Monday, 2 January 2012


Happy Monday - and Happy New Year - Dear Readers! And whoa, that's a lot of capitals in one sentence. But you deserve them! And so does this shiny, bright, beautiful new year that we're all just beginning right now.

Today's first order of business is to note that I, like most of Britain, watched the BBC's SHERLOCK last night and adored it to the point where I'm going to have to exercise iron-clad control to hold myself back from some serious fanfic writing. O. M. G. I'm sure a lot of people have far more intelligent comments to make about it, but all I can say is that the exquisite beauty of this episode made my heart ache. It's definitely for the over sixteens, but if that's you and you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do and soon (and if not, maybe plead with your parents because just watching it will probably boost your IQ by a few points and make you do better in your exams. Honestly).

And now onto the non-squeeing part of the programme!

Following the tradition we started last year, I'm going to share some goals that I'd like to aim for in 2012, and then when 2013 cycles around I can present myself for your congratulations, or your pointing/jeering/mocking etc.
2012 GOALS
  1. As I mentioned in my last post, in 2011 I had a slight problem with over-working myself. I didn't end up passing out or being rushed to the hospital with heart pains or any of those other melodramatic symptoms that TV characters who over-work always get, but more often than not I'd be in my Writing Cave when eight or nine in the evening rolled around, and I'd end up shoving a microwave meal in and collapsing on the sofa - and then doing the same the next day too. I saw less of friends and family, made less time for healthy outdoor activities and new experiences and reading, and generally turned into a Writing Hermit to match my Cave. So this year, I'd like to prove to myself that I can do my job WITHOUT being a hermit. In 2012, I'd like to stick to a reasonable writing schedule of no more than eight hours of work six days a week, making time for other important stuff as well.
  2. The last year has been an amazing one for this blog in every respect. My follower numbers nearly doubled, my unique visitor numbers quadrupled, and I wrote some posts that not only make me feel rather proud in terms of the discussion they generated, but which also brought in astonishing numbers of readers (The original Mary Sue post has had nearly 12,000 hits to date - for realz). Apart from a few early experiments, I've never really gone in for the traditional, accepted methods of driving traffic. I don't usually require people to follow the blog to enter giveaways, I don't take part in memes or post awards. I just write the best stuff I can come up with and try to interact with my readers in a way that shows how much I love and appreciate you - and somehow it's paid off. It's humbling and heartwarming. In 2012, I'd like to carry on posting here three times a week every week (with a few holiday/hiatuses as required) and growing my blog readership through sincerity and the pursuit of excellence.
  3. I suppose this next one's fairly predictable, because I didn't manage to get to it in quite the way I wanted last year - instead of writing two completely new books, I ended up writing one new book and completely revising and revamping a book that I'd written the year before. However, it's a bit more urgent now. In order to meet the publishing schedule that's been worked out for me over the next several years, I really do need to write a book and a half in 2012. And if I'm going for a book and a half, why not go the whole hog? So: In 2012, I'd like to finally manage to write two books in twelve months.
  4. Last year I made my final goal about promoting Shadows, but this year I'm going for something a bit less fun (and probably less interesting for you - sorry!). I've just had my first full year as a full-time writer, and it's made me acutely aware that my skills as an accountant are horribly lacking. You may wonder what one thing has to do with the other. Well, as a self-employed person, I have to keep records of all my earnings and expenditures, keep receipts, and complete my own tax returns. It's been hard enough up until now, when the largest part of my income was a non-taxable grant. The coming year is going to bring me more income from my writing, which is great, but it's also going to bring me concern over voluntary VAT registration. U.S. tax payer numbers, and pay coding notices. It's vital that I stop dithering and start to really keep on top of my records. Frankly, it makes my stomach churn. In 2012, I'd like to seek out professional help with book-keeping and learn how to run myself as a proper business so that I can stop panicking about this issue all the time.
Phew. Well, that's me done. What about you guys? What would you like to aim for this year?


Rachel Balcombe said...

So glad you're a Sherlock fan! I was just internally screaming throughout the episode.

Good luck with your goals this year. I'll be right here, cheering you on!

Zoë Marriott said...

Rachel: Damn straight I am! I was literally hugging a pillow, whispering 'I love this, I love this, OMG I love this' constantly.

Benjamin Robinson said...

Good luck with everything Zoe :) Well done in 2011.

amy_celestia said...

Good luck with everything, and I hope 2012 is lovely for you :) One of my goals is to finish my NaNo novel. That should keep me busy for the whole year, based on the state it's in at the moment!

Rachel Balcombe said...

It's because Sherlock is amazing and the line between canon-slash and fanon-slash is so blurred. Also Moffat's brain.

I found goodreads yesterday, by the way. I was going to recommend it to you, but you've already got it! I now have a ton of new books to find and read.

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Good luck with all your aims and I hope you have a really successful 2012. If you write two books in 12 months, we benefit too lol :)
My main aim is to finish the book I've started. I'm halfway through, so fingers crossed lol.

Vivienne said...

Good luck with your aims this year. I think you may have put me off writing with the tax stuff though! Eeep! My main aim is to get my MS completely finished and sent out to agents.

Zoë Marriott said...

Benjamin: Thank you :)

Amy: Strangely enough, the book I started for Nano is one of my tasks too. Good luck to us both!

Rebecca: Yes - it'll mean that you get two books in 2015. Bit of a wait, but hopefully worth it.

Viv: Yeah, no one ever tells you about that side of things until it's too late! I wish I'd taken a book-keeping course in college or something... Your goal is much more likely to find success, I think.

Isabel said...

Good luck on your goals, Zoe! You did really well last year and this year you can do even better. :) So excited to read FrostFire!

Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

Those sound like some excellent goals, good luck with them!

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Thanks - I hope so!

Jenni: Thank you.

Raimy-rawr said...

Good luck Zoe, I hope you manage all your goals!!

Elissa Sussman said...

OMG Sherlock. I have re-watched the final scene of the first season about twenty times. So freaking good! I can't wait for the next season.

Zoë Marriott said...

Raimy: Thanks - I'll give it my best :)

Elissa: I know, right?! And the way the second season follows on is just...PERFECT. *Swoons*

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