Goals: Progress since Jan 2019

Here is an infographic of the goals set for this year and whether I’ve achieved them or not:


Social Media

  • Blog: Keep up with two posts a week. Start including links to my previous posts within new posts. Rework old posts to give new life & build an advice collection.

Posting twice a week has proven more challenging than I expected but I have discovered the IFTTT app. This app is able to convert Instagram posts into draft blog posts. When I have struggled for time this has been a game changer. I highly recommend it.

I have also revamped old posts and started referring readers with links to previous content they may like.

  • Instagram: Try to post three photos/videos a week

I have been posting two to three times a day! I have over exceeded this goal. I’m so pleased with myself and connected with lots of cool new writer friends as a result.

  • New:  Discord (new) & Facebook Group (new)

This wasn’t in my plans but a lot of IG writing groups have invited me to their Facebook group and discord channel so we can chat more easily as IG limits chat groups to 30 people.  I have also created a Facebook Page of my own which I hope to utilise in the near future.

Online events:

  • Twitter: Take part in Twitter events like #PitMad or #AskAnna

As I’ve ripped Jewel of the Sea apart I have nothing to query. #WriteMentor did a pitch event to earn a place on their rolling course with a mentor. I didn’t win but I gave it a go as I’ve worked hard on improving my pitch.

Mariah has a magic-meddling mum, and about to discover she’s a storm summoning mermaid that needs to gain control of her emotion-connected powers ready for the impending battle with the powerful, unstoppable death crows!”

I’ve also taken part in IG events like monthly photo prompts and joined #FellowCreativeMinds and #HustlingWritersCommunity. If Aria wasn’t unwell I would have also got more involved in #STCExperiment – there is still time.

  • YouTube: Try making a video once each quarter, working towards once a month

I still haven’t braved the camera. But, I took baby steps and made two Instagram story videos which has helped me feel more confident. It is still something I am keen to do and I’ve started following more writers on YouTube. I really enjoy their content and they help inspire me to create my own.

YouTube writers I’m enjoying are:

April Grace Reads

About:  “24. Writer. Reader. Full-time final year Creative Writing graduate. Full Time Ride Operator in a children’s play centre. Books are my passion, especially YA fantasy fiction. Email me at aprilgracereads@gmail.com. I’d love to chat with any of you guys! “

Fellow Creative Minds

About:  “A channel to give help, support and encouragement to creative minds everywhere! I post twice a week. Once on Wednesday, usually a reading your writing, and then I post another video each week at a random time. To join the growing creative minds community, join our Discord and follow lizthewritingwiz on Instagram. Happy Creating! 😊”

Bethany Atazadeh

About:  “I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as a writing coach over on Patreon, and obviously, a youtuber! (AKA authortuber 🙂 This channel also used to be dedicated to music, so if you look back far enough you’ll find some fun songs.”

Author Brittany Wang

About:  “Hello friends! My name is Brittany Wang and I’m an aspiring author currently working on my YA Fantasy Novel. If you’re looking for writerly insights as well as writing community, you’re in the right place and I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! If you’d like to interact more with me and my writer’s community, join our Plotter Life Writer’s Facebook Group and come hang out with me on Instagram where I’m active daily!”

Happily Ever Author

I feel I should mention Pagan as although she’s not on YouTube she does post videos to Facebook and helped me with advice on how to get started.  Click here to read about my review of her Facebook Group.


Jewel of the sea (formerly Drift)

  • First Quarter: Another edit

I have been fortunate enough to get some feedback on my novel that has helped me see what I need to do.

I’ve also been following the principles in Save the Cat Writes a Novel. It has really helped with pacing. If you have not read it, you are missing out. Once I’ve finished the book I will write a review.

Diamond in the sky (formerly Glide)

  • First Quarter: Finish novel
  • It started out well but once I realised the extensive edit needed to finish Jewel of the Sea, I decided I needed to focus completely on one project.
  • Diamond in the Sky has been put on hold for now.

Scarlet House

  • First Quarter: Start novel #NewYearNewNovel

This did not even happen even a little bit. I was struggling with time for my other projects so something had to go and this is what got the chop.

My plan is for this to be my Camp NaNo project next month. I shall use Save the Cat Writes a Novel to have an outline ready for April.

Article Writing

  • All year: Submit to Little Mum Mag & to Ginger Parrot

I have been so tied up with my own projects I have not had time to write for others.


  • First Quarter: Get my bodacious body back (diet & exercise programme to achieve a more healthy me)

This has gone so well. Eating paleo has been a life style choice and I hope to write blog post to share more. I feel more healthy and my figure is looking great.

