Monday, 13 August 2012

Goal List Week Commencing 12th August 2012

I'm posting this list late, my excuse, I was away yesterday enjoying the company of other writers, at the Swanwick Writers Summer School networking and attending short courses, and workshops. It was most enjoyable.

The highlights being an hour in the company of Linda Lewis, who talked us through how to identify potential markets for short stories. Linda gave us several scenarios of plots for stories which we had to make more interesting. It really made you think about the storyline.

Swanwick is always an experience, and much is learnt at the dining room table over lunch or dinner, where they operate a system of joining any available table. This is great! As I imagine over the week you would get to meet many writers of all ages, and stages on the writing journey. Yes, it was a good day out, and I made some new friends.

Last week, I set myself the following targets, and you can see how it worked out.

Writing - With some sound advice from a writing buddy I re-worked part of the first chapter of my novel, its more personal, and nearer to where I want it to be now. I've also had feedback from the critique group I attend, and there are perhaps still things I need to change.

I read the stories for the competition I mentioned, several times! And helped to select the winners. I'll be honest it was time consuming, but interesting to read the entries. One observation I made was poor presentation. There were several entries written in strange fonts, and several were poorly aligned on the page.

What a shame, if only the writers concerned had followed the rules, then their stories would have done better. I've been involved in judging before, and it always amazes me how people ignore the guidelines. They are there for a reason. Surely, if you're going to all the trouble of writing, editing, and sending your story into a competition, not to mention paying an entry fee, then you should check the rules! Rant over, I'm just saying...thats all. After deliberation, it was a close thing between the winner and the runner-up and it came down to minor details in the end.

Reading -  Flicked through Writing Magazine, and started Mugging the Muse by Holly Lisle.

Mac - I purchased Apple pages, which is compatible with Word, so I've been trying it out, and familiarising myself with how it works.

Cake - Victoria sandwich ruled. I had tea in the garden, in the sunshine! It was lovely and relaxing, and  must be repeated again soon.

Tea & Cake  - Maria A Smith

This week my goals are...

Writing - Re-write the second part of chapter one. Prepare a Flash Fiction piece for Saturday morning critique group. Blog a couple of posts to keep the flow, and spend time visiting other writers blogs too.

Swimming - Make a conscious effort to find the time to go to the pool.

Reading - More Writing Magazine, and Holly Lisle.

So how did you do last week? Whats the plan now?


  1. Read your latest blog and feel like a tortoise to your hare! I don't have a 'to do' list, just a 'get on with it' routine. Good point about sticking to guidelines, basic stuff often ignored. I also find cake/tea a great booster!

    1. Nothing wrong with a 'get on with it' routine, I need the list as I am easily side-tracked by tea, and cake.

      So I thought I'll put it on the list, and I feel less guilty for expanding the waistline. Especially, if I put my exercise plan on there too!

      Regards competition rules. It is an awful shame people don't adhere to the rules, but then there are always going to be a few who think they know best...

  2. Hi Maria

    Delighted to hear that after that little 'glitch' your experience at Swanwick was so rewarding.

    And loving the Victoria sponge...

    I don't do goals. I just write. Or rather, at the moment I plot. Over the past year I've accumulated acres of notes for my new story, all of which have to be transposed & somehow collated into files that make sense.

    Last week then, it's been lots of that.

    One day at a time until I wake up one morning & realise I'm ready to write the words, 'Chapter One.' After that, it's game on & if I have a plan, it's to write every day until I have a first draft.

    And so forth...

    Carol x

    1. Brilliant plan Carol, I like the way your mind works.

      I'm a panster, who runs off like a headless chicken. Probably, not the best way of working, but the only way I can do it!

      Exciting when you have a story idea though...intriguing, hope you'll keep us updated with how the journey through first draft goes...

  3. i just love that tea picture so soothing :)

    1. Tea solves a lot of problems. Have a good week Lynn.

  4. That Summer School sounds good. They're always inspiring, aren't they. It is strange that people don't follow the rules when they've gone to all that trouble to enter but maybe they think (wrongly) that they're being clever and attracting your attention in a good way!

    Love the look of that cake. You can't beat a Victoria Sponge and a garden chair!

    1. I am going to make a big effort to eat more cake in the garden.

  5. I love your picture! Tea & Cake in the garden is always a winner :) I do enjoy reading your weekly goals, you inspire me to make plans for my own week ahead. Speaking of which, I hope to spend at least three lunch hours working on the novel this week, followed by an hour or two after work each day.

    Best of luck with your week ahead :)

    1. Three lunch hours is a great plan, I'm sure you'll get it done. I'm happy to hear I'm motivating you. My goal list keeps me accountable to my readers, so its a two way street.


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