Saturday, 15 February 2014

Setting out my path for 2014

It's that time again.

That time when I take out my (rather dirty and dusty) crystal ball and try to peer into the future to see what 2014 holds for me. It's time to figure out exactly what I want to get done, and what goals I need to set for myself.

Last year was a pretty good year as far as achieving goals went. I didn't manage to get Scrawling out on time, but one month late isn't too bad. But I did get my detective novel through two rewrites, which meant that was a big tick. And on top of that, I got a couple of bonuses by signing two publishing contracts. So all in all, a definite win year.

So now I need to see how I can continue that momentum.

The first thing I can say for sure is there won't be a new Neville story. After putting out three, and two of them in the last two years, I think Neville is definitely ready for a rest. And given the bizarre stuff he tends to get involved with, I'm sure he'll be grateful.

Here then is my planned list of goals for the year:
  1. Obviously get both of the books through publishers out and on the shelves. Thomas and the Tiger Turtle will be out in May. Still don't have a (re-)release date for Magnus Opum yet but hopefully it's not far away.
  2. Keep working on the detective story. I'd really like to have it edited and in publish-ready shape by the end of the year.
  3. I think I'd like to go back to my other novel in progress - it's kind of a MG/YA fantasy story, but as usual with me it's quite hard to pigeon-hole. I completed a first draft in 2012 and hopefully will get a chance to redraft it substantially. I'd like to see it in the same state by the end of this year as the detective story is now - and believe me it needs a lot of work.
  4. Would love to see if I can get another picture book out there. Will dip into my file to see what either of the publishers might be interested in. I might see if I can write another one or two.
  5. I have this idea for a time travel dinosaur story. It could work as a kind of companion peace for Flidderbugs. Not sure if I'll have time to get onto this but it would be good to at least make a start.
So that's my list. Hopefully I'm not taking too much on. Life has a habit of setting its own agendas, and my crystal ball is pretty murky, so we'll see how we go.
Wish me luck. 


  1. I think one of the most depressing things about the Internet is that you get to meet all these people who are so active and involved in their writing. For me anyway. I know I should be encouraged but oddly enough it has the opposite effect; it saps what little stamina I have. Of course I’m genuinely pleased that you’re busy and having some success but I’m also jealous because I’m going through such a quiet spell at the moment. Last year’s novella was a pleasant and unexpected surprise but since then nothing bar a handful of poems and only one in 2014. It’s a damn good poem even if I have to say so myself—actually my wife also says that—but still, one poem. I have scraps lying all over the place but my head’s in a very bad place right now. I have an appointment to see the Glasgow Memory Clinic next month. Maybe they’ll be able to shed some light on what’s going on with my brain but at the moment I’m struggling to keep up with my book reviewing. I had planned to start editing The More Things Change in January but the disappointing (i.e. non-existent) sales of Making Sense have got to me I’m afraid so maybe it’ll have to be a poetry collection later in the year which also won’t sell. So take advantage of, as you say, the momentum you’ve got going. You’ve no idea how long it will last. Of course I wish you a long, healthy and productive life but there’s a lot to be said for seizing the day. Still, things could be worse. I could live in New York or Somerset.

  2. Listen, all any of us can do is ride whatever Dragon stops near enough for us to fling our tiny selves on its back or ankle bone and hang on shouting to ourselves "it's okay, we'll be okay! !!! Jacque D'Amboise once said "does anyone know what time the next Swan goes by? " Same with dragons. Unscheduled bastards.