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Frankenstein's monster meets Bridget Jones

That's what I feel like at the moment, as I type, arms outstretched, neck stiff, eyes staring forward.

The neck brace I'll be wearing for the next five weeks has robbed me of peripheral vision, and also the ability to look down easily. I eat with the plate pushed halfway across the table, as my laptop is now, so I can see what I'm doing.

So imagine me sitting, arms straight, with every second key of my ham-fisted typing the delete key. Frankenstein's monster.

So where does Bridget Jones come into it? To borrow a device from the book:

Coffees drunk: 1. Resolutions kept: 4. Weight: I'd tell you if I could look down at the scales. Or would I?

Looking at my New Year's resolutions, I'm not doing too badly. My desk is clean and organised, and has remained so – mainly because I haven't used it. I have a book sitting there ready to read – but it's been overshadowed by the pile on my bookcase, which has taken preference.

I haven't used my notepad, set aside time to study and write, or spent an hour a day writing because it's not the most comfortable thing to be doing at the moment. I haven't left the house to do this because I can't drive, or walk as far as the coffee shop or library.

I haven't been checking email constantly for offers of publication. I have limited my non-writing computer time because I've hardly been using the computer.

So four out of seven mini-resolutions kept so far, with a pretty good reason why I haven't stuck to the others. I'm satisfied my resolution to be organised has been kept so far.

Writer/illustrator Sally Rippin has a great approach, vowing five non-resolutions. They are, in summary, to not take on too much work, and to slow down and enjoy her life and the people around her.

I'll be aiming for this as well. For example, after completing PiBoIdMo in November I was keen to do 12x12, which is completing 12 picture book drafts in 12 months – one a month. However, based on last year's study load, and the fact that January and probably February will be neck brace-induced write-offs, I decided not to sign up for something that I was unlikely to finish. I'd rather not set myself up for failure, have the quality of my writing or study suffer, and not have time to read.

So instead I've decided on some writing goals for 2014:

  1. Submit one story to at least five publishers in the first half of the year.

  2. Finish another story and submit it to at least five publishers in the second half of the year.

  3. Write six first drafts from my PiBoIdMo ideas.

  4. Enter two competitions for the year.

  5. Submit two stories to magazines for publication.

  6. Read 50 books this year (which I've pledged to do through Goodreads).

This is on top of study units that include creative writing, and this blog. If I exceed these goals, great! If not, I've at least set myself goals that are up to me to achieve, as all I can do is submit manuscripts – whether or not they're published is out of my hands.

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