Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

How do you feel about New Year's resolutions? Do you ever make any? Do you stick to them?

When I was a teenager, I would make three resolutions every year without fail. And every year they would be pretty much the same: (1) Lose weight, (2) Save money, (3) Write a book. Every year I failed to keep them but at least it saved having to think up three more. And if that sounds familiar, I gave the same trait to Marina in Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - my first novel, published fifteen years ago this month.

I think it's about time my resolutions had an update! So, what is it that I'd really like to change if I could?

Well, I'd like to

Be more organised ...

As you may have noticed, I'm not the world's most organised person - and then last year my phone died, taking all my contacts and my calendar with it! Disaster! But I've learnt from this! I have a new phone - and I've now got back ups! All my contacts have been updated in a proper address book, everyone's birthday is listed in a birthday book and I have a back-up diary. So, fingers crossed!

Write more ... 

I'm a professional writer, that's what I do all day, right? Yes - along with critiques, reviews, blog posts, guest blog posts and social media for both myself and other authors, somehow the actual book writing is getting very squeezed. JK Rowling talks about how important it is to 'guard' precious writing time, and she is right. What can I do to fix it?

My friend, Trisha Ashley, belongs to a writers' group called The 500 Club with Elizabeth Gill and Leah Fleming. Every day they agree to email each other once they've written 500 words. Isn't that a great idea? It's certainly easier to achieve than 1000 words, and the words soon mount up. I'm going to give it a go - and record my progress in my back-up diary!

Try to leave the house occasionally ...

It is easy when you're self-employed to forget to have any 'me' time. A couple of years back I was working from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm, seven days a week, and all I achieved was to make myself ill. Besides, if I don't meet new people, visit new places and have new experiences, how will I find anything new to write about?

Yes, that's me,
halfway up the Eiffel Tower with my daughter

So there you have it. Those are my resolutions for this year, how about you?


  1. Quite apart from your plans as a writer, I find this very interesting with regard backing up contacts etc. At first, I thought - ah yes, but I have it all on Google Calendar / Google Mail...then I realised, but what if they fail? So I've downloaded it all into shared back-up files. Thanks for the reminder!
    I used to print everything I recorded digitally - I gave up using traditional diaries last year and address books many years ago - but keeping up with printouts is like Forth Bridge redecoration.
    I hope your plans help with your daily word count! Happy 2017

    1. Thank you, Shirley! My husband thinks I'm mad, keeping a hard copy of everything but after having it fail last year, I really don't want to go through that again - and I am trying really hard to be organised this year! x