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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Saturday 31 December 2011

Analyse your successes

On the last day of 2011 you're probably pondering your resolutions for 2012.  It's a good idea to set some clear targets and goals for what you want to achieve with your writing... and WRITE them down.  If you write down your goals then:
  1. There's little excuse for forgetting them.
  2. You are more likely to focus on achieving goals which have been carved in ink.
  3. Ticking them off once achieved is the BEST BIT.
But before you charge off and list pages and pages of wonderful goals it may help to dissect what happened in 2011.  It's human nature (or so I've been told) to focus on what went wrong - your  FAILURES.  Yet it can be even more valuable to assess what went right - your SUCCESSES.  Try and analyse:
  1. What stories sold or did well in competitions - what themes, which magazines & competitions?
  2. Where did your pitches get a good reception?
  3. What themes/concepts were successful for your features/articles?
The indoor writer did all of them above - she listens to me - and found some interesting facts:

  • Only wrote one article in 2011 (was concentrating on fiction).  Although it was instantly rejected by The Lady (the fastest rejection ever) the same piece later won a non-fiction article competition and earned its keep.  
  • Second pitch to another magazine was successful (should come out 2012).
Conclusion:  Put more effort into pitching features.  Look for ideas - EVERYWHERE.
Goal for 2012: Pitch at least one feature a month.

  • Flash fiction stories had greater success in competitions.
  • Comic themed short stories did well in competitions.
  • Did well in competitions which were specifically targeted i.e. researched previous winners, what judges liked, what did well, wrote new stories. 
Conclusion:  Flash fiction stories tended to be comic in tone - so write more comic pieces.  Continue to target competitions and always write NEW pieces for these.  
Goal for 2012: Target new competitions.  Enter up to 4 a month - write new stories whenever possible.

Phew, I think that's enough for now.  The indoor writer used to be a Team Manager so she can go on a bit about goal setting.  I'm signing off now before she starts on SMART objectives ... OINK!

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