Sunday, 29 December 2013

Diary of an aspiring writer – 2013 in review

Having spent my Saturday reading the year in review in The Times I decided it might be interesting to do something similar and see how far, or not, my writing has come this year.

I started the year promising to write a story each week and post it on my blog. This was taken on whilst at the same time completing an Open University Creative Writing course and submitting a monthly story to my writing group. Now this might sound a hard task and ridiculous to try to do whilst holding down a full time job. However the Creative Writing course and my writing group counted for well over fifty percent of my weekly stories so for the first few months all was good.

I passed my course with a reasonable grade and every so often looked at my labour of love, last year’s NaNoWriMo winner ‘Stripper of the Yard’. I decide it needed editing.

At first this comprised of correcting the spelling and the grammar and I never really engaged with the process. Then I read the most wonderful book – Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. This book completely opened my eyes to what editing was about and I realised that producing a story a week was actually not helping my writing.

Next, the thought of publishing. I knew I didn’t have any money but I had heard so much talk about Kindle Direct Publishing I decided to give it a go. I collected together eight short stories, designed my own book cover and posted it on Kindle. It took an afternoon and the full account of my trials and tribulations are on my blog.

So The Feeling Shows can be downloaded from Amazon UK and Amazon US as well as all the other regions.

I couldn’t believe it was so easy and resolved to publish my own novel this way. However I needed to get my novel to a good enough standard and that was when I discovered Scripophile.

The year ended on a high when I again won NaNoWriMo. This was in no sort measure thanks to the support of the Kent group who helped keep me motivated and pushing forward. I definitely had second book syndrome and I know it’s not as good as the first but I have 50,000 words on paper and they are waiting to be turned into something much better.

So what of 2014?

Here’s my (wish) list:-

1.      Enter Richard and Judy’s search for a bestseller

2.      Finish ‘Stripper of the yard’

3.      Look for an agent

4.      Look for a publisher

5.      If  3 & 4 don’t happen, self publish ‘Stripper’

6.      Enter a competition a month

7.      Always look to improve

Well that’s me for 2013 and looking forward to 2014.

What’s on your to do list?

I would love to know how you got on in 2013 and what 2014 is going to mean for you.

 

 

3 comments:

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  2. Oh, entering a competition a month is a great idea! I haven't actually made a list of goals/plans for the New Year, but it's a wonderful idea! Definitely something I may do today. Thanks for the great idea, and congrats on working so much on your writing this year.

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  3. You've inspired me to sort out my writing habits Jo! You've also had a great year by the sounds of it. Good luck in 2014.

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