Saturday, 9 September 2017

Autumn Days

Autumn always brings mixed feelings for me.  On the one hand it’s a season of inspiration.  The start of a new academic year and the time to learn something new or at least be a bit more studious. The season of opportunity where you can reassess your goals for the year and start again.  And there’s the peace and quiet of the kids being back at school after weeks of lolling on the sofa playing on the x-box or watching incredibly stupid American sit-coms - the kids not me, I've worked through the whole thing) and the chance to get back into a routine. 

And as for my goals for the year – well they definitely need a kick up the you-know-where. I started off the year full of plans and determination but they soon fell by the wayside as you can tell from the lack of blog posts.

I’d decided to try using a bullet journal to help get myself organised. My friend introduced me to the concept and said you could buy them ready made, but after some research on You Tube, I decided that a plain ruled notebook would do just as well.  At the back of the book I split my goals for the year up into different parts of my life – home / work / writing and wrote down everything I wanted to achieve for the year.

Then at the front of the book I headed up the pages into months.  On the front of the page for January I wrote my goals for that month and on the other drew a calendar for the month and added in all appointments and events I needed to attend. The pages after then were filled with tasks that I wanted to achieve each day.

It worked in that it focussed my mind on what I needed to do each day  / month and it was handy to have the essentials for the entire month on one page (no more rushing around buying birthday cards and presents at the last minute because I’d forgotten!) but it turned out rather depressing to find several items being carried over from day to day and month to month because I just couldn’t find the time.  I still use it to a certain extent but like most of my resolutions, it seems to have petered out.

It’s been a challenging year family-wise, lots of illnesses and challenges to deal with, some short term but others longer term and more significant and for a while now I have struggling with my own health which impacts on my ability to find the motivation and energy to write.  In June I finally received a diagnosis, and whilst it was a relief to find out what is wrong with me (nothing life-threatening, thankfully) it does mean that I have had to make some adjustments to my life and will be on medication for the rest of it.

On the plus side so far I have survived all those challenges and in the midst of it managed to complete a submission for the RNA New Writers Scheme (not the one I intended but that’s another story) but something I have been working on for a while and am really pleased with.

So, with all that out of the way, its time to reassess my goals and make the most of the rest of my writing year.

The not so plus side of autumn is that is signifies the end of summer, the end of light (if not heat if most of this summer was anything to go by).  Cold, dark days lie in wait.  But I’m going to look on the bright side, batten down the hatches, snuggle up, and try and achieve some of those remaining writing goals for the year.  And hopefully I’ll be blogging a bit more too!

What are your goals for the rest of the year?


  1. I'm glad they have got to the bottom of your health problems and sorted out medication. You've done well to complete your submission for the RNA with so much going on in your life.

    The bullet book sounds a good idea, but I've never been very successful at getting organised (I'm a terrible disappointment to myself!!)

    I'd be happy to skip autumn and winter and go straight to spring. I threw my goalposts away a long time ago :-)

  2. Sorry to hear about all the health problems in the family - no wonder writing took a bit of a back seat. Well done for sending your manuscript to the NWS. Mine went off too - it's a great sceme. I set monthly writing goals with friend Tracy. Agent hunting is taking precedence at the moment.

  3. Hi Teresa, Thanks for your wishes. I too am a disappointment to myself, still drastically fire fighting rather than being cool, calm and collected. Have come to the realisation that its just not going to happen and to accept it! I agree with skipping autumn and winter. Hate the dark nights and morning and having to have the heating on! Not that we have had much of a summer this year, it felt as though it never really got into its stride.

    Hi Wendy, thanks and good luck with the agent hunting. It doesn't seem that long ago that you were starting to write your novel. I'm sure it won't take you long.