To write, write, write. I want to make creating new words my priority during 2014. I have plans to write three novels and two novellas and I reckon if I commit to 6,000 words per week for 48 weeks of the year – allowing for some holidays when I’m banned from taking Gummidge my laptop with me, that’s 288,000 words, excluding blogging. Let’s see how I get on with that stretch target – on ice. My goal is to write, prepare for submitting and submit these five stories, my Nanowrimo novel and And Then That Happened, during 2014. I realise it’s a big goal, but I’ve been polishing my ice skates and practicing my pirouettes during 2013, so want to give this a try in 2014.
This year I have written 414,535 words of stories, and another 47, 950 in blogs (which I still count as writing, because it's not exactly dancing about architecture is it? but I think it’s worth separating the two) which gives me a total for 2014 of 475,997. There are a few other small categories which explains the shortfall when you add these two up. I have ranged from 0 words in a week (on holiday, or just not writing) to 34013 words in one week when I was starting to draft Glitzy Gay Saga. It all averages out at about 9153 per week.
This consisted of the following:
- Escaping From Him – contracted with Manifold Press to be published early 2015
- The Wrong Room – as above, to be published a bit later in 2015
- And first drafts – still to be revised, and to get ready by betas of the four below
- Glitzy Gay Saga
- Kev Friends Perfect part 1, 2 and 3 – the last part was my Nanowrimo 2014 novel
- Part of The Other Man – a spinoff story from The Guardian Angel featuring some of the same characters
I will experiment with self publishing, and use Granddad Livings’ account of working as a nursing auxiliary in World War 2 as the first project. I may self publish more stories, but I definitely want to get Granddad’s story out there in 2014.
I sort of did this, and was featured in a local newspaper, and the Imperial War Museum said the record represented exactly the sort of primary source material they looked for.
Separately, but sort of linked to this, 2014 was the year I had a bit of a black period around the anniversary of Dad's death, I lost Tigger, one of our lovely cats, and my wonderful Great Auntie, at 92 years old. I have cleared her house with Mum and we’ve kept the boxes of photos, receipts, receipts, letters, and other things she’d kept since moving into that house in 1945, and I will – eventually – use these sources as the basis of a biography of Great Auntie – Everybody’s Auntie is my working title, and it will include parts about when she worked in service in large houses in the 1940s as well as her work as a school cook, and her later life.
I will be more relaxed with blogging. In 2013 I had a blog schedule, which I completely failed to stick to. I am going to aim to blog weekly, but will be flexible on what I’m blogging about until nearer the time. I have some posts already written to keep me going over the next few weeks. If I don’t have anything to blog about on one week, I will relax and not blog for that week.
I think this has worked better than in 2013 – when I have an idea, I’ve written it, and saved unused blog posts for when I’m up to my neck in drafting and don’t have the energy to blog.
I’ve blogged about various things in 2014 ranging from camp films I’ve seen, books I’ve read and cried at, depression, editing my Nanowrimo novel, a tongue in cheek post about The Great British Gay Off, a more serious post about camp men, I took part in Queer Romance Month, and going to the RNA Conference for the first time.
I will use social media to interact with readers more. I use Twitter in this way, but admit I do need to use facebook in a similar way. This is mainly down to the fact that Twitter is on my phone, and my Liam Livings facebook isn’t.
My Liam Livings facebook is now on my phone. This is a double-edged sword I feel. I have enjoyed interacting more with facebook, but am conscious how much time it can take when I should be writing/cooking/being sociable/reading. I’m trying to do it in 3-4 bursts a day, rather than checking it every ten minutes.
I will continue to attend RNA London Chapter meetings and my local writers group.
This happened, and I went to my first RNA Conference, and I loved it. I’ve made lots of wonderful author friends, who have all been so helpful when I’ve asked them for help. The conference itself was such fun too, of course. I'm now helping fellow published authors, Jean Fullerton and Victoria Robertson to run my local writers group – Waltham Abbey Writers.
I will help plan and attend UK Meet 2014, and attend other relevant events.
This happened and I’m on the organising committee with Charlie Cochrane, Elin Gregory, Clare London, JL Merrow and Cathy Laird to organise the 2015 UK Meet – which sold out of tickets with almost 12 months until it happens. I’m very pleased to be part of this wonderful event, which I think combines the best of British, GLBTQ fiction, authors, bloggers and readers in a friendly, professional event.
My books published in 2014 - all on my book shelves with reviews and covers
- Best Friends Perfect book 1
- Best Friends Perfect book 2
- Bedtime Stories anthology – my story Frangipani Kisses
- And Then That Happened
Books to be published in 2015 all on my book shelves with samples
- The Guardian Angel - from Love Lane Books
- Best Friends Perfect book 3 – from Wilde City Press
- Escaping From Him – February from Manifold Press
- The Wrong Room – from Manifold Press
And what are my plans for 2015, I hear you ask? Well, I’m still working out what’s on the rota to be written, what needs editing and submitting, and what other writerly things I want to do. But I’ll work out some goals later in January, so they can keep me on track for 2015. Reading through this, I seem to have *an awful lot* of self-editing to do, since I went a bit bonkers with drafting in 2014!
Well, that’s me for my 2014. Do you have any goals, writing or otherwise for 2014, or do you prefer to be more flexible in your approach? Have you set yourself goals which had all fallen by the wayside by February? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Liam Livings xxx