Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Writing Goals for 2018

It has taken me a little time to come back to the blog with some clear thoughts on what to write next. Logically speaking, given the last few posts centered around looking back at 2017, and that the new year is underway, the thing to do would be to add a few posts detailing my goals for the coming year. Fairly straightforward really. A few things have held me back. First and foremost of course is the need to solidify in my own mind what the goals for the coming year should be. Should they be a repeat of last years, flow from them, seek to improve on them, focus on those things I struggled with... But there were other thoughts too, as you will read below.

So, this post details my writing goals for 2018, some of them are a continuation from last year, some wholly new.

Freelance Writing

Readers of my blog may know that I have, for the past few years, worked as a freelance writer for Spartan Games and Modiphius Entertainment. The last half of 2017 was devoted to working on the Infinity Role Playing Game line, writing background material for upcoming sourcebooks, adventures and the like. I have work still to do, and am very much looking forward to continuing my efforts with Modiphius.

Since I have a better handle on my rhythms as a writer, and I have a bit more experience in regards to both what I need to do and how to go about doing it, I am hoping this work continues throughout the year. I have loved working on the Infinity line, I have also done a little for the Star Trek RPG, and hopefully will have the opportunity to write for various of their other product lines.

My key goal here is to keep at it. Keep writing, keep working, and keep enjoying the process. I have loved every minute of the work I have done so far, and have been lucky enough to work with some absolutely wonderful, helpful and inspiring people. Here's to 2018 being bigger and better than an already enjoyable 2017! Many thanks too to the boffins at Modiphius, it has been a pleasure!


For the last two years I have had the goal of blogging at least twice a month. Ideally I'd like to increase that to once a week. But in all honesty I think that when work gets busy I will find myself struggling with the time to do so. So, here's to a carefully constructed escape clause: my ideal goal for 2018 is to blog four times a month, and my realistic goal is that I will blog twice a month. A bit wishy-washy, but there you have it. My journal will include four tick boxes instead of two next to my monthly goals, but if I don't manage to tick them all I'll be content with two.

A Novel

My hesitation in writing this post stems mainly from this goal. I felt a level of reservation. By articulating that something is a goal I am placing an expectation on myself; that I will endeavor to follow it up; to do something about it. This goal is particularly personal, and since I place an emotional value on it, any failure to achieve it would be disappointing. Better perhaps to not vocalise it, to keep it hidden, to toil in silence... In this way there is no chance of failure, no chance of falling short, and any inability to achieve it can be safely directed away from any real emotional consequence because it was never really a goal, was it?

In the end though, if it is truly something I want to achieve some action must be taken. If I want to do a thing then I must begin.

This year my aim is to write a novel manuscript.

There. I said it.

I have a whole collection of short stories, novellas and even two novel manuscripts, one only about 20,000 words, the other close to completion, sitting on my hard drive. But none are finished. None are at a point where I would be happy to send them off for an editor, publisher or agent to look at. Some of them are dated from when I was doing my writing course back at the turn of the century, and that was a younger me, with less experience. My goal this year is to write the manuscript for a novel. To have it finished. To have it between 80,000 and 120,000 words. To edit it, and otherwise have it in a state where it is 'ready' (well, ready to be cut apart by an editor).

I have started. I am reading books on structure and writing again. I am listening to writing podcasts. I have a collection of ideas I like (too many). I have written short descriptions and outlines for each. I have the stories mulling and stewing in the back of my mind, refining and being refined. I have even pitched them to a few people to see what ideas seemed to resonate and what didn't (thank you to those people, really). My next steps in this endeavor center around cutting this list of ideas down to one. To outline, plan, plot, characterise and all the other necessary things, and then lastly, to write it.

It has been stated; at least; at last. We shall see...


  1. Scary commitment! Go for it, mate; I for one look forward to seeing what you create.

    1. It is mate! While I've been stewing over the thought for a while I felt it was time to declare it - for myself more than anything else! Much appreciated! You (of course) are one of the boffins it has been a pleasure to work with - here's to an even more successful 2018!