Updates from the Writing Cave: 2021 Goals!

2021 Goals

Hey everyone!

It’s been a whole half a year since I last posted and how did that happen? Welcome to 2021, the year the pandemic hopefully ends (please let it end!) and I finally finish a draft. I know, I’ve been saying I’ll finish a book for years, but this year I’m more confident than ever!

Yes, I know, it’s February, and I’m a bit late to 2021 goal setting, but things have been tough and I needed a break after I finished my degree. Turns out writing a 20000 word assignment in a pandemic wasn’t easy!

Blogging Update: 2021 Schedule

Whilst I love blogging, I’m an introvert and weekly posts take a lot out of me. From now on I’ll post twice a month, with update posts on the 1st Tuesday of the month, and a random post on the 3rd Tuesday.

As the Author Toolbox hop ended I’ll mix writer tip posts (mostly on my MA in Creative Writing and if it was worth it from a fantasy writer’s perspective), with posts on things I’ve read, watched, listened to, or played and short stories based on the #SunScribbles Twitter prompts or other writing challenges.

Sword in the Stone
Challenges like Arthur trying to pull the sword from the stone in Second Chance at Destiny

I’ll also be updating my about page soon, in a way I think is pretty cool and unique!

MA Creative Writing Update:

It’s hard to believe I started my MA in September 2018, but I’m finally done with my course! I’m also done with studying forever. Whilst I loved the creative writing and workshops, writing essays is boring and I found myself disagreeing with quite a few things writers are taught: More on that in later posts this year.

I caved in and asked for an extension to my final project deadline, as the pandemic’s been hell for us. Whilst most of the UK were furloughed, and paid 80% of their wages to stay home, my partner’s retail store remained open. Customers were unpleasant and abusive, we’ve been very exposed to the virus, and our government is showing no gratitude towards key shop workers. Things have been pretty stressful.

On top of that the last two modules of the MA were rushed. Part time students were expected to meet the same deadlines as full time students, which I didn’t find reasonable or fair. Anyway, I eventually handed my assignment in on the 14th of December, and boy was it a relief to have the extension granted so easily.

Person editing a sheet of paper with a pen.
Assignments suck, especially editing!

At first I was so mad at myself for not meeting the original deadline. I beat myself up for not switching off and ignoring the dumpster fire the world is right now, especially as other part time students handed in on time. I learned pretty fast to accept everyone is different, and it’s okay to ask for help.

My final assignment was the first four chapters of an M/M Beauty and the Beast retelling with a demisexual MC, and an essay on fairy-tale retellings. I don’t know when I’ll get the results back, but I’m not impatient. So long as I do well in the creative part I don’t care what the essay result is.

Writing:

As I’ve been studying my MA in Creative Writing for two and a half years I took the rest of December, and January, off, to figure out which project to work on next: Second Chance at Destiny, The Frozen Rose, or something else. I think I’m going to switch between two stories, as I find it hard to focus on one, but either way I’ll aim to write four chapters in February.

Beautiful cave beside the sea with a waterfall cascading over half of the entrance.
What I wish my writing cave looked like!

I want to finish a first draft this year, but that might not be possible: I’ve realised my process is ‘redraft as I write’ rather than ‘write a shitty first draft and fix it later,’ as I can’t see the sense in not editing and fixing issues as I write. I’ll talk more about that process in a future post, but essentially it means I take longer to finish a story, but by the time I do finish it, it’s more like a final draft than a first draft.

Second Chance at Destiny Musings:

Based on the #SunScribbles Twitter prompt from the 17th January, Hope.

The muted memory of waves crashing against the shore of the lake where he lost the second person he fell in love with haunted his waking hours. But not his dreams. Those were full of hope, that the witch’s prediction would come true and one day they’d be together again.

Merlin:

Merlin’s developed a love for the kitty tuna my partner gets from where he works. He even recognises the can opener, and has started giving me sad eyes whenever I have tuna myself!

Merlin Playing Board Games - Elder Sign
Merlin Playing Board Games – Elder Sign

It’s nice having a cat to talk to. He keeps us company when we’re gaming, follows me around when I’m cooking, and I’m not sure what he makes of my babbling! He got to see snow for the first time too, and it was really cute how he likes to stare at it as much as I do!

