At the moment, they are awaiting book covers and I need to plan the launch of book one.

Goal 3: Finalise book one of the Fortune’s Well series I’ve co-written with Sim Sansford. By finalise I mean finish our final edits, send to the proofreader, contact designer for a front cover, make the final, final edits and plan a launch.

Achieved: Not only did we finish and release book one, Hangman’s Revenge, but we finished and released book two, Project Pandora as well! We plan to release book three in the New Year!

Goal 4: Continue to write chapters for the spin-off book to The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series. The spin-off idea arrived a few years back and a year ago I couldn’t resist making notes for it, which soon evolved into chapters. I wrote these up a few months ago and continued writing up to chapter 22. I have to prioritise The Day The earth Turned and the Fortune’s Well series this year as they are both finished and ready to polish up and publish, but I always need to be writing something fresh and new too so this is the one I will work on when I can. It has a working title of At Night They Played In The Road.

Achieved: I finished the first draft of this book in 2022! So, I actually did more than I thought I would. I will be starting the second draft very soon, once I have finished the universe timeline for all my connected books.

Goal 5: Continue to add to all my other book ideas. I need to add my zombie apocalypse idea to my upcoming books page. I have almost filled a notepad with longhand entries to this diary style book but I haven’t written any in a few weeks now. I will continue to carry it around and add to it when I feel the urge. There are two other writing projects I need to add to the upcoming books page. One is another YA series, this time with a supernatural theme and one is an adult family mystery. It will be many years before I get to either but I must continue to make notes when I get ideas!

Achieved: Wow, again, I did more than I set myself. I have written a bit more of the zombie book but it’s resting at the moment. The family mystery has really grown and now has its own ideas book full of character bios and plot ideas. I won’t start writing it for some time but I add to the book whenever anything pops into my head. And as for the YA supernatural series, I wrote it! This was all thanks to a long power cut and WiFi disconnection that meant I couldn’t use my laptop, so to keep busy I started writing Black Hare Valley, a book I had lots of notes and plans for. I got so addicted I filled five notepads and finished it in longhand! I won’t write it up into the second draft for a while but I still can’t believe I wrote it and got it out of my head!

Goal 6: Be more active. During the lockdowns I was very active in my garden and just in general but whenever things went back to normal I fell back into the trap of being tired from work and not keeping up outdoor activities. I really want to get stronger and fitter again in 2022 so I aim to be outside as much as I can.

Achieved: I took up pilates in 2022 and though I don’t get as much time as I’d like to do it, I am pleased with what I have managed to fit in. My vegetable patch did really well and kept me busy outdoors too so I do feel stronger and fitter!

Goal 7: Do better in the veg plot. I didn’t do too badly last year but every year I hope to improve so this has to go on the list again. I got a voucher for Xmas from my sister for plant plugs and have ordered a lovely selection to start me off on the right track. My mother-in-law also bought me a huge bag of vegetable and herb seeds, as well as wooden labels, bee bombs and bird food. I am so excited and can’t wait to get stuck into gardening again!

Achieved: Though not without its failures, I am overall very happy with my plot this year. For one thing. I have kept it going through autumn and winter! I’ve still got leeks, kale and brassicas growing out there and I’ve planted my garlic and onions. I even grew a few small cauliflowers for the first time ever!

Goal 8: Launch a second community writing project with Chasing Driftwood Writing Group. In 2021 we finally released our first anthology – Stay Home: A Year of Writing Through Lockdown. The anthology is a mixture of personal essays, short stories and poetry on the lockdown experience. Sales have been good and are helping to fund our next project – The World You Gave Us. We hope to collect essays, short stories and poetry from young writers only this time and eventually publish another anthology.

Achieved: To some extent! The book is on the go but has been neglected lately. We really need to focus on this next year but we did launch it, so goal achieved to a certain extent!

Goal 9: Get better at marketing my books. Haha, this one is always up there! I will endeavour to try harder though! I have been getting better at blogging regularly and posting on social media. It’s my newsletter I need to get more consistent with and getting reviews!

Failed: Yeah, I can’t lie. Not much has changed. The blogs have continued to be pretty regular and I’ve done well with the quotes and graphics and general sharing on social media but I haven’t posted a newsletter in over a year now!! My sales have remained the same and reviews are painstakingly slow to gather. But I do have more solid plans for 2023!

Goal 10: Be happy, don’t worry! I intend to be as happy as I can be. I aim to strive to always see the positive. I will try as hard as I can to leave the world better than I found it, be aware and informed, but not allow myself to become drenched in cynicism or dragged down by useless worrying. I must remind myself daily that I only have one short life and it’s up to me what I do with it. I must remind myself that worrying never achieves anything, that most people are good and the world is worth saving. I will continue to do whatever I can to give back to nature and do whatever I can to keep a smile on my face.

Achieved: I’d say that overall my 2022 has been a happy one. The world has continued to go to shit but in my own little world, all is well. I now have two daughters doing very well at university, a son doing well in his GCSE year and another son just being his own adorable funny self. We’re all healthy. My writing clubs are all full and I am earning more than ever which does fill me with pride.

Wow, I can’t believe I achieved 9 out of 10! I definitely wrote more books than I ever imagined this year. As well as writing the first draft of At Night We Played In The Road, and Black Hare Valley, I also wrote a first draft of The Mess of Us (sequel to The Mess of Me) and a book called The Dark Finds You which is a crossover book. My goals for 2023 are obviously going to be second drafts of all these as well as finally releasing The Day The Earth Turned series. I have even started another poetry and short story collection.

It’s been a good year in reflection and now that I’ve checked my goals versus the reality I feel quite proud of myself.

Look out for my 2023 goals post, coming soon!

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