Welcome to 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! My long hiatus is over and I’ve been itching to get back from my self-imposed, month-long exile. OK, so it’s only been 26 days, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve missed you all too much.

And the stats, how are the stats!?

It was probably a good thing it was a month-long break… the stat watching can get a bit intense after a while, and I really needed to go cold-turkey and get over it.

It’s unbelievable to think that I started this blog as a fresh-faced newbie back in 2015, when stats were a thing of the future. When I first started blogging, I was only 27 and working on completing my second novel, Mesmerise.

If I could sum up the last three years, what would I say? Probably that 2015 was interesting, 2016 was a series of unfortunate events (but filled with plenty of golden highlights!) and 2017 was atrociously sub par with lots of lessons learned.

I assume things can only improve from here. At least, I bloody well hope so.

The icing on the cake for me in 2017 was when one of my short stories was rejected from a newly established student literary magazine. The worst thing was? They REQUESTED the story. And then rejected it. Who does that!? When their apologetic email came through in December, I was so exhausted by all of the end-of-year-get-in-quick rejection emails that I broke down and cried. Like, proper cried. Totally not ashamed to say that.

I’m not looking for sympathy (but please feel free to smother me with love), for while that email initially crushed my soul into atomic dust, I feel more determined than ever to succeed. It might take a few more years, but I’ll get there.

I’ve always refused to do the whole ‘New Year resolution thing’. I mean, hardly anyone keeps them, they set us up for failure, and it means you make yourself wait until the New Year to change your ways. But, you know what? If the New Year is that one thing that spurs you on to dream big, write more and change your life for the better, than all the more power to you!

These are my esteemed, scholarly writing ambitions for 2018:

  1. Self-publish Mesmerise in April
  2. Complete The Other Pretty One and publish in October
  3. Create a blogging empire and get featured on that WordPress Discover thing, finally
  4. Have one of my novels make it to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, and while we’re at it, featured in Oprah’s Book Club
  5. Have my novel adapted into a film
  6. Have that film become a summer blockbuster
  7. Become rich and famous
  8. Win the Nobel prize in literature (but first, the Man Booker Prize)
  9. Meet Andy Weir and compare notes

Ok, so I might not be able to get all of this done until at least 2019. But why not dream big?

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43 thoughts

  1. Hello Milly – thanks for following my blog scotinprogress. Sorry I haven’t dropped by until now. I’ll just say that I am very familiar with the rejection letters/emails, and even had an editor request to see more work twice only for it to be rejected. In 2017, I got two stories accepted and one shortlisted within a week (first ever success). However, it was at a very difficult time personally – life can be quite ironic. Don’t give up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that’s so exciting, looks like you’re doing really well! I’ve never had an agent, editor or publisher make a second request before. I’m going to focus on self-publishing this year. Maybe when I’m onto book six or seven I might start querying again 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t say really well. The second request got turned down too! However, since then I’ve had a few short stories accepted for publication – easier than getting a whole novel accepted, so keep trying. More than anything, I think I would just like to share the stories that come to me, but I’m not very good at self-promotion.

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  2. I too had a 2017 that almost crushed me into dust. But. 2018 is here and I am determined it’s going to be a better year. -_-

    I like your idea of dreaming big. Aim for the stars if you want to stand a chance at reaching them. The list made me smile if nothing else. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like it’s been a difficult couple of years but rejection teaches us a lot about ourselves, not least our own resilience. Fair play to you for going into 2018 with such a positive attitude and the very best of luck with the self-publishing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had the same flurry of rejection emails at the end of last year. So frustrating! And a couple bounced back almost minutes after I’d sent the submission which made me wonder whether they were even read at all.

    Best of luck for 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few minutes after? That’s strange! The quickest positive reply I’ve ever received after three years of querying was within thirty minutes (ultimately rejected). Receiving such quick negative replies would have be wondering too. Good luck to you too and let’s make 2018 our year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Why not dream big! If people don’t laugh at your dreams, they’re not big enough.

    It doesn’t sound like it was an easy year but nothing worthwhile ever is. I’m sure you’ll achieve your goals. Fingers crossed!

    I’m striving to publish my second novel in April as well. Hope we both make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. > Meet Andy Weir and compare notes.
    Really? Well, if you can get an A lister to lead your novel’s movie debut, then, I’m sure you’ll have a hell of a lot to talk about.
    (Too bad about that whole Martian wind thing in the movie… But hey, gotta make it dramatic.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dreaming big is awesome! I always do. You just don’t have to put a tight reign on the timeline. Resolutions are just positive thinking and like everytging else you have to believe it’s possible. The most brilliant, successful people in the world have been rejected! Dont ever give up on your dreams!

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  8. WordPress stat watching feels similar to any other social media metric, it could definitely be a source of anxiety at times. I like how you took a month off, we all need to step away from writing just so we can continue writing. I’m also sorry about the rejection email from the student literary magazine, but am even more confident that you’ll have a great 2018! 🙂

    Keep up the great work 💜

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  9. I call shotgun on being your +1 to at least one of your Hollywood events when you complete 5,6 and 7.
    Also, here, lay down so I can wrap you tightly in a roll of carpet. My way of smothering.

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  10. Definitely dream BIG. I hope all of your dreams/plans come true in spectacular fashion.
    Also, if you know the secret to being featured in WordPressDiscover, please let me know.

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  11. Love it! What is it they say – “Go big or go home”? All the best with those big goals for 2018. I have to say I could describe the last 3 years as you did “…2015 was interesting, 2016 was a series of unfortunate events (but filled with plenty of golden highlights!) and 2017 was atrociously sub par with lots of lessons learned”. May 2018 be so much better!

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