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  • Holly Brunnbauer

New Year. New Goals

Updated: Jan 30

A notebook with the text GOALS written on the page.

Can you feel it? That New Year energy? So warm & tingly.

Before it slips away, l'm setting my reading & writing goals.

But first, reflection.

Let's wind the clock back to 2023.


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  • 3 non-fiction books

  • 11 fiction novels

  • 6 unpublished manuscripts


  • THE SEXY BUCKET LIST - Wrote & edited numerous times

  • HEART OF GOLDIE - Wrote 1st draft

  • DELIGHTFUL MESS - Shoved it in the proverbial drawer

  • Completed NaNoWriMo (55,103 words)


  • THE SEXY BUCKET LIST: Shortlist - Publishable - Queensland Writers Centre

  • DELIGHTFUL MESS: 2nd place - The Emily - The League of Romance Writers

  • SCORPIO: 3rd place - Chapter Short Story - Romance Writers of New Zealand


  • Mentorship - Lori-Jay Ellis | CEO Queensland Writers Centre

  • Book Blurb Magic - Jesse Cunniffe | Blurb Coach

  • Novel Planning Academy - The Plottery | Fiction Writing Coach

  • Writing S*x & Everything Awkward - Holly Craig | Mentor & Author

  • Writing for Kids - Sunshine House with Zanni Louise | Children's Author

  • Story Fundamentals 1: The Basics - Libby M Ikirs | Romance Book Coach

  • Story Fundamentals 1: The Framework - Libby M Ikirs | Romance Book Coach

  • Story Fundamentals 1: Story Roadmap - Libby M Ikirs | Romance Book Coach

Giving back

  • Beta read 6 unpublished manuscripts

  • Judged 2 writing competitions

  • Volunteered as a writing contest coordinator


  • Wrote 5 days per week consistently


If someone asked me how 2023 had gone, I would've replied, 'Okay-ish'. Now that it's all on paper (well, screen) I'd say, 'Solid effort.'

Probably had a lot to do with finally having a dedicated writing space—my very own aestically-pleasing office.

Despite how far I've come, I'm still finding my feet (and confidence) as a writer. I've got a long way to go. My mindset is a work-in-progress.


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While the kidlets were on holidays, I took a break from writing. That meant I had a lot of time to process last year and prepare for the one ahead.

Between refilling water bottles and playing Pop-N-Hop (the poor man’s Trouble), I thought a lot about how I would set my goals.

Everyone’s approach is different.

Some choose a word of the year to anchor their intentions. Others mood board to manifest their best life. Then there’s the In & Out method popping up all over Instaland.

In the past, I broke my goals into categories (Writing, learning, community etc.) and would list a few under each. As shown above, that worked pretty well. But upon reflection, I took on too much.

I have impossibly high standards for myself. Maybe I was born this way or maybe it’s because when I was in high school, my mother insisted I needed tutoring after I received an A- on a math test. I’ll let you decide.

What I’m trying to say is if I set a goal, I will go to extreme lengths to achieve it. Believe me, I have the back pain and RSI to prove it.

So, I’m doing things differently in 2024.

Forget a word of the year, I’m embracing a whole bloody sentence.

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” ~ Coco Chanel

This quote applies to writing as much as it does to fashion.

That’s why I’m removing a bunch of anxiety-inducing and time-sucking goals off my list and setting ONE reading goal and TWO writing goals.

Ahhh … I feel lighter already.

I’m also channelling this wisdom into my mighty to-do list. Tasks are coming off, off, offff. I’ve already started and guess what? The world hasn't imploded. For example, I normally publish a monthly round-up, but for January I decided yeah, nah. Two blog posts this month are plenty.

2024 GOALS

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Reading: Read 24 books

Writing: Edit two novels

They’re measurable, challenging and achievable. Just like a goal should be.

Your turn.

Hit me up with your reading and writing goals. Emails & DMs are most welcome.


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