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Saturday, 1 February 2014

The First Month of 2014

Something of a transitional month for me. Having finally committed to spending more time on writing activities and less on the building of the author platform, I’d also committed to certain activity on Twitter, which lasted until the last week of the month.

Much of my writing time was spent doing the final edit of book 2 of the fantasy trilogy (46 chapters), completing it on the 28th. Book 1, A Seared Sky: Joinings, is due to be published by Fantastic Books Publishing in spring. I then began to edit book 3. This is a much more time consuming exercise as it’s the first edit of the rough draft, much of which was written for the NaNoWriMo project last November. So, where I could edit a chapter of book 2 in around 20-30 minutes, the chapters of book 3 are taking between 3 and 4 hours each and, so far, I’ve done the first 2. I’m doing a structural and language edit together and following that with a full edit using ProWritingAid. I then give each chapter to my wife to read. Valerie has a great memory, and spots repetitions, typos, anachronisms and inconsistencies. She makes the perfect beta reader and I usually have to do only one final edit after she’s made her suggestions.

I’d set myself a target of submitting 4 short pieces, either stories or poems, to magazines of writing contest each month and I managed to send off 2 stories and 2 poems to contests. Of these, 1 story and the 2 poems were written this month. I also wrote and posted two short autobiographical pieces to the excellent ReadWave site. These submissions are up to 800 words each and may be factual, opinion, memoir or short story. If you click on the site title above, it’ll take you to the relevant page.

My writing group, Hornsea Writers, decided to celebrate 25 years of being by designing a group blog and I contributed to that. If you click on the group name, it’ll take you to that site.

I read and reviewed 4 books, though one of those reviews will actually follow this post, as I wrote it this morning, having finished the book last night.

And I updated the Writing Contests page 3 times. I’m due to do another update this weekend. It’s a popular page and receives a lot of visitors. If you know of a contest I haven’t listed there, by all means let me know. (there’s a ‘contact me’ link at the top of the page.) I only list contests with cash prizes at least 20 times the cost of entry, by the way.

So, not a bad start to the year so far. Let’s hope the output increases as the year progresses. How are things going for you in 2014? Drop us a comment and share your success or other news.

The chart, explained:
Writing - initial creation of stories, blog posts, reviews and longer works.
Editing - polishing of all written work to make it suitable for readers.
Research - discovery of info for story content, market research, contests and blog posts.
Reading - books and writing magazines.
Networking - emails, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and comments.

Admin - story submission, blog posting, marketing, organisation, tax, and general admin tasks.
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