  • All year: Scrapbooking (my son is now 5y old and I still haven’t started his. I need to do this).

I haven’t had time to do this. At the moment I can’t see when I will have time which is sad as those memories are precocious. I showed my son my baby album and he loved it. Maybe if I print his pictures at the very least I can put them in an album.

  • All year: Crochet – I learnt to crochet in 2018 and if I don’t want to lose the skill I need to keep practising.

Well… I still haven’t finished the blanket. How embarrassing is that! I hope I finish it before Aria turns one.

  • All year: Journal – I’ve always wanted to get into it as I love the creative way of expressing yourself and being organised.

I have tried a few times but over think it. I’m going to a meet up at the end of the month with some local planner girls.  I am hoping these women will share their wisdom with me and help me get started.  I want to use it to help me organise my writing.

  • Read a book every two months

I’ve read Rebel of the Sands (review coming soon) but I am a little behind target. I’ve started Red Queen but doubt I will finish it by the end of April.



  • Working together course (be able to effectively support my sons school)

I have now started this course. I feel nervous about volunteering at the school (first volunteer session is on 27 March).  It is so silly but I am scared of the little kids (lol).  I feel supported by my peers and the staff at the school and I am sure that once I have done it, I will feel better about it.

I feel this course and the experience will boost my career.  I would like to work in a school as the hours would be good for my children and there is also the aspect that once I am published, I would love to visit schools in Suffolk and inspire the next generation of writers.

  • New: #WriteMentor

This wasn’t in my plans but when the opportunity to try it out for free came up, I went for it.  For February, I was fortunate enough to be part of the exclusive private Slack group for writer #WriteMentor.   I need to write a blog post for you to truly appreciate how amazing this opportunity is and why when I return to work I plan to subscribe as a paid member.


What’s next

I’m going to evaluate how I am doing and set some new goals for the next quarter.  

Let me know how you are progressing towards your goals and whether you check in on yourself too?

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A plea for your help…

About the competition:

So, I entered Jewel of the Sea into a competition. I am in Group One for SciFi, Fantasy Paranormal, Werewolf and Vampire stories.

The competition has six rounds. Each round, the stories will be judged for different things.  Each round the contestants will be halved so that by the final (sixth) round there are only two contestants competing to win. The criteria for each round is:

  1. Title, Cover, Blurb
  2. First Chapter
  3. Characters
  4. Plot
  5. Overall Story
  6. Judges’ Review

Round One for Group One Starts On: 27 March 2019 to 5 April 2019

I have ten days to spread the word and encourage my followers to visit the competition and comment on why they like my novel’s title, cover and blurb.

Jewel of the Sea


One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and Gwyn in meddling in her life using spells. With no idea what she is, this mermaid could lose control and kill!

When your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

How you can help:

Please can you visit the Cliche Press Competition and comment on what you like about my novel’s title, cover and blurb. Click here to visit the competition.

Also, if you have time to give me feedback on my project it is always welcomed. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve so please don’t hesitate to let me know what is working and what is not.

Please let me know if you are on Wattpad as I would love to follow you.

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Thank you to my followers

This month my blog reached 250 followers.
I am really proud of myself for keeping it going. Life with a newborn is super busy but I just try to write one or two articles a week. I easily could have let this go but since starting my blog I love it.
My blog is mainly about writing, sharing tips and my journey to publication. I also share some personal posts on my other interests (being a mum, organic beauty and Netflix recommendations).
I am so thankful for everyone who has not only taken the time to read my posts but to also subscribe to my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy my content.
My blog picture is from when I was modelling and taken by Natalie Collins (Instagram @neotheartist) who I hope to work with again one day. She is an amazing photographer and this shoot was extra special as I am wearing my wedding dress.

View on Instagram https://ift.tt/2O4NnCq

A Group For Writers with a Side Hustle

Writers starting out often are juggling other responsibilities. They may be a student with assignments gobbling up their time, or full time employed to pay their bills, or a parent with young children that demand their time. Whatever their hustle, they still want to write.

Every time life gets in the way of their dream, they feel like a failure. Plust writing can be quite lonely experience with nobody to talk to when things aren’t working out. Often, you will feel like you are the only one struggling to find time to write unless you find yourself a writing group.  

That’s why I am so pleased to have connected with Sabrina Sheldron @midnightstarlightwrites on Instagram. She invited me to join her Facebook group The Hustling Writers Community.

