Thursday 24 December 2020

A Christmas Message...

 This Christmas...

Review of 2020 - What I Did Achieve...

 I'm totally behind schedule this Christmas, but I'm sure many are with all the changes that have been happening...

My little tree...

Usually I review my year, revisiting the fun things I've taken part in since January, plus my word count to date, and a final total at the end of the month.

I have done lots of reading, gardening, and making cakes. I've also completed some writing, but my word count is way down on previous years.

March- at the start of the month there was book related news, Prompts Can Help. I had ten Christmas related story prompts included in the Chapeltown Books ebook of Prompts 2020.

My prompts were originally put together for an exercise for Nottingham Writers' Club members, that didn't happen. They sat on my computer (waiting for another Christmas) until I submitted them last year, and they were accepted for the book.

Then Corona virus took over the world and normal life changed...

Like many writers, I thought the time would be spent working on the novel, but my characters thought otherwise and they went into lockdown too. I tried but the novel wouldn't progress.

My family had the virus, and there was a daily cleaning routine, and ensuring the food was rationed so we had enough to get us through the isolation, until it was safe for someone to go shopping- we couldn't get an online delivery.

April- my trusty Kindle e-reader finally stopped working, and I decided to replace it with a Paperwhite, but like online delivery slots, kindles were out of stock too. I eventually got my new device about six weeks later, in May.

I spent most of my time out in the garden, reorganising, pruning, and nurturing seeds and plants- all good exercise. When I wasn't doing that I was baking.

The last time I made Scones, I was a teenager. They hadn't worked then, so I'd never attempted them again.

Fortunately, there were plenty of recipes online, so I did try again.

(Image on the right: A pot of Salad Leaves grown from seed)

(Image on the left: Home-made Raisin Scones)

I'm amazed I lost any weight with the amount of baking that was done this year!

And yes, Banana Bread did feature in this year's repertoire...

(Image on the right: First attempt at Banana Bread- it did improve)

I made progress with my research reading, and making notes.

And of course, I was submitting my lockdown updates for the NWC (digital) club magazine. Along with photos.

June into July- I had to make a decision on what I'd submit to the RNA New Writers' Scheme. Whichever one I submitted it would be a partial with a synopsis, but that was better than not submitting anything.

Although I had five chapters and half of the sixth by the end of July, I chose to work on editing the first five. Plus writing a new synopsis...

Not having allowed enough time for editing in 2019's entry, I'd set August aside for this year's. It wasn't perfect, but it was done in time, and I'm now aware of my editing weaknesses. 

At least this year, I submitted it four hours earlier than last year. 

I was happy with the report I received back later in September.

I've not had enough quiet at home to do more, but I know where I'm going with the story and I'm creating a schedule for resuming the novel in January.

My new website is working okay, and I'll be adding to it.

Meanwhile, I've been jotting down ideas, dialogue and character insights for two of the secondary characters in the current WIP. I knew earlier this year, they'd eventually have their own story- after the other novel...

Like many families, we're having a quiet Christmas, and I hope to use some of the time to increase my word count before the end of the year.

To date my 2020 word count is: 22,460.

That's better than I expected...

I'm keeping next year's aims flexible.

I've renewed my New Writers' Scheme membership for another year, and fingers crossed for the RNA Conference in July. 

My hope is that by next Christmas we'll all be celebrating it with our friends and family- in person...

Am I satisfied with what I've achieved in 2020?

Considering how this year has gone, yes I am...