Sunday 31 December 2023

Writing Round-up and a Look ahead to 2024

2023 was a busy year writing-wise because I rewrote my first romcom in 1st person and relaunched it under a new title, Trust Me, I'm a Liar, then got to straight to work on book 2. 

While this was going on, I was also working full-time and doing a part-time degree in Creative Writing. This is a fast-track degree, so it's a lot of work and there's no time off during the summer. Year 1 was a breeze and a lot of fun. Year 2 stepped it up a notch and then in September, I started my third and final year, which made writing Trust Me, I'm an Artist a big challenge to fit in. 

But, I did it. Yesterday, I uploaded the final manuscript to Amazon. This is the first book I've put up for pre-order, so it doesn't actually go live until the 5th of January 2024. I thought putting it up for pre-order might spur me along into finishing it, which worked a treat. Who doesn't love a bit of totally unnecessary pressure? 

Looking ahead to 2024, I've got a bit of a choice. I quite like the idea of continuing the Trust Me... series, but don't really know where to take it next. Usually, all it takes is a bit of downtime and a long walk. 

As for the series and sales and such, it's been a bit tricky to get the ball rolling. And so, having come to the conclusion that I know next to nothing about how to market and promote a business successfully, I have applied to Mark Dawson's SPF Foundation, which sponsors indie authors by giving them access to the two flagship SPF courses - LauchPad and Ads For Authors, plus a whole load of credit to spend on Reedsy services, such as professional covers and editorial services. 

2024 is also the year I'll graduate with my first degree. Creative Writing with Falmouth University is amazing. When I was first looking for something like this, all of the other courses that were called Creative Writing were really just a pick 'n' mix of humanities modules with only one or two relevant to what I was interested in. The Falmouth Course is designed with creativity at the heart. Modules covered so far have involved genre writing (from horror to romance and sci-fi), writing for the stage, for TV and cinema, video games, blogs, creative non-fiction, stand-up comedy and performance poetry. It is so incredibly involved that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing for my final piece. The final piece (called The Masterpiece) is 8,000 words of creative writing with a 2,000 word supporting essay. This starts at the end of May with a hand-in date at the end of August - so that's my summer sorted out! 

Other things on the horizon are the same things I struggle with every year. Should I blog more? Should I write under a new name? Should I start a newsletter when I barely have time to look at Facebook?

Usually, those things always come down to the same solution. The best thing I can do as a writer is to write another book.

So I guess it's time to take the dog for a long walk. 

Happy New Year!

Friday 17 November 2023

Bladdy Stoodents

I'm a student! Bloody hell!

The Young Ones. Image c/o BBC
I've been toying with the idea of doing a degree in Creative Writing for years, but it would have to be distance learning and the ones that were available didn't really grab my interest. The Open University, for example, is a mish mash of modules from their humanities box with only a couple of modules dedicated to Creative Writing. What I was after was something more like a Fine Art degree, but in writing, something focused on personal development rather than simply studying others.

In the summer, I found it.

The degree is with Falmouth University and fits my wish list like a glove. It's more like a Fine Art degree in it seems to be all about personal development and practical tasks to help you become a better writer, and not just for novel writing. It covers everything from identity and society to creative imagery, blog posting and SEO. I barely paused to take breath and applied the same day. 

It's week 5 and so far, it's really delivering. As online courses go, it's very demanding - minimum 27 hours study per week and a LOT of reading, but I've still got time to read for pleasure and write my own stuff, which is also part of the course. Win win!

Writing Round-up and a Look ahead to 2024

2023 was a busy year writing-wise because I rewrote my first romcom in 1st person and relaunched it under a new title, Trust Me, I'm a L...