James Holden: My writing resolutions for 2015

This time last year I published my writing resolutions for the 2014 (you can find them here). They were: enter six stories for competitions or publication, publish twelve pieces of fiction on this blog, and do a reading in public.

As an exercise I found it really helpful: it helped me think realistically about what I could achieve, and made me more determined to find time for writing.

The other benefit was the sense of achievement that I have when looking back at these goals. This is not just because I’ve exceeded them – I do feel I have managed to achieve a momentum with my writing since setting them. But there has also been a tangible outcome in terms of publication and competition success.

The slight complication on my horizon is that, for personal reasons, it is possible that my capacity for writing is going to be a bit more limited during the second half of the year. This means that my resolutions are going to be more modest than previously, but I’m going to try and maintain as much of the momentum I have built up over the past year as I can.

My resolutions are:

  1. Enter six stories for competitions or publication

When I set this goal for myself last year, my reasoning was that it would only require me to send something in every other month. As it is, I’ve put things in for competitions or publication ten times. Three of these were successful – I had stories published in the Myths & Legends and Naughty List issues of Silver Apples Magazine (you can find them on-line here) and one came second in the November 14 On The Premises competition (you can find it here). One story was shortlisted by Liars League, and I’ve got one entry I’m still waiting to hear back about.

This goal was perhaps the most important to my writing last year, and not just because it helped me achieve something with my writing. Searching for these opportunities helped to give me deadlines and themes, and so gave me something to aim for and in turn helped me structure my time. I know that not everyone is keen on entering things, but for me they really help to keep me going.

  1. Finish two pieces that look like they’re uncompleted

Looking down at the list of stories that I’ve written I have quite a few that aren’t quite finished. In part this is because I haven’t quite worked out where to send them, although if the Asylum publishes a third volume of work then that might provide a handy berth for a couple of stories. I can definitely see the potential in some of the pieces – like the one about a Victorian factory owner who goes a bit mad, or the one about a B&B owner who, erm, goes a bit mad. So whilst goal one will help me to produce new stories, I think it will also be good to delve back into my bottom drawer and pull out a couple of pieces that need finishing.

  1. Publish nine pieces of flash fiction for this blog

I managed 14 in 2014, so whilst it might be nice to go for 15 in 2015, I think nine seems a bit more reasonable, although these will probably be mainly posted over the first half of the year.


I’m confident that these will motivate me over the course of the year, help me improve my writing and also give me inspiration for stories. I’m sure I’ll provide an update on how I’m doing at some point over the next twelve months.


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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