25 March 2013
How Am I Doing?
An End of Term Report
Toward the end of last year - on 31 December in fact – I posted an article entitled ‘Why Every Writer Should Have A Business Plan’. In it I tried to explain why I thought it was important for creative people like ourselves to think ahead and plan for the future if we wanted to be successful. I even went as far as setting out in public my own aims and objectives and in a moment of pure bravado, I undertook to revisit them from time to time to see how I was getting on and hold myself to account. Believe it or not, that was three months ago and with the Easter break almost upon us and a quarter of the year gone, I thought it was time to live up to my commitment and evaluate my progress.
And, just as a reminder, here’s what I said I was going to try and do in 2013.
- I will convert my third novella to ebook and have it available on Kindle.
- I will publish BIRDS OF THE NILE.
- I have a second novel, AS DAD LAY DYING, in first draft. I will finish this and have it ready for publication in 2014.
- I will complete the first draft of my third novel, MALAREN.
So, I hear you ask, how have I been getting on?
Firstly, I have a (small) confession to make. Items 1&2 of the above were already well advanced and if they were not to come to fruition, something would have had to go seriously wrong. However, ‘many a slip’ as they say - you can have your fish hooked but it still has to be landed. For instance, my last attempt at an ebook went awry when my publisher got stranded in America during Hurricane Sandy and we missed the Christmas sales window. No such problems with A DAY AT THE RACES though and as you can see from my home page, the book is now safely on Kindle.
I had also been sitting on an offer of publication for BIRDS OF THE NILE since late November so there was a significant element of confidence in that too. As a result, a large proportion of the New Year has been taken up in a final draft and last-minute amendments but I’m pleased to say that the proofs have now been approved and sent off. Fingers crossed, we should see publication by the ROUNDFIRE imprint of John Hunt Publishing some time toward the end of the summer. Meanwhile, I need to be working on a marketing campaign so I’ll be factoring that in as well.
So far, so good. But now I come to the tricky bits, ie. the writing. Mechanical problems such as ebooking and proof-reading have mechanical solutions but writing is much more touchy-feely – and therefore unpredictable. And as far as my second novel, AS DAD LAY DYING, is concerned (I must do something about that title, by the way) I have done a little work on revising it but I’m leaving it to one side for the time being. Yes, I want to get it out for 2014, but I plan to come back to it toward the end of the year when things become more pressing. In the meanwhile, I propose to devote my writing efforts to getting the first draft of MALAREN down on paper. This is undoubtedly the most difficult of my projects for the year and the longer I leave it, the more problematical it will become. I hear so much about how the marketing needs of an existing book take over and prevent new work and I am determined that this wont happen to me.
So as of today, I will be starting an entirely new regime. And with so much to do, I have decided to divide my day into three separate compartmentalised sections. Up until 11 o’clock in the morning I will be locked away in my study/office, scribbling. My door will be closed, the phone will be off the hook and I will not even think about checking my emails. This will be my writing time for MALAREN, come what may.
From 11am onwards I will be open for business and I will be spending until late afternoon corresponding and organising my marketing campaign for BIRDS OF THE NILE.
After tea, I will either be out at some literary event (two nights a week would be good) or at home engaged in the business of Social Media with the subsidiary intention of promoting A DAY AT THE RACES. Who knows, I may even have time to watch a couple of Spurs games in the Europa League as well.
All this means changing hats and habits and with that in mind I’m also planning a couple of changes to the website to go with it. I intend to continue with my regular GETTING TO KNOW feature as this seems to be quite popular and gives readers the opportunity to listen to someone else rather than me all the time. But I’m going to combine it with The Weekly Read so that you get the author/authoress and their work on the same page and at the same time.
The Weekly Read slot itself will be replaced by something entirely new. As I’m about to start writing a novel and setting off on a new regime, I thought it would be fun to track my progress on a more frequent basis so I’ll be keeping a log at the same time and publishing it as often as I can. I can’t promise that I’ll actually update it every day but I’ll do my best.