We’ve had at least a day and a half to get used to it, so how are we all feeling about 2014? Apart from it being a scary futuristic-sounding year, that is. Broken any resolutions yet? If I’d made any (which I haven’t), one of them would have been to get back into my regular Wednesday blogging habit. So I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t make any resolutions. (My excuse is that yesterday felt like a Sunday, specifically one of those winter Sundays from childhood – too wet to go walking, nothing on the radio, not much happening in general).
The second day of the year is a good time to take stock. The pressure of day one is off, and real life may well have kicked back in and reminded you of routines and practicalities that just don’t fit with those mighty aspirations of the early hours of the previous day, when the world was bathed in firework-light and glitter. Nearly three years ago (how long have I had this blog?!) I wrote a post about the new calendar for planning my writing year, and if you haven’t read it before you could do worse than nip back and have a look now. This year I’m using a pocket-sized week-to-view diary someone gave me for Christmas (bright pink, but you can’t have everything) and I’ve started off by hatching in each day I’m not at work (in pink pencil, may as well continue the theme). Useful places to go next include the Thresholds list of competition and submission deadlines (I have spotted the odd one where some of the details aren’t quite right but as long as you check out the full details on the competition website you should be fine) and the Literary Festival planner (UK and Australia). In my 2011 post I mentioned Duotrope, which at the time was a free resource but is now subscription-only (I still use it, but it’s not as useful to point you at it as an example) but a quick internet search should reveal plenty of deadlines to be going on with. Right, now you’re ready to panic. Sorry did I say panic? I meant methodically plan writing time, themes, goals and priorities.
Now we’re all organised, everything will be absolutely fine as long as no-one signs up to any free online university courses this year. Ah, wait a moment… More about that, undoubtedly, in a future update.