My publisher resigned in November last year. Admittedly, I have milked her absence a little bit (as well as the holiday break) because it’s given me a little more time to ‘write’, which basically translates to lie down on the couch unable to think of anything else but writing, and yet not write a single word. My new publisher starts in about three weeks and I really need to make more progress on my manuscript, so over the past few weeks I have tried my best to put myself on a little wordsmith lockdown – prohibiting myself from doing much of anything until I at least had 50,000 words of a first-draft. Today, however, I’m busy filing a couple of freelance stories and booking in school/reader’s group dates for the year ahead, but with so many things I want to do on my mind, I figure I’d write them all down so I have something to look forward to (and be distracted by) when the powers-that-be are reading my first draft. Fingers crossed I’m done by March 1st!

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are all the things I can’t wait to get stuck into:

  1. Watching Seasons 2 & 3 of Girls. Yup, I am that far behind.
  2. Reading. Gosh I miss reading the most. I cheated a little bit after Christmas and read two YA titles – Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us (ok) and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door (great) – but there are still so many books on my list, including The Book Thief (Markus Zusak), The Tailor’s Girl (Fiona McIntosh), The Intern (Gabrielle Tozer), The Fault in our Stars (John Green) and How to Convince a Boy to Kiss you (Tara Eglington). I realise I may be the only word nerd on the planet who is yet to read The Book Thief & The Fault in our Stars, and yesterday (thanks to Gabrielle Tozer) I learnt what FOMO meant and I don’t want to have it. On a side note, this makes me wonder if Gabby is better suited to writing YA than I am!
  3. Pitching. I have had a couple of great freelance articles come my way lately, but I am looking forward to getting myself out there and workshopping my own ideas.
  4. Snapping pictures with my brand new camera that husband got me for Christmas. I suck at taking photos, but he bought it for me to practice with, so I might as well give it a workout.
  5. Baking a Pavlova. I love baking, but I avoid recipes that involve separating yolks from whites. Cheri at Ms Critique is having a bit of a Pav obsession at the moment, and her posts are motivating me to get over my fears and give it a go.
  6. Doing one of those short make-up application workshops. I always look like I have been punched in the face when I try to apply my own eyeshadow, so I just stick to liner. And don’t get me started on lash application. This year, I want to be a little more girly, so I am going to do one of those one-hour store sessions and see how I go.
  7. Write down my notes for some author talks and workshops I am booked to do in the middle of this year. I am thrilled to be going out to schools to share Sophie’s story with teens, and I want to be able to prepare for that without worrying about Charlie and Gillian, a couple of characters from my current manuscript.
  8. Stop being a deadbeat. I am going to a lot of things that I am invited to, but I want to be able to wake up and head to the markets for a day without worrying about whether or not my wordsmith brain will want to cooperate when I get home. Basically, I want to be a little liberated from the pressure for a while.
  9. Go to putt-putt. I have asked the husband to go for Valentine’s Day, but I might have to post-pone it if the words are flowing, which I really want them to be. But I want to be able to do a lot of miniature golfing and bowling for some reason. (Strange as they are things I have never been into.)
  10. Psyche myself up for Draft 2, because I know that once I have chased a little fun and I have some words and feedback to work with, it won’t be as daunting as it is now.