New Years’ resolutions. Turning a new leaf. A clean slate. A new start. A new me. And all the other cliché phrases you can tag onto that.

And poor 2017 has a lot resting on her shoulders. Everyone has high hopes and expectations for 2017 seeing as though 2016 is still weeping in the corner, shoulders slumped because, the one shot he had at existing, and everyone will remember him for being a crappy year.

I’m an aspiring writer which essentially means that I want to be a published author one day and despite me only being 16 years old, I would hope to consider myself wiser and maybe more ‘driven’ in achieving my goals than most of my age group (sometimes the stereotype is sadly spot on).

So, this year, improving my writing is a very prominent target on my mental to-do list. I’m hoping to continue to write regular posts on my blog whilst also delving outside of my comfort zone and participating in many more creative writing activities (writing a guest post on another blog perhaps…) in order to improve my writing and ‘level-up’, so to speak (I had to get that in there at least once, you understand).

This year is a biggie for me. After completing my GCSEs (knees trembling at the thought), I’ll be starting a new college and my anxiety will be through the roof because I’m the definition of an introvert and can’t make friends to save my life.

Originally, I wanted to do a creative writing course in college- it makes sense considering that I want to be a writer. I was so excited to get the chance to learn all about how to improve my writing. In a nutshell, I went to the college open evening (I’m not divulging any college names) and found out that the subject has been cancelled because it’s not considered a ‘legitimate subject’ by the government anymore. (I’ll try not to be offended that my choice of career is no longer considered important enough for education). After hearing the news, I was heartbroken and had a little cry to myself because the only thing that I most definitely knew I wanted to do had been taken away from me.

So, to prove them wrong, I want to be successful in writing this year. Yes, I’m slightly bitter.

Also, in terms of writing, 2017 will be the year I learn how to edit. I finished the first draft of my novel last year (130,000 words- yay!) and I have no idea how to discard all the rubbish from the brilliant and how to create a decent second draft that I can then give to people and ask for feedback (which is a terrifying prospect to me at the minute).

I’ve read it back and, while there are many maaaannnnny points that need improvements (and that’s putting it lightly), the selection of chapters, pages and even sentences that blew me away made the whole thing worth it. Sometimes there’d be a perfectly worded sentence, or an amazing and gripping chapter and my spirits would be lifted slightly and I would see that all the hard work is worth it.

For the other 95% of the book, however, I was cringing badly and wondering what the hell I was on last year to be writing down such a horrific sentence.
But now all I have to do is edit the bad sentences so that they’re as good as the amazing sentences.

Simple.

I have no idea where to start with editing so that’s a skill I’ll learn this year; slapping down the red pen.

And while this year is going to be increasingly busy and writing will sometimes -most times- feel like a chore, I’m determined to keep at it and continue to write every single day like I did last year in order to keep the momentum going. I don’t want to slowly level off and stop writing- I want to ‘level up’.

I think consistently writing is a great help because it means that you have no time to think-or more importantly doubt yourself. Keep going like there’s no tomorrow and get to where you want to be.

I know I’m only 16 and I’ve got all the time in the world. A lot of you may be wondering why I’m taking this so seriously so early, but the answer is simple.

I really want to be a writer. So badly it hurts. So I will try everything, put everything I have into it in order to achieve my goals. It’s going to be hard and I’m going to hate it at times but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. Everything I’m doing now is experience for the future and also….one thing to know about me is that I’m just a very goal-orientated, dedicated and organised person. I like to be ahead of the game.

Poetry and reading are two other important goals for me because I have such a big passion for both of them and want to maintain that admiration through the craziness that is 2017.

If I visualise myself and where I want to be at the end of the year, I can see myself as clear as a crystal.

So my advice, if it doesn’t sound too patronizing from an inexperienced teenager, would be to visualise where you want to be this time in 2018. Once you’ve figured out where that is, write a mental checklist of how to get there. And I know it will be hard at times but, if you continue to remind yourself why you love writing and where your end-goal is, nothing should stop you.

Good luck for 2017!

Chloe.