What does John Lennon know anyway…

 In Advice on Writing, Current Projects

So we’ve had Christmas and, as Irish radio plays rather a lot of Christmas music, more than once I heard John ask, “And what have you done?”

(He isn’t smarmy about that at all, is he?)

Well, John, firstly I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. This is because I’m aware of behavioural economics and know that most people crash their resolutions about 17 days into them. I’m a long term planner: five years is the go for me. What can be done in one year is usually over-estimated; what can be done in five, however, is quite extraordinary if you’ve mapped it out beforehand.

So the Five Year Plan is about launching a writing career, and also building a local business with the husband. On the former, I now have two books I’ve written that are at a publishable standard. (Based not on hubris but on third-party feedback, namely published authors.) I’ve a third book that is NAGGING at me. Nagging, I tell you. But I spent the holiday break writing a short story because holidays are supposed to be about family time not me locked in my new-and-awesome library-office making up people in my head.

Anyway, so working back from the Five Years, I am now registered in Ireland as an “artist”. I have applied for a Grant, as “artists” are expected to do. I’ve also joined the Romance Writers of America because they provide an extra level of support to emerging writers that I now need at this point. I also popped over to London to find out about the UK romance writing scene, met some terrifically helpful and lovely people, and came back 24-hours later so ill it took me six weeks to recover.

The other big tick for January has been to sign up to Peter Ball’s Blog where he has a Sunday Circle of individuals positing their tasks for the week ahead. I’ve done this because having an external impetus is vital when you’re writing in a fairly isolated situation, as I am. This is also why I’m heading over to the Irish Writers’ Centre tomorrow to talk to other writers in person, rather than just over Twitter.

After that, it’ll be another month over and time to get words down on paper in between playing fun games with spreadsheets, banks, business plans, and local government agencies.

And, omg, I’ll be hitting a major age milestone, too, and so the Fear of 40 must be Faced.


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