Gaming/TV:

I’ve been playing a lot of Dead by Daylight, a horror survival game, and because you can play as Steve from Stranger Things I got into the TV show after years of avoiding it because it was popular. Steve is my favourite, although I still haven’t seen season 3 so no spoilers! In April I’ll get the Final Fantasy VII remake for PC, probably in time for the lock-downs to ease and for us to be allowed outside again!

scales divider copy

Not gonna lie, I’ve had some really low days in the past couple of months. I know masks are necessary to control the virus until enough people are vaccinated, but I hate seeing people with their mouths covered. Are they smiling? Frowning? I can’t tell, and I find it really unsettling. I’m trying to stay positive though. This blog is a place for escape and inspiration, not dread over how much longer restrictions will last.

I’ll share inspirational images, words of wisdom, and the things I love most, because what gets me through my toughest times is fantasy fiction and soft science fiction/superhero stories, with LGBTQIA+ romance and amazing characters.

I hope you had a good holiday period, or at least made the best of it given the crazy times we’re living in! What are your writing goals this year? How are you coping? Chat in the comments!

What’s with the little dragon?

Purple and White Dragon Mascot
Purple & White Dragon

I’ve been using him to end my blog posts for a while now, and I’ve promoted him to blog mascot. He’s a cross between the Blue Eyes White Dragon and Red Eyes Black Dragon from Yu-Gi-Oh, which has special relevance for me as Seto and Joey were one of my first ‘ships which never sailed.’ I’ll also use dragons to rate books/TV. The more dragons the better, obviously πŸ™‚

26 comments

  1. Hi Louise! Great to see you again! :). I remember how you mentioned school was stressful. That assignment sounded pretty rough. But you got it done and I am rooting for you! Your new blogging schedule sounds great! I’m excited to see your posts :).
    Yeah, writing essays are not fun, and I’m interested to see your insights on what writers are taught. I’m so sorry to hear about how horrible customers have been and the stresses that you and your partner are going through (not cool that you had to have the same deadline as full-time students either). You have my support. And I can relate to beating up oneself. It’s rough…but again, you have my support. You will do great with your stories (and like you, I edit as I go!) :). Go Louise! Merlin’s adorable and I think it’s cool that you get to talk with him and that he follows you around. I haven’t seen Stranger Things. And I think it’s understandable how you feel about masks. SOmetimes, it’s hard to see someone’s expressions w/a mask on. But hang in there. I’m here for you. Take care. :].

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Alex, yeah, my return to blogging is a little delayed because I needed time to recover after that assignment, but it’s good to be back πŸ™‚

      Most of my insights are about how much I disagree with things writers are taught xD I felt like such a rebel on my course!

      Nice to hear I’m not the only one who edits as they go. Thanks for the support and take care πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Louise! It’s great to see you back! Welcome back once again :D.

        I would love to hear about your disagreements. I enjoy reading your insight!

        You’re welcome. We’re friends and we root for one another. πŸ™‚ And yeah, I guess I don’t want a draft filled with issues, so I edit as I go hehe :). πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks πŸ™‚ I think my first post will be on ‘reading as a writer,’ because I think I horrified my tutor with my opinion on that one xD

          Same! I think the reason I never finished anything before was because I kept trying to finish a draft that wasn’t working rather than fixing issues. My course made me realise editing as I go is my preference πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • My pleasure πŸ™‚ LoL I can’t wait to read it! I’m excited :).

            That makes sense. How long does it usually take you to finish a draft? πŸ™‚ I’m glad editing as you go works for ya :).

            Liked by 1 person

            • πŸ˜€ I probably won’t post it until maybe April? But shouldn’t be later than that. Mostly cos it seems to be a long post and will take a while to put together πŸ™‚

              I’ve never finished a draft of anything original, but the fanfic I wrote took 7 months and it was about 70000 words. I expect my novels to be double that length, so if I’m still super slow just over a year?

              Liked by 1 person

              • All good πŸ™‚ Take your time. I love reading your posts and there’s no rush. πŸ™‚ You write great posts!

                That’s cool! Which show/movie was the fanfic set in? πŸ™‚ No worries. 140K is A LOT and for some, it can take many years, so I think over a year is not slow :). I believe in you :).

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks πŸ™‚ It’s the Flash/Arrow fanfic I mentioned before, back when I was still enthusiastic about the shows. I’m slowly turning it into an original novel, The Frozen Rose, but my Merlin WIP is demanding attention almost as much as Merlin the cat is right now πŸ™‚

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, glad to see I’m not the only one who needed to step away for a while.
    And I agree, we shouldn’t measure ourselves to what others do or don’t. What did you disagree about in your classes? I’d love to read more on that.
    I never considered a blog mascot before, but I like the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks πŸ˜€ Me too: Studying writing at university, far from being fun, was draining, and getting back into writing again, and wanting to write again, seems like it’s taking forever. Thankfully the enjoyment is slowly returning πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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