Why I think this group is so awesome:

This group encourages everyone to support each others achievements no matter how small. Sabrina sets weekly goals that are easy to achieve but help people to keep writing and moving onwards. Currently, there is an Instagram daily photo challenge #hustlingwriterscommunity.

Why did Sabrina start the group?

I asked her and she said:

“I wanted to start the group because I was sure there were people out there, like me, who hadn’t quite met their writing goals yet. People that dream of being full time authors but are still needing to work other jobs or study before they reach those goals.

And, I wanted to create a space where we could sympathise and encourage each other, as we all have similar struggles and similar goals. Social media tends to make everything a bit of a rat race, so I wanted to create a nurturing space, where it’s ok to not be perfect and productive 100% of the time.

I often beat myself up when life gets in the way. There’s comfort in knowing people are going through the same things, and I hope that other people in the group feel the same comfort and encouragement”

Well, I certainly feel that Sabrina met her goal here. With the support of her group, and her passion to write, I hope she achieves her dream one day soon to be a published author.

Sabrina Sheldon likes to write YA Fantasy Romance and loves all things Fairy Tale. The best place to find her is @midnightstarlightwrites on Instagram.

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What theme is heavily portrayed in your story?

My work in progress, Jewel of the Sea, has romance, coming of age and friendship but one of the strongest themes is metamorphosis.
Mariah begins as a shy girl that hides behind her best friend but by the end she has matured and started to blossom into a young woman. In addition, she starts out unaware she is a mermaid. But, by the end she has mastered turning into a mermaid and controlling her emotions that trigger her weather manipulation powers.
Tell me about what theme is strongest in your story. 

View on Instagram https://ift.tt/2HmhXqR
 This is my pic for day 15’ s prompt #womenwritingfiction #wwfchallenge2019
Image from #Unsplash by artist Karina Vorozheeva https://ift.tt/2HBNxQu

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Do you keep notebooks of story ideas?

I use the Simple Note app for jotting down ideas as I always have my mobile phone with me. 

I do have physical notebooks but tend to use them more for development. For example when I sit down to flesh out an idea. This could be for jotting down research or for when I outline my plot or character development like their backstory. I also jot down useful tips I’ve picked up from reading blog articles or watching videos by other authors. 

How about you? Where do you keep you story ideas? 

View on Instagram https://ift.tt/2TezeUe
Image from Unsplash by artist Aaron Burden @aaronburden

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Does your story have an antagonist/bad guy?

I always feel that a well developed antagonist can be both good and bad. Most people have a reason for their actions. It depends of the perspective.

For example, Fallon is quite mean to Mariah. Some could accuse her of bullying. She keeps pushing Mariah until she triggers her weather manipulation powers.

However, in Kya’s story, Fallon is her best friend and she’s protecting her from the heart ache of seeing Jace and Mariah together. In Kya’s story she is more of a heroine.

Does your villain have a good side?

Here’s my pic for day 14’s prompt #womenwritingfiction #wwfchallenge2019

Collage made with images from Unsplash artists Becca Tapert, Riccardo Mion, Courtney Clayton, Kings Cichewicz.

View on Instagram https://ift.tt/2CkRl5r

Do you use Pinterest?

This is a screen capture of my board ‘Story Inspiration’. It’s where I save stuff I’ve found on Pinterest that sparks story ideas.

I have loads of boards. I have boards for character development, cover designs, mood boards, etc. I save useful articles for tips on writing, blogging, vlogs, etc. I’ve got boards with useful crafts, recipes and hair tutorials. I have used it for my sons homework, party planning and decorating rooms.

It is quite clear that I love Pinterest and find it incredibly useful. I haven’t used it much for socialising although I hope to get better at that.

Click here to view my Pintrest board.


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Do you have anything published?

Do you have anything published?

I had to dig out these pictures as they were taken in 2010 when my short contemporary romance was printed in the Scribblers Anthology. The proceeds of the sale went to charity, I think it was the East Anglian Childrens Hospice.

My first article was published when I just a kid by Leyton Orient in their fanzine. Over the years I’ve written a number of blog articles on a wide range of topics (writing, gaming, sex, fashion, conservation, etc).

My dream is to be a published author. I’ve lost count of the number of years I’ve worked towards this dream. One day, I will see my novel in a bookshop, I just feel like it is what I am meant to do. How about you?

#writerslife #instagramwriters #me #booklaunch #redhead #writersofig #writerschallenge
#aspiringauthor #writerscommunity #redheadwriter #discoverunder3k #fellowcreativeminds #ampublished

Here’s my pic for day 11’s prompt #womenwritingfiction #wwfchallenge2019


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