Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Looking Forwards, and Back


I’ve gone off resolutions. I think they set us up for failure. As I try to live more in the moment, I think resolutions make me spend too much time regretting the past and feeling anxious about the future. However, I do believe in goals, and those are what I have for the new year – a series of goals that I can use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Before I share these, I want to sum up last year before moving forward to this one. If you sense a resolution in this post, feel free to reach out and slap me.

Here are some of 2009’s highlights:

  • Finished my novel, twice. The first draft was literary fiction, written in third person, with three voices, and I had no idea where it was going. The second draft was crime fiction, in first person, with a strongly defined beginning, middle and end. There was a narrative arc, growing tension and a main character you could get behind.
  • Kept up 2008’s exercise and healthy eating routines, albeit patchily. I completely recognise that exercising comes in spurts for me, and healthy eating is something that comes and goes, with the wind, usually according to how many weddings I have to attend.
  • Travelled! South Africa, Crete, Berlin, Switzerland, South Africa, Dubai. Three of those trips were for weddings and each time it was more than worth it to be there and see people I love get married.
  • Applied for a job and out of the 180 applicants was one of four people interviewed. I didn’t get the position, but will start writing freelance for the company this month.
  • Read many, many books (see my incomplete list of Books 2009), the highlight of which was Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. It’s a triumph of imagination and exacting research. I can’t wait for the sequel.
  • Watched my children grow and mature and delighted in who they are becoming.
  • Loved my husband truly, madly, deeply. It is a place where I feel both free and hugely connected, which is, I believe, how a relationship should be.
  • Visited a doctor who is helping me take control of my migraines (a gum guard and jaw massages – not pretty, but a whole lot better than having to spend two days a month in a darkened room, crying with pain and vomiting).
  • Tried to leave the Burg, but found to my surprise that I am still here and despite myself, loving it.
  • Enjoyed my blog’s fourth year and met two long-term blog pals (Jeanne, the Cooksister, and Kit, who hosted my family to a superb Sunday lunch. On a Monday.).

And here are my goals – not resolutions – for 2010:

  • Tidy up the novel, submit it to my beta readers, then submit to literary agents. Work on the cycle of short stories that I’ve got buzzing under the radar and flesh out my other novel ideas.
  • Step up the exercise routine, and let the Christmas eating go. Eat fresh, healthy, life-giving food.
  • Keep travelling.
  • Keep reading.
  • Keep loving my family.
  • Step up my freelance writing business: build a website, do some marketing, hire a nanny if necessary.
  • Keep fighting the migraines.
  • Rediscover the joy in blogging, and tidy up my very out-of-date blogroll.
  • Keep trying to leave the Burg. It will happen, one day.

Wishing you all a splendid, successful Twenty Ten.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

15 thoughts on “Looking Forwards, and Back

  1. Sounds like you have it all sorted out to me, Charlotte! Here’s to a marvellous, productive and happy New Year. And you know I have my fingers crossed for 2010 being your year of literary success. I’m sure it can only be a matter of time. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a great year, and a great year to come, too. Thanks for all your writing this year. My goal for the year is to comment more on blogs I like!

  3. Untidy blogrolls are like that pile of stuff in the basement you know you’ll get to sifting through one day, but every time you look at it, you say – yuck! I’ll get to it later.

  4. Happy New Year Charlotte!

    2009 sounded like a great year for you – I hope 2010 is too! Can’t wait to read your book. Wolf Hall is fantastic, I agree. Get on with updating your book list – I use it for inspiration as am too lazy to make my own list 😉

    My blog has disappeared so you can take it off your blogroll. I am now writing just for me.

  5. I love your previous year’s goals, and the goals you have for the upcoming year! I think you have created goals that are more about an ongoing lifestyle than anything else. And the fact you changed your novel dramatically inspires me because I am convinced I have to do the same. I am not ready to let go of the characters and the setting but a LOT needs to change…especially the voice of the narrator.

  6. Happy New Year. You accomplished a lot in 2009 and it sounds like you have the road ahead well planned.

  7. I really need to the goals and highlights thing! It sounds like you have an immense amount to be proud of, especially getting the freelance writing business and the novel going.

    Good luck with leaving the Burg – our big project this year is to leave the Smoke!

  8. How amazing to have a freelance writing business which will also allow you to focus time on your novel! I can identify with “eating fresh, healthy, life-giving food”. Seriously relooking at the way I’m eating.

  9. i don’t do resolutions either, but enjoy the fresh start a new year affords. happy 2010 to you!

  10. Happy New Year, Charlotte of the Burg! Yeah, you sound completely sorted. Motivated, directed, centred and sane. All worthy goals, all well within your firm grasp. It’s going to be a great year for you, of that I have no doubt. xx

  11. Sounds like a happy, busy year in store for you. I think I should borrow a few of those goals, such as eating fresh, healthy, life-giving food. Look forward to reading your novel in the not so distant future.

  12. Great goals for the year ahead.

    I must must read Wolf Hall…

  13. Congratulations on hitting your goals for 2010. I look forward to seeing your new website and business. Just recently I was thinking of asking on Facebook who could recommend good reading. But I only need ask one person and that is you. Where do I find the Books 2009 list?

  14. What excelent goals (many of which I need to aspire to myself!!) Glad I’m not the only one for whom exercise comes in spurts. When I’m good, I’m very very good. When I’m bad, I’m a proper sloth! It was such a pleasure to meet you in April – I wish we coudl do this more often, in such sectacular surroundings, with a glass of somethign bubbly. I’m so impressed that you have TWO drafts of your novel done and dusted – you are a constant source of inspiration. Lots of love and good wishes to you and your family for 2010 🙂

  15. Good luck on revising your novel (I’ll be revising alongside you)–and I’m sending thoughts to ward off those migraines. I used to get them before I had my PFO closure–they are debilitating.

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