Hope everyone is enjoying their midwinter break.


Two more days left of 2016, and it has been quite an eventful year. In the latter half of this year, I not only finished my degree but have taken a somewhat, though not wholly, unexpected turn in my plans, career wise.  It’s also about this time of year where I give

Two more days left of 2016, and it has been quite an eventful year. In the latter half of this year, I not only finished my degree but have taken a somewhat, though not wholly, unexpected turn in my plans, career wise.  It’s also about this time of year where I give myself a self-audit regarding where I am, where I want to be and how I plan to get there. Don’t worry I am not going to drop everything and start backpacking around Asia or something. Travelling is simply not feasible…yet.  The other reason is that I would rather spend the money on my kit for Viking re-enactment.

I knew from the age of around 15 that I wanted to do something involving writing.  Sadly, I allowed my parents and teachers discourage me.  To cut a long boring story short, I am getting another crack at the whip. When I began my studies in February of 2011, I had my heart set on teaching History in a classroom setting. I got keener as I progressed but in the last year or so I have been considering my Plan B options: Open University grading policy has meant that my results were not what I needed them to be to get on to any of the training courses. I had certainly not seen myself as a self-employed Freelancer I cannot say that it wasn’t a disappointment because the same results from a ‘brick’ university would have got me a 2:1 or even a first, but what’s done is done.  I still managed it while looking after 3 kids, so yay me.  I am sure my sleep patterns will recover soon, and this (theoretically) lets me off taking my maths GCSE. Again (shudder). That said, I am thinking of taking it anyway just so I have that apparently necessary C that I have managed quite happily without for the last 16 years. I am yet to find a practical use, in my field, for knowing how to calculate the area of a circle.

A suggestion from a fellow editor made me give editing and proofreading a go and I am glad I took him up on his advice.  I love it and have since set myself up as a freelancer. This means I have the freedom to set my own hours.  It has also taught me that I not only need to learn when to stop working and think about something else for a while but actually do it. Looks like I have a New Year’s resolution to keep for next year. I am feeling extremely positive about this new direction.  It’s a teaching role (of sorts), just the one I was expecting and I will get to use all my skills.

NaNoWriMo was an eye-opener, to say the least.  I gave it a good shot, but I then ended up with a beta-read that I couldn’t turn down.  Next year I’m going to make sure I schedule enough time to do my own writing. I have an idea lined up but I have a strict ‘no spoilers’ rule.  It will give me plenty of time to finish the first draft of this month’s, edit and get it ready for publishing. I’m really excited about this too.  NaNoWriMo gave me the boot up the bum to make a real start on it. The Densewords ‘Readworthy Fiction’ course (available via Udemy) is also proving to be a massive help where printed writers’ guides were not. I would recommend it to any author.

Finally, 2017 will be the year I get my driving license.  I have procrastinated for long enough.  I will be 36 in April and have decided that now it’s time to stop being a massive wussy and do it.

To-do-List for 2017.

  • Finish first-draft of my first novel, (for publishing in December 2017)
  • Learn to drive
  • Retake maths (yuck)
  • Learn when to stop.

Call to action!

What are your top four priorities for 2017?