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2014: The Writing Year Ahead

6 January, 2014

In my last couple of posts, I looked back at the (limited) progress of my writing in 2013, and at the best books I read last year. Now, not surprisingly, I want to talk about my plans for the year ahead. I’m always wary of setting concrete goals and the dreaded ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are right out, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some idea of what I want to accomplish this year.

2013 turned into a pretty dreadful year, as far as writing was concerned. My life was extraordinarily full and busy, which meant that writing got rather pushed aside. It might come as no surprise, then, that I’m determined for the same not to happen this year. I have so many finished stories, and an apparently endless list of projects still to start, that I don’t think I’ll maintain my sanity if I don’t find a reasonable amount of writing time in 2014.

So, what’s the plan? Firstly, 2014 is the year I want to delve into self-publishing. I have both a planned series of fantasy novellas (the first being nearly complete) and a completed YA novel which I’m just not sure are saleable in the traditional publishing world; the novellas are too long for any but the most forgiving of short fiction markets, whilst I went to great lengths to extend the word count of the novel – only to realise I’d actually written a YA, and just made it at least 20k words too long. Self-publishing, therefore, seems like my only option, and it’s one I’m looking forward to. I have no real expectations when it comes to sales numbers – this is simply going to be an experiment, which will either be successful, or not.

When it comes to other writing projects, there’s a stupidly long list. I’m torn between working on a YA urban fantasy or a choice of two adult epic fantasies (one begun a couple of years ago, which has promise but is in need of a drastic overhaul; the other completely new, and ideally the first of a duology). Then there’s no less than three romances (one SF, one fantasy, one contemporary) which I’d planned to send to e-publishers, and which need, variously, editing, finishing and starting. And if I work on any of the above, that means ignoring the contemporary fantasy/magical realism novel that’s been haunting me for a good year, and the Da Vinci Code-style archaeological thriller I’ve been planning, and the…

Okay, you get the idea. I have more ideas and more half-finished novels than you can shake a stick at, and I genuinely don’t know which I want to work on next. Should either my last finished novel sell, or my self-published efforts take off, the decision may be made for me in a completely different direction – but as either remains only a slim hope, I have to keep my options open. (And what options! There is so much in that list that I desperately want to write.)

Overall then, I have every confidence that my writing year ahead is going to be a full one. I hope yours is the same!

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