The Writing Life: Maintaining Focus, New Goals

It has been over a month since The Thief and The Demon’s release. A month to reflect on how much work has been done, and realize how much more remains to be done.

There is a lot to learn and to do online, social media can be an absorbing maze with a lot of new rules, and I’ve many more platforms to explore!

The main thing I have resolved to do is keep a steady pace. Walk, not run. Writing as a career is a distance event, not a sprint. So I’ll keep chipping away on social media where I can, when I can, and expand my presence and contributions as I grow more familiar and comfortable with the platforms I currently use.

I have read very good, if daunting, advice from Hugh Howey over the last day or so. I read part four first, then part one and parts of part three. What can I say, I’m a pick and choose kind of guy. It was inspiring in an “Oh my god that is a ton of work you are talking about there! Write a draft, twelve revision passes plus possible rewrites and look to get two books out a year? Is that even remotely possible??” kind of way. It is what it is, and I got a lot out of his hard earned insights, including the conviction that while I may not match his level of production, I intend to give it a solid shot.

The core advice is to keep writing, and I’m already there. Write, work to get better. That is my primary goal. I have started the first draft of my next novel, The Killer and The Dead. It is set in Aranvail, in the World Belt, just as The Thief and The Demon is, and there are some cross-connections, but both are intended to stand alone and be read independently. My goal is to have the one hundred and twenty thousand word draft completed by January 4th 2018. I am over twenty thousand in now. I have just celebrated an anniversary, because life does come first, (even before writing!), but upon my return home (via a couple of flights during which I shall be working) a new regimen begins, one in which I have no time to lose. NaNoWriMo began for many people ten days ago, it starts for me on 11/11/17, so I have some catching up to do!

I’m excited to be writing new material. In going first person narrative I’m trying something new, and I’m enjoying the challenge. My focus will be on the writing, but I shall find the time to keep experimenting with advertising campaigns, writing these blogs, staying in touch with old friends and new, and reaching out for more reviews of The Thief and The Demon. I’m toying with the idea of doing a narration for Audible. Or perhaps podcasts are in my future! More to learn. The business of writing rolls on, even when you are celebrating life events. It can seem like there are a thousand things to do, but it is useful to remember one thing: keep writing. Everything else can fall into place around that, rather than allowing everything else to get in the way of the thing writers should want to do first and last and always, which is write. It is very easy, judging from my own experience, to lose track of writing amongst all the other stuff, but I’m trying to hold onto that focus. So now I’ve shared my goals with you as a means to maintain that focus, because now I have to follow through!

Good luck to all writers participating in NaNoWriMo!!

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