January 2017 New Year blog

To resolute or not?

I am usually great at making New Year Resolutions. I like targets, with dates, to get me going and keep me on track. I like challenging myself (like NaNoWriMo – just the once!) and celebrating when the challenge is met.new-years-resolution-clip.png          This year? I’m not so sure. Daily, weekly and monthly writing targets I can cope with – achieving some, falling a bit short once in a while when Life gets in the way. But bigger, long-term targets I’m finding harder, especially when they involve co-operation and involvement from others.          For example, I’ve been trying to get an agent for my historical novel for the past two years.

  • How long do I carry on?
  • Do I do more editing on it?
  • Do I change the first chapter yet again?
  • Do I find yet another title?
  • Do I scroll through the Writers and Artists Yearbook again?
  • Do I carry on writing the sequel?

    Friends who have read the book say they are really looking forward to another – they want to know what happens to the characters they met and loved in the first book.

There are options, of course. I can remind myself that 16 literary agencies and 12 publishers rejected John Grisham’s A Time to Kill before a small publishing house took it on; that J K Rowling was turned down by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury signed her and that Agatha Christie spent five years trying to find a publisher.          Then there’s self-publishing. The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold more than 45 million. I’ve started looking at the multitude of companies out there offering all sorts of help for all sorts of prices. I’ve seen and read many self-published books, some as good as any from a ‘big’ publisher, others that could at least have been spell-checked at the very least before being let loose on the public.          Whichever path I choose, I know it will involve a lot of time, effort and probably money. So my first resolution is to take a little more time before deciding on my major 2017 writing objectives! I’ll still set myself a deadline – the end of February. Until then, I shall carry on with daily writing, monthly blogging, my creative writing classes and my hobbies of painting, perfume and jewellery making. 2017 is certainly going to be busy!          But there’s one thing to do before setting new resolutions and that’s to take stock of what you achieved, writing-wise, in 2016. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What were your writing successes of the year? Don’t discount any achievement, however small. Entries into competitions (whatever the results); completing tasks set by local writing groups or classes; researching a new topic for a novel; trying a different genre; editing old stories; tidying your filing cabinet; starting a picture box. Make a list and see just what you DID achieve in 2016.
  • What were the biggest challenges to your writing during the year? Life will probably have got in the way at some point. But not finishing a project or getting stuck half-way through are problems that can be faced and solved in the New Year.

    So, start with your successes of 2016 and then you might get some ideas of resolutions for 2017. If you’d like to share them, please do – then we can encourage and motivate each other.

All the very best for 2017 and Happy Writing.Linda

A New Year and a New Page!

One of my writing friends suggested that she and fellow-writers might like to have a place to go to ask writing-related questions. Naturally these cannot be too specific to one person’s work but what one writer might be puzzling over, might well apply to others. So I’ve set up a new page and hope you’ll get in touch when you have a query. I’ve started with a few ideas about punctuation that several people have mentioned to me. Click here

I look forward to hearing from you.

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