2020 Writing Goals – October Check-in

A photo with a phone, computer keyboard, headphones and a notebook and pen. The text reads "2020 Writing Goals"

At the start of this year, some writer friends and I chose a word as the theme for the coming 12 months. Mine was LEARN.

I’ve definitely been learning. And now we’re on the downhill run towards the end of the year. In some ways, it feels like the months have dragged on beyond belief, and in other ways it feels like it has flown by. So it’s time for a last look at goals, what I’ve achieved and what I’m still working on, before that final check-in at the end of the year.


  • Don’t sign up for any challenges with arbitrary goals, e.g. word count goals

Still doing fine with this. People are starting to talk about NaNoWriMo and I am not even the slightest bit tempted.

  • Submit stories to four anthologies or short story competitions

I’m still sitting at 3/4 for this goal. I do have one last WIP that it would be good to finish and send out before the end of the year. We’ll see. I did conclude a while ago that if I’m only going to complete either the short stories goal or the Facing the Music goal below, this one would probably be more likely.

  • Finish the first draft of Facing the Music

I made a spreadsheet with one-sentence chapter summaries ages ago. I mentioned it in my mid-year writing update. In fact, I think I did it around Easter. And I said that I was pretty much at the point where I would start looking at it as revisions/second draft ready. And I haven’t touched it since then.


In my initial 2020 Goals Post, I had a list of courses I wanted to complete this year. I’m not going to list that here because I haven’t really been doing those. That said, I have

I am intending to participate in Bryan Cohen’s 5 Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge this month. I completed this in April and have been sprucing up A More Complicated Fairytale to better benefit from the lessons I’m learning here. I was going to participate in July

Ellie Marney’s self-publishing boot camp is coming up in a few weeks as wlel.

I’ll have to have a good think about how to work these other goals into my schedule.


  • Give A More Complicated Fairytale some love. 

I was reformatting this a while ago, but progress stalled and I’ve only returned to it in the last few weeks. It’s getting there slowly. I’m hoping to get a decent chunk of revisions and formatting done on the upcoming long weekend. Then I need to work out what the next steps are.

  • Self-publish Operation: Sugarplum as an ebook once Christmas: Australis exclusivity period ends.

This is happening! I have a cover on the way (can’t wait to see what it looks like!). I’m reading over the story just to make sure there aren’t any typos (shouldn’t be – it was in pretty good shape to go into Christmas: Australis). I’ve registered it against an ISBN. Watch this space!

  • Compile short stories that don’t get accepted elsewhere into my own collection (if some do get accepted, maybe this could be pushed out until other exclusivity periods end).

This is very much a work in progress that will extend into next year. But I’m keeping it here to remind myself.

So what to aim for over the last three months of the year (how are there only three months left of the year?!). I need to not push myself too far. I’ve been so busy. And I’m having a bit of a time with work. So here’s my plan:

  • Publish Operation: Sugarplum ebook and all that entails (book description, etc.)
  • Finish editing/formatting for new A More Complicated Fairytale (if I get it republication-ready by the end of the year, that will be a bonus!)
  • Finish and submit one more short story.
  • Complete courses as they come up.

That’s it. I’m hoping there’ll also be a few more flash fictions on this here blog but I’m not holding myself to that too hard.

Published by Emily Wrayburn

She/Her. Writer. Reader. Blogger. Hufflepuff. Theatre nerd.

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