How Far Should We Go to Support Writers We Know?

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I’m a writer so it probably won’t come as any great shock that I know other writers. People I’ve studied with, people I’ve worked with, people I’ve been published with, people I’ve been shortlisted for awards with. Some of these people I know better than others. Some I know only a little. But at some point in the past, our paths crossed.

Whenever these writers I know release a new book, I’m the first in line at a bricks-and-mortar book store to buy a paperback if they’re being physically published or online if they’re only being released as an ebook. Sometimes I’ll buy more than one copy and give them to other people I know. I always read them and I always review them honestly (I’m probably very lucky that none of the writers I know have ever written a terrible book so I haven’t been faced with a difficult decision in that respect.) Continue reading

A Few Numbers on the Occasion of My 500th Blog Post

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This piece of writing represents the 500th time I’ve posted on my blog since I began it in February 2015. Coincidentally, I recently realised there was a bunch of statistical information that I’d never really looked at before. I mean, whenever I logged in, I would see the daily numbers of how many people were looking, at what and from where. But I’d never thought about the bigger picture.

These numbers are by no means impressive. I’m a very small fish in a very large pond. But considering before I had this blog that almost nobody was reading anything I wrote, they seem massive to me. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week Four

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Day 22: 2,174
Day 23: 0
Day 24: 0
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 0
Day 27: 0
Day 28: 0
Day 29: 0
Day 30: 254
Day 31: 0
Total: 17,021

Day 22, another Sunday, another of those one day of the week days that I have to myself. It took a little while to get into the writing. I started one blog post but it hadn’t had enough time rolling around in my brain. I wrote two other blog posts instead. I went online, added and scheduled all the blog posts I’d been writing onto my blog and then wiped clean my whiteboard, which was full of all the blog posts that would be appearing in the second half of 2018, the things I’ve been writing during this Project October. I find it very motivating to have a whiteboard full of dates showing when blog posts still need to be written for. So now it shows the first half of 2019 just waiting to be scheduled. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked to but sometimes you just can’t avoid having to do other stuff. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week Three

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Day 15: 0
Day 16: 1,412
Day 17: 0
Day 18: 0
Day 19: 184
Day 20: 0
Day 21: 0
Total: 14,593

Day 15 was a Sunday, traditionally a good writing day, except it was also football day, so I headed to my grandfather’s and watched the game with him. I had good intentions of coming home early and writing into the night but it just didn’t happen. I’ve never done a Project October of blog posts before and I usually have longer to come up with ideas and let them roll around in my mind. Because I’ve written thirteen pieces, I’ve steamrollered through the ideas I’ve had and I feel like I’m down to the dregs. I need some more ideas. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week Two

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Day 8: 0
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 0
Day 11: 1,198
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 3,860
Total: 12,997

Finding the time and the motivation to write this week seemed harder than last week, although in retrospect it shouldn’t have been. I’m brimming with ideas, more than I can turn into blog posts without coming up with new ideas. The writing just didn’t flow like it did in week one. Continue reading

Project October 2018: Week One

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Day 1: 2,723
Day 2: 0
Day 3: 0
Day 4: 1,151
Day 5: 0
Day 6: 0
Day 7: 4,065
Total: 7,939

Last year, I set out to do a Project October intensive writing month (31,000 words in 31 days) and ended up writing a grand total of zero words (you can read all about it here, here, here and here) due to a variety of circumstances. Almost immediately after that, I went back to a full-time, non-writing job that has ever since taken up an awful lot of my time, more than I ever planned for it to. And even though I’ve written a little bit here and a little bit there, compared to the three years I spent writing full-time, I feel like I’ve written virtually nothing.

As I approached the half way mark of2018, I decided it was time for another Project October. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to work on any of my fiction. I was still trying to finalise and publish my latest novel, Black Spot, and while I wanted to be writing, I didn’t want my focus pulled away from getting that book out there. Plus, I was running out of blog posts rapidly. So I decided to aim for 31 blog posts in 31 days. Not only would that fill out my blog post schedule for the next seven months, it would be a significant contribution towards finishing Project June, the third book in my series of non-fiction about the writing, editing, publishing and marketing process (since Project December, Project January and Project June are all collections of my blog posts). Continue reading

Writing Is What Happens While You’re Busy Missing Deadlines

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About eighteen months ago, I published my most recent book, Project January: A Sequel About Writing. But I’d actually planned to publish it about four months earlier. Yet as the deadline I’d set for myself arrived, the book still wasn’t finished. I still have the publishing plans for it and my next four books written on one of my whiteboards:

*Project January: A Sequel About Writing – November 2016
*Black Spot – November 2017
*Trine – November 2018
*Project February: A Trilogy About Writing – November 2019
*Matriarchy – November 2020

I eventually finished and published Project January in March 2017 and you can read about how I did that in my post on how to psych yourself into writing a book. But because it was four months late (or at least four months later than I’d planned to publish), suddenly my subsequent publishing plans were also thrown out. (Obviously I like the idea of publishing roughly one book a year.) Continue reading