Aims, goals for 2020

Most of the work in 2020 will be on my #VisionFor2020, #PublishingTwelveBooksAYear. There’s plenty about this elsewhere on the blog. Here’s where I am currently

In addition, I shall be redesigning the paperback cover for DECEIT. I wasn’t happy with the Amazon Cover creator version I used. It looks cheap.
And here it is – done!

I may begin writing a “How I Published Twelve Books In A Year” book. I have the outline roughly sketched.
I also want to write a “How To Rescue Your Manuscript”, showing how I took old, unworkable manuscripts and made them publishable.

To continue as before, with work on the online courses for

I shall continue to write blog posts which support the publishing schedule for my #VisionFor2020.


  • Continue with the vlog for updates on my VisionFor2020 #PublishTwelveNovelsAYear
  • And we do need to get on with “Two Writers – One Sofa” in the New Year, with my partner
  • And I have changed my mind on the humourous vlog, because there was a danger it could become uncomplimentary and upset some writers. So I shall be starting a “First Pages Review”, looking at what works, and what doesn’t, in the first few pages of novels. I’ve had one ‘try out’ recording, changed a few things, got a shooting script for the first episode, so I’m ready to record early in the new year.

Writing Retreat!

Oh my! It’s that time of year again – the time when I and the members of my writing group cast aside the shackles of normal life with its responsibilities and tedium, and head off for our writing retreat.

We spend the best part of four days together, writing, chatting, talking about writing, planning our writing, and generally relaxing in the luxurious surroundings of our own (temporary) manor house in the country!


Jumping into 2019

I’m splitting my look forward to 2019 into two parts: my own writing, and my writing-related business plans.

In terms of writing in the near future, I’m participating in the 100kwords100days challenge again, and the project for that has the title “Meltdown”. It’s a thriller. It’s something I wrote (badly) a few years ago, but I’ve now restructured it, and I’m going to rewrite it, hopefully better than I wrote it originally. It currently stands at 47k bad words, but with the new structure in place, I’m expecting it to become well over 60k of hopefully better words during the first month or two of 2019.

In November last year, for NaNoWriMo, I rewrote another novel I’