Writing Goals – 2020

Happy new year.

January is coming to its midpoint and I thought it was high time to formalise what my writing goals are for the year.

Part of this is to share with my friends and readers and part of it is just to have it on the page in order to hold myself accountable. So, without further ado:

  • My first novella, The Balance is coming out very soon from Lycan Valley Press and I’m very excited about it. The goal here is to get it into as many hands as possible. You can read more about it here and I’ll announce pre-orders (along with some giveaways and fun stuff like that) here as soon as they are open.
  • My second novella Below (working title) was beta-read, re-edited and submitted at the end of 2019. I have a really good feeling about this one, and my goal here is to finalise a deal to see this book out in the world in 2020. In all likelihood, it may not see the light of day until 2021, but to have that contract signed would be a huge boost for me.
  • In the last two years, I’ve managed to have ten or more stories come out during the year in various publications and podcasts. I’d like to continue this form.
  • I want to complete one or two long form pieces during 2020. I have the beginnings of a longer piece which I started in 2018 and then left, as I didn’t feel prepared to complete it at the time. I also want to start and make good headway with a new project. (I felt previously that I maybe ‘wasn’t a proper writer’ if I didn’t write full novels, but I’ve since decided to bin that idea and allow stories to be what they want to be. I often find in my reading experiences that my favourite horrors are novellas, anyway.)
  • I want to contribute at least two stories to charity anthologies. I did some work with charity anthologies last year (as a submissions editor, producing the short list for ‘Sloth’ in Things in the Well’s Trickster’s Treats #3: The Seven Deadly Sins Edition) and had a story published in Grinning Skull Press’ A Tree Lighting in Deathlehem. Both were a lot of fun and for excellent causes, so I want to do more of this.
  • I also want to blog more, and not just to trumpet new releases. I read an article on Chuck Wendig’s excellent blog the other day and he made some excellent arguments for more blogging, so expect this stream of consciousness to be a bit more regular.

 

And that’s it. What are your writing goals for 2020? Share in the comments or drop me a tweet @lisboetaingles

2018 in Review and Goals for 2019

2018 was my second full year since I stopped calling myself an ‘aspiring’ writer and just got down to writing. At the beginning of last year, I set myself the target of matching my 2017 publishing credits and selling my first piece of long-form fiction, a novella which I wrote in the late summer of 2017. Finally, I wanted to complete another piece of long-form fiction.

I actually missed the first of those targets but, when I look back at what I got published and where over the last year, I can’t help but feel positive.

Being a part of the amazing anthology that was Lost Films, put together by the incredibly talented duo of Max Booth III and Lori Michelle was a highlight and a huge boost for my confidence that the best of my work is good enough to stand alongside people who I admire in the field.

I’m also immensely proud of the first not-exactly-horror piece, ‘Muscle Memory’ which found its way into print at the very end of the year, with Renaissance Press’ We Shall Be Monsters anthology, edited by Derek Newman-Stille. This book looks so beautiful and takes such a broad and progressive approach to reflecting on The Modern Prometheus, two centuries after its first release. I cannot wait to get my contributor copy into my hands.

Finally, I am simply delighted with the work which the team at The Other Stories have translated to audio fiction. The work of the narrators, the sound effects team, the curators of the music to accompany each tale and of Luke Kondor and the others in editing the stories, and making it all happen, is amazing. Being published there has opened up my writing to a host of new readers and listeners and I thank them for that opportunity.

So I look at my failure to hit my publishing target in 2018 and realise that there is much to be pleased with and I find myself in a great position to push on in 2019.

As for my other target, I have successfully sold my first book, a supernatural horror novella, which riffs on the legend of Baba Yaga. I cannot reveal more at this stage, but the contract is with the publishers and the editing process will begin shortly.

My final target, to complete a second long-form piece, came very close to completion but, alas, I remain a few thousand words or so from the end of the first draft. A very busy November, some pressing short stories and a holiday in Spain at the end of the year meant that my current novel WIP will not now be done until into the first week or two of January 2019.

What does 2019 have in store?

In short fiction, I am looking to build on my 2018, by targeting high-calibre publications, where my work can be measured alongside the writers whose standards I aspire to emulate in the future. Several stories are out for submission at the moment with excellent publications and I will endeavour to ensure that is a permanent state for me. Finally, I am also looking to self-publish a Kindle-single of one of my stories, the rights to which have recently come back to me. This is both to give more instant access to my work for new readers and to experiment with the self-publishing format in a low-risk way.

In long form, I aim to complete the novel I am working on quickly, before burying it for a couple of months prior to editing. I also aim to complete one or possibly two novellas which I have sketched out. I am also considering a re-write of a black comedy I started some years ago.

On a personal level, I want to attend at least one convention in 2019, likely in the UK, in order to put faces to names and, if the stars align in terms of dates, to try to promote my book.

Finally, I want to keep reading, keep learning from sources like This is Horror and Writing Excuses and keep challenging myself to be better in my writing and in life more generally.

Whatever it is that you are doing in 2019, I wish you luck with it. Thanks for reading.