Weighing it up: the 3-month writing review

Way back in August I posted a blog on how I’d measured progress against my writing goals over the last three months.    Well, it’s November (how did that happen?) and I guess it’s time to have another look.

What’s changed? Plenty, as it turns out.

My goals changed. Instead of worrying about numbers of stories written overall, I thought about practising writing to different lengths – so many flash, so many between 1000-1500 words, and a couple of longer ones.  I also looked at placing some of the stories I’d written.

In addition, I wanted to write some non-fiction – so a number of blog posts for here, some for work, and perhaps some other non-fiction, and to continue connecting with other writers and readers on social media.

Another aim was to try out a program called Scrivener, which I’d heard described in glowing terms, and see if it worked for me. And I also wanted to get into some sort of writing routine which worked for me and for the family.

Did I achieve all of this? Of course not!

Here are the stats:

  • I completed 24 stories: 21 flash, one just under 1000 words, two between 1000-1500, none over that length (ha!)
  • I placed 6 stories which I’d written specifically for a website or ebook opportunity, and I also found homes for 5 stories which I’d originally written on spec, or with no particular place in mind
  • I wrote two non-fiction blog posts for work, and nine blog posts here, but sadly no other non-fiction
  • I surpassed the target I’d set myself for new writing-related Twitter contacts
  • I trialled Scrivener, and found that it is brilliant, and definitely works for me
  • As for the writing routine…well, it involves early starts at the weekend, and shoehorning writing in wherever it will go. But my 8-year old has said that he wants to do Flash!Friday – watch out world!

That’s how I did on the stuff I planned. But what else happened?

Lots!

  • While I completed 24 stories, there was one that I couldn’t finish to my liking. I wrote it in a burst, and it was well above the required word limit, and had more holes than a Swiss cheese. So I settled down to edit it. I identified the main problems, and I fixed them. By then it was a better story, but also 400 words longer than when I started; and my edits had  opened up further cans of worms. To cut a long story short, this turned out to be the hot potato I wrote about in another blog; the bigger project, the one I needed Scrivener for. As of this morning, it’s 22,000 words long, and yes, it’s still cooking away
  • I managed to earn some money. I submitted some bits and pieces to a publication and to my utter amazement, they accepted them. And they’ve paid me in advance of publication
  • One of my flash stories is available in an ebook from Amazon (I mean – !!!)
  • I attended my first writers’ conference (and was thoroughly tongue-tied when people asked me what I wrote)
  • I went to my first writing group, and read out my work for the first time, and didn’t faint, or die. Indeed, in parts I almost enjoyed it
  • I’ve become a FlashDog – one of a collective of flash fictioneers who can be found leaping all over the web creating stories. To learn more, visit the blog or @FlashDogs on Twitter

So what now? More of the same, I guess. Over the next few months I’ll be aiming to finish off that spud, and then it’s editing. I have a herd of ideas queueing up to be next. There are always more flash contests to try, more stories to write, more writers to meet…

I wonder what will have happened by February? There’s only one way to find out…see you here in three months!


The image above is Scales of Justice by Clyde Robinson and is shared by permission of Creative Commons license 2.0 

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