Failures and successes in 2017

Ruth Livingstone's goal is to write and publish and novel

In August 2013, I signed up for Misha’s 5 year project / do you have goals. My goal was to finish writing a novel and to get it published. I have 8 months left….

Ruth Livingstone, author, goals 2017

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerThings I didn’t achieve in 2017

Sometimes I feel the weeks just slip by, and I cruise through life, enjoying myself but  achieving very little. It’s good, therefore, to look back on the year and take stock of any accomplishments.

It’s also good to remind myself of all the things I hoped to achieve, but never quite got around to. For example, I thought I would have:

  • published my YA sci-fi novel this year,
  • published my booklet on blisters,
  • and be well into writing my book on walking around the coast of Wales.

Did I achieve any of these three goals? No!

Instead, I’ve done a number of other things…

Ruth Livingstone looking back on her writing achievements 2017

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerThings I DID achieve in 2017

On a personal level, I walked 1,700 miles this year and completed hiking the coast of Cumbria, hitting Scotland and making good progress with my walking expedition. I’ve been a pin-up girl for Saga Magazine, experienced the death of a good friend, the wedding of my second daughter, and the birth of my first grandchild.

From a writing point of view, I’ve…

  1. Written several guest posts for other people’s blogs.
  2. Had an article commissioned by Tony Buzan, and published in Synapsia Magazine.
  3. Found beta readers for, and started my fourth (and hopefully final) redraft of my first sci-fi novel, “The Orbital Contract“.
  4. Started (and nearly finished) the first draft of my second sci-fi novel during NaNoWriMo month, “The Quantum Contract“.
  5. Submitted a number of short stories to writing competitions, sadly with no success.
  6. Made a final round of submissions to agencies, looking for an agent for my historical novel set in the Tang dynasty, China. Again, sadly, with no success.
  7. Started a new blog for my COWS group, with numerous blog posts highlighting the dangers of cattle, on
  8. Achieved steady sales of my walking book, “Walking the English Coast”, which was also shortlisted for the Rubery Award.

Looking at this list, I realise I’ve actually achieved a fair amount during 2017. More than I thought!

Ruth Livingstone's New Year writing resolutions

Ruth Livingstone, writer, author and bloggerWriting goals for 2018?

  • My priority for this year is to complete the final draft and to independently publish my first sci-fi novel, “The Orbital Contract“.
  • Finish my second sci-fi novel, “The Quantum Contract“, and publish it a few months later. It’s a sequel to the first.
  • Continue work on the Killer Cows site, and publish a book based on the horror stories I’ve accumulated.
  • Rework and independently publish my historical novel, “The Reluctant Scribe”.

Wish me luck!

Do you want to join our Five Year Project and commit yourself to achieving a writing goal? Just hop over to this site and sign up:

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

9 thoughts on “Failures and successes in 2017”

  1. Hey Ruth,

    It sounds like you’re on the right track. Keep up the good work! It’s so cool that you are working on a walking expedition. Did you travel alone? Or with a group? It’d be fun to travel for a cause.

    Keep smiling,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing wrong with doing something you love for yourself 🙂 Maybe I’ll stop making excuses and travel to places I want to visit. When I was a kid, I told myself I’d visit each state at least once.

        Happy 2018!

        Keep smiling,


  2. You did get quite a lot done. It’s the sad thing with querying agents that, once you’ve sent out the queries, control of the outcome basically leaves your hands.

    Best of luck with 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I set myself a goal with the querying – 30 rejections – which I’ve now achieved. Will get the book professionally edited and self-pub… but first I think it needs a rewrite. Glad you’re back on your feet, Misha.


  3. Hi Ruth, looks like 2017 was a mixed year with lots going on personally, and also with your writing.
    All I’d say to you is, celebrate your successes, and spend some time on yourself now and again – Treat yourself to a spa day or something relaxing in between the graft. Good to hear your still entering the short story competitions too. You do far more than me!
    Happy New Year and good luck with all your goals.


  4. It looks like you HAVE accomplished a lot in 2017. If you are enjoying life, no matter what your outward “acomplishments” are you’re definitely doing something right.

    Good luck with your new books in 2018!

    (I really love your name by the way. Ruth Livingston. Very classic. Very authory.)


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