I’ve not blogged as an author before, so I’ve not done a year-end round-up before. Now here I am, rounding up a year of many things I’ve done this year that I’ve never done before.
I’ve been writing seriously (writing with sincerity anyway) for the last 10 years. Its been a largely introverted pursuit. I shared little nuggets with friends and family, and they indulged me from time to time. Last year I started this website, sharing illustrated poems in the hope of building up a following from which to self-publish a novel that’s approaching completion in logarithmic fashion.
The illustrated poems fizzled out this year as I diverted my attention to the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer’s Circle. This was my first experience actually meeting and learning from other writers and its been more valuable than I could ever have imagined.
To summarise what I’ve learned, both in terms of writing skills and associated trying-to-get-published skills, would be a blog post or series of blog posts in itself. Maybe another time.
Whatever I have learned, it resulted in my first paid publication, forthcoming at Daily Science Fiction. A smugly short piece at 400 words. After a several month battery of rejection emails, I felt pretty euphoric when I read that acceptance. I’ve had the contract through and now looking forward to my first bitesize experience of the editorial process.
Another highlight was throwing my novel (new working title – You She Me) into the GSFWC circle pit. I did so half hoping to have it returned to me with a sad smile and an apologetic “There’s nothing we can do…”, I suppose as a shortcut to ridding myself of a burden I’ve bearing for over 10 years now. Instead, I got some tough truths to chew on, buttered up in generous compliment sandwiches of course, and now I can see a clear path forward to making it a better book. Should also lop another few thousand words off the total which will be a welcome side effect.
As I go in to 2018, I’m polishing off a few other short stories into their finalFinalFINAL forms, so I can keep batting submissions back and forth to different magazines, while I get to work on the hopefully final (Final? FINAL?) draft of my novel.