End of year assessment

It’s been a rather remarkable year, 2021, in my terms, on my terms, and by my terms. Though I have miles to go before I sleep, I think I might just put a list together of the product ‘wot I wrote’ over this twelve months:

  • This particular ‘writer’s blog’ set up December ’20 — this past week renewed for another year of musings
  • Work begun on Prequel, in an attempt to follow the public advice for self-publishing writers at JerichoWriters.com
  • Completed Prequel, ~85k words circa May, along with the free appetiser ‘Fragments of a Song’
  • Embarked on the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing adventure with Prequel, and another draft (VII) of the main event ‘A Novel‘ publishing eBooks and paperbacks of both novels by July
  • Discovered how hard it is to elicit reviews: 2 by year’s end. Booked a slot with HiddenGemsBooks.com for May ’22 for Sequel.
  • Began work on Sequel, the third volume of the Biome NE47 trilogy –> 25k by end November
  • Published Allendale Diary as an eBook on Amazon circa September
  • Longlisted at AdventuresInFiction.co.uk in early October for my idea of an historical fiction ‘Keep Me in Your Heart’ based on an original Writing Group short story with a WWI embroidered postcard MacGuffin stimulus; –>14k words
  • Short story ‘ekphrastic fiction’ in response to VisualVerse.org November prompt published online
  • Received feedback on my 14k words from AiF; revised the initial ms after historical sleuthing –>17k by mid-December
  • Participated faithfully in weekly Writing Group sessions throughout the three full terms of the year; circa 36 tasks of poetry and prose; collated all my shorter prose and poetry efforts into two eBook collections solely for personal/family purview when it is time
  • Of the poetry collection, some dozen ‘spontaneous’ poems on the theme of the dying and death of my father
  • Submitted some 29 pieces or pitches to various prose and poetry competitions, or The Guardian Lifestyle section, some free, some fee-based, which elicited 1 ‘Honourable Mention’ for a travel-writing piece and 1 poem published in the parish church pew leaflet

Reflecting on this year then, having started off with a vague sense of ambition on the novelistic front, and armed with the sixth draft of Biome NE47: A Novel, I seem to have got somewhere with a pair of tangible novel volumes and a renewed ambition to get better for Sequel. But the most encouragement I received this year was from Adventures in Fiction on my beginnings of Keep Me in Your Heart.

So it’s a good time now to try to look forward and to think about the particular ambitions I have in terms of writing for the year ahead, 2022.

  • January –> April, inclusive, finish Sequel in time to publish as an eBook for paid reviews in the booked slot for HiddenGemsBooks.com and simultaneously try to re-launch the series with professional covers and a new set of titles: Biome NE47: Fragments of a Fugue; Biome NE47: Shrouded Valley; Biome NE47: Daughters of Eden.
  • May –> September/October: develop the first draft of KMiYH and submit for Manuscript Appraisal and Pitch Package Assessment to Adventures in Fiction
  • Continue weekly tasks with Writing Group
  • Continue monthly response to the visual stimulus at VisualVerse.org without worrying about success (the hour-long challenge for 50-500 words of poetry or prose is a good exercise, whether or not the organisers select my pieces)
  • Participate in competitions with much-reduced enthusiasm and dramatically lowered expectations

And that’s where I’m at, as 2021 draws to a close and as I look forward to the New Year..

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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