I’m hearing a lot of people trying to sum up their goals for 2015 into a single word. This extends to a lot of writers. I’m the odd one out it seems as I have two words: “hard work”.
But one word (that is one word long) I’ve been hearing over and over again from writers is “diversification”.
So we’re nearly two weeks into 2015 and I have to say that things are going remarkably well.
The year has started with an incredibly busy 2015 and has only got busier as new opportunities have come my way. Let me say, up front, my aim is NOT to try and take on as much as I can, but just to motor on and get things done.
It’s still early, early days and I’m conscious that I could approach burnout tomorrow (although, I have to be honest and say that I feel like I’m slacking rather than overworking) but it’s going far better than I expected.
I have to be honest – I’m going to miss 2014. It was such a good year for me that it’s going to be hard to top. I’d set out to have a Year of Adventure and I certainly managed that.
In between all the house buying, tornado chasing, and sword stabbing I also managed to get a lot written. Probably the most I’ve ever done. The sad thing is that the results of that hard work never got to be seen by anyone. That’s publishing for you!
But I’m determined to capitalise on the work I’ve done and continue to push myself forward. It might be 2016 or 2017 before I reap the benefits of that work but I don’t want to slack off just yet.
And so 2015 is my Year of Hard Work – a year to knuckle down, shut myself off from the world a little and just get a tonne of shit done. I was pretty productive in 2014, but I intend to see just how far I can push it.
Hence the last couple of days I’ve been working on the last chapters of Thieving King, doing some submission work on Black as Knight, researching my next book, and starting work on a proposal. January is going to be insanely busy.
Because of this and because of things I learnt in 2014, rather than plan the whole year out, I’m going to take things as they come. Projects have been shuffled around based on which one seems the best fit at the time and matches my career aims best. So rather than plan all my 2015 projects right away, I’ll just work on this one and then when it’s done choose the next one. At least that’s the current plan, I intend to be flexible as needs must.
I’m very excited about the 2015 projects I’m already working on but I’m not ready just yet to start talking about them.
But what I can say with a fair amount of confidence is that after a lot of delay and heartache, barring any major issues, The Thieving King should see release in 2015. I know, it’s been too long a wait and I intend for a MUCH shorter gap before the next book in the series. It’s the largest book I’ve ever written so hopefully that will go a small way toward compensating for the delay.
So here’s to 2015. There’s a lot of writing ahead, a lot of hard work (hence why I’m writing blog posts at 1am). Let’s hope it proves as successful as the Year of Adventure did!
2013 was an incredibly challenging year for me. Leggedon was like a grenade being thrown into my life
So, after a year where just getting to the Doctor’s was a challenge, I wanted 2014 to be my year of adventure. It was a theme that stayed with me the entire year, and what an adventure it was.
New Fantasy-Faction Article – 5 Reasons You Didn’t Fail NaNoWriMo
At this time of year we hear so much about people completing NaNoWriMo. It’s all high-fives and bragging about your word count. But what if you failed to hit 50,000 words? In this article for Fantasy-Faction I talk about the reasons why NaNoWriMo has benefited you, even if you didn’t hit the 50k target. be sure to check it out!
Fantasy-Faction Article On Collecting Writing Data
The year seems to be in a hurry to end as I have calendar dates I think should be weeks off which I’m then told are later this week. The last couple of months have been a blur and as part of the chaos of writing and getting the house set up I missed notifying people about this article I did back in November for Fantasy-Faction. It talks about collecting data on your writing and how you can use it to help you plan your projects and write more efficiently. It’s certainly not going to suit everyone but it’s an interesting topic, so be sure to check it out.
There’s this misguided impression some people have that once you reach the status of semi-professionally published, writing a novel becomes a mundane affair. Some people think that once you conquer the mountain that is the novel, all subsequent novels will be a piece of piss.
This is absolute horseshit.
Gosh, has it really been that long since my last blog post?
November is always a busy month for me. First, there’s NaNoWriMo which I make a point of doing each year even if my participation is just limited to further work on whatever book I’m currently writing. Then every couple of years there seems to be a World of Warcraft expansion released around this time. And this year there’s the added complication of having moved the contents of a 60 foot storage container into my new house and having yet to unpack all the boxes. I’ve also upped my swordfighting training to twice a week. It’s no wonder I have little time to blog.
If there’s been one thing that’s been grinding my gears lately, it’s some of the anti-NaNoWriMo sentiment out there. Apparently there’s only one way to get stuff written (who knew?) and it isn’t NaNoWriMo (apparently). Those pieces that aren’t just clickbait will tell you that NaNoWriMo is a waste of time and if you were cool, you shouldn’t be doing it.
There’s only one absolute rule of writing and that’s in order to get published you have to complete work. That’s all. Get the words down and then worry about everything else from there. How you do that, how you go from having no words done to having all your words done is up to you. The internet is full of advice, and by all means check it and try it out, but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not for you.
Look at this way, to be a runner, you have to run. People don’t go around telling runners that the fact that they run down to the shops and back every night doesn’t make them a ‘proper’ runner. It’s not the speed or the distance that makes someone a runner. It’s not how they run. Oh of course, there’s always some guy; some guy ready to tell the world that unless they run exactly like he does then you can’t call yourself a runner. But you, I and the rest of the world knows that this is bullshit and the guy is just an arsehole.
No, what makes people a runner is that they run regularly. They go for runs. By the same principle if you write, you’re a writer, and whether you are a pantser or a plotter, whether you find NaNoWriMo works for you or not, doesn’t enter into it.
So if you’re worried that you want to NaNoWriMo but think that if you do, it’ll somehow ruin your career, you can slap that shit right out of you now. Likewise, you’re under no obligation to do it. Doesn’t make you any more or less a writer as long as you get the work done.
For my part this year, I’d hoped to start Thunder of Crows but I’m feeling that I’m behind on Thieving King (this book is HUGE and despite a lot of hard work I feel like I’ve made no progress). I need to really push on with it. So for my NaNoWriMo I’m just hoping to get more of it done. Is it cheating? Actually no, but I couldn’t care whether it was or not.
New Article At Fantasy-Faction On Scapple
So this month over at Fantasy-Faction I’m taking a look at the companion product to Scrivener – the mind-mapping programme called Scapple. If you’ve ever wondered what mind-mapping is and how it could possibly help you or have looked at Scapple and wondered what it does, be sure to check out the article.