HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wait, what? It’s February already! That can’t be right. Aren’t we supposed to have January first? Isn’t that the usual order? |Huh? We did? When? Oh, in January … riiiiight….

Well HAPPY NEW (first week of) FEBRUARY then!

Anyway, so speaking of New Year’s RESOLUTIONS – I don’t make them any more.

I used to but I found I never kept them. Except for that one time when I resolved not to make any more resolutions. I really nailed that sucker!

In place of Resolutions what I’ve done at the start of every year since around 2006 (a couple of years after I was first published) is make a list of WRITING RELATED GOALS (sometimes I called them HOPES & DREAMS).

I like making the list. It’s fun to imagine all those good things happening (even if you know most of them won’t) and then there’s the sense of achievement you get if you hopefully tick a few of them off.

The number of goals I’ve set myself over the years has varied quite a bit from a modest 13 in 2006 to a ridiculously over-ambitious 52 in 2011!

Each list has always included a RANGE OF GOALS from ones where there’s a ‘GOOD CHANCE IT MIGHT HAPPEN’ through the ‘IT’S POSSIBLE BUT DOUBTFUL’ and on to those where ‘DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED’.

So for example ‘GOOD CHANCE IT MIGHT HAPPEN’ goals have included:

  • Starting a new manuscript or finishing one I’d been working on for a while
  • Earning a certain (very modest) level of income from writing related activities.
  • Completing a very achievable number of school visits

‘IT’S POSSIBLE BUT DOUBTFUL’ (sometimes very doubtful) goals have included:

  • Having a current book longlisted or shortlisted for Literary Awards
  • Getting an invitation to a Literary festival
  • Having a new manuscript accepted for publication
  • Gaining overseas sales
  • Earning a certain (higher than expected) level of income from writing related activities

‘DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED’ goals have included:

  • Having a current book win Literary Awards
  • Receiving an offer for movie or TV rights
  • Getting invited to an overseas festival
  • Successfully applying for a Grant
  • Hitting the Best Sellers List
  • Keeping my commitment to write at least one BLOG every week

So how did I go over the years I pretend to hear you ask? Well stop hounding me and SEE TABLE BELOW!

Anything around the 40% success rate I’m pretty happy with. That usually means I achieved most of the ‘probable’ goals and even a few of the ‘possible’ but less expected goals. (You can see the effects of Covid and Lockdowns in 2020 & 2021)

YEAR Goals Achieved/Total Goals Set Success Percentage

2006 8/1361%
200710/1855%
200816/37 43%
200917/2861%
201020/4050%
201120/5238%
201212/3139%
201320/5040%
201418/3060%
201516/3842%
201618/5334%
201718/4045%
201817/3253%
201916/4638%
20208/4219%
20212/2010%
20229/1652%
2023?/23 ????

So what about THIS YEAR? (Again with the questions!)

FOR 2023 I have set 23 Goals. (And I’ve only just realised as I typed that sentence that 23 is a fairly appropriate number. Who says I’m slow?!)

Of the 23 Goals I’d say approximately 8 have a GOOD CHANCE of happening, another 6 have SOME CHANCE, and the remaining 9 are possible but VERY UNLIKELY. (For example Goal 19 from this year’s list is to WRITE ONE BLOG PER WEEK. I’ll let you figure out in which category that one fits!)

Also on my Goals list for 2023 is one that says: COMPLETE SERIOUS YA MANUSCRIPT & SEND IT AWAY.

That exact goal for the same YA manuscript first appeared on the 2019 list and it’s been on every list since then. Actually there are references to STARTING this same YA manuscript as far back as the 2011 list. (OMG, those people who say I’m slow ARE RIGHT!!!!)

Anyway, I’m writing this blog to tell you that THIS is the year I will finally COMPLETE THE SERIOUS YA MANUSCRIPT & SEND IT AWAY!

Naturally another Goal on the 2023 list is that someone will want to publish my serious YA novel. I’ve placed that one firmly in the DIVINE INTERVENTION IS DEFINITELY REQUIRED basket.

I hope plenty of your goals and dreams for 2023 come true.

Cheers
Michael

One of my other long-time Goals is to finally repair my Space Pod so that one day I might return to my home Planet.

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