At the beginning of January last year, we posted the writerly objectives of some of the members of Chudleigh Writers’ Circle. This week, we catch up with them to see how they got on. There have been some successes; some amended objectives; and a lot of writing to report.
Oh dearie me. I completed failed to write a radio play. There’s a couple of excuses I make but that would be prevaricating. I just didn’t get around to it. On the other hand, I did manage to write a short play for the stage and a few sketches.
I am a great believer in consistency. So my New Year’s resolution for 2019 continued to be as it had been for the past few years: Publish my Modelling Man book on Kindle.
Sadly, as every year, my aspirations (if not my expectations) for each new year exceeded my subsequent achievements. Therefore I haven’t, as yet, published Modelling Man on Kindle. But I have almost completed the editing and my writing buddy, Bea Hutchings, has been incredibly helpful Beta reading the book. So not wasted at all and solid progress achieved.
And for 2020? I said I believe in consistency so I’ll keep the same resolution as last year: Publish my Modelling Man book on Kindle. Having the same resolution each year is so much less bother.
Well, my writing resolutions list for 2019 was an interesting bit of fiction, written in a moment of sheer optimism, probably after a glass or two of Prosecco. I even printed it out in a posh font and pinned it up where it could shout at me every morning.
What happened? Life intervened quite horribly, as it does. So:
- I tried, really tried to write 500 words a day – lasted about 10 days. I will try again this year.
- My file of poems is still a work in progress as I keep writing new ones – as is the spreadsheet to go with it. Themes are emerging – my father, train journeys, roots etc.
- I am now seriously considering a collection – I have a title, a front cover and a publisher in mind. Watch this space.
- I did start a poem-a-day in January and will have another go in 2020. More successful were other similar challenges in April and September which certainly gave me the beginnings of quite a number of poems.
- Yes, I entered some competitions – no, I didn’t win so a further memo to self.
What went well?
- Some really good workshops – the latest one, Talking with the Dead run by Sue Proffitt, has resulted in rather black pieces but also helped me write about themes I had not tackled before.
- More Open Mic – well received. And readings in St Ives among other places.
- Entry into my first Poetry Slam – ‘nuff said.
- Publication of a poem in Acumen in May – very encouraging. I also had pieces in Poetry Teignmouth’s Pizazz collection.
And 2020’s resolutions? More of the same I think – hopefully with more success.
2019 was to be the year I finally got to grips with marketing my ebooks. Well, that didn’t happen. I took some courses; teetered on the edge of dabbling with some adverts, then pulled back frightened of the huge black hole that could become. My face to face sales continue to be better than my online ones and I came to the conclusion I should concentrate on what I am good at, and enjoy. However, I remain hopeful that my online sales will take off at some point, and have pulled all my fiction back into KDP Select so I can take advantage of Kindle Unlimited downloads.
2019 was also the year I gave myself off from writing fiction to research my next novel, a time-slip set in Russia, in preparation for writing the first draft during NaNoWriMo in November. That was all going well, until around July when I suddenly decided I didn’t want to write a complex dual narrative book or yet another story set in Russia. So although I did take part in NaNoWriMo and completed the challenge for the seventh year in a row, I was working on the first in a series of light-hearted mysteries set in a fictional village, not a million miles from my home town in South Devon. The first in the series of Coombesford Chronicles will hopefully be published in time for the 2020 Christmas market.
I succeeded in my objective to bring out two more books in the Business of Writing series. And I proved once again it is much easier to sell non-fiction, than fiction, at a writer’s conference, especially on a current topic like Independent Publishing.
I didn’t even get near the series of travel shorts that I had planned, but there’s always 2020 for that.
All in all, I think I achieved my overall intention of making 2019 a year of Doing It My Way – and having fun along the way. For 2020, I have made no resolutions at all. I’m going to go with the flow and concentrate on having more fun. After all, that’s why I started this writing lark in the first place.