Hello! This is a rare post in which I update you on my writing projects instead of leaving said projects to speak for themselves… normal service will resume shortly.
Firstly, I wanted to let you know I have shared 100 posts on WordPress as of this week, and I’m quote proud of that of little milestone. I am truly overwhelmed by the support and positive feedback I’ve been getting on here, and I’d like to thank each of you who has taken the time to read, like and comment on this blog. I would especially like to thank Paul at Two Voices In One Transmission, The Modern Leper, and Jac Forsyth for their continued encouragement – without you guys I doubt I’d have the confidence that my particular brand of strange is appealing enough to pursue. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their blogs I highly recommend all three of them, they are very talented writers indeed. Please remember that constructive criticism is also welcomed on my fiction, because I am always striving to improve.
I also wanted to tell you that I now have a Facebook page, so please pay me a visit over there if you have an account. I plan to post links to my fiction, interesting articles I come across over the course of my research, and highlight other authors I think are worthy of recognition. I will also use it to share my creative progress. I am on Twitter too, if that’s more your thing.
Unfortunately I have stalled on progress with my novel over the last few weeks. It is sitting there at 37,000 words, which I expect is around half of the finished length. The truth is there has been something niggling at me about my plot, something that isn’t quote working. There’s a little voice on the periphery of my thoughts though, and if I can quieten the noise of the monkey mind I can hear it’s suggestions. It is leading me in a slightly different direction, which does feel better though it will involve a fair amount of reworking what I’ve already done. Hey, writing a quality novel was never going to be quick and easy.
I believe another factor contributing to my slow progress has been reading every little piece of writing advice out there, and that’s a lot. Much of it is written by people who believe there is a right and wrong way to write a book, and the advice is often conflicting. I have also been part of online groups full of people who are not particularly motivated themselves and have a negative attitude. This can be toxic when trying to keep yourself on task. As such I am being more selective with my advice intake now, and listening to plenty of interviews with authors I admire and the stories of people who have actually achieved what I am aiming for.
I have also been researching how to become an indie author as opposed to simply self-publishing. It appeals to me to maintain creative control and own all of my own intellectual property, and I would love to publish several books and not just a one off personal goal. This has been a great motivational exercise for me, and I’m feeling a whole lot more positive about things than I was a couple of weeks ago. I will complete this novel, and I will publish it! If you are interested in doing the same, I recommend the Creative Penn podcasts: Joanna is very lively and encouraging, and interviews some very knowledgable people in the industry.
Lastly, I have been asked by a few people if I’ve thought about releasing my flash fiction in an anthology, or if I’ll be reprinting my handmade zines. The answer at the moment is, I’m undecided about it. I always wanted the first thing I published ‘properly’ to be a novel. I also always wanted the flash fiction to be freely available as it is now on the blog, and releasing a copy you’d have to pay for seems a bit contra to that. I may look into producing a quality full colour book with the illustrations and stories in rather than a straight forward anthology if that’s something people would be interested in.
I can’t see me stopping writing the flash fiction regardless of whether I am successful in becoming a novelist, because I love writing it. It’s a great way to express those ideas that don’t necessarily need a full cast of characters and setting, and it enables me to see finished pieces on a regular basis. It’s also been very useful in discovering what my style is, and understanding what I want to write about. What genre I would be classed as I’ve still no idea, but I never was fond of being put into boxes.
Anyway, before my ego gets out of control, I’ll stop talking about me and get back to writing fiction. Thank you again for your support, it means a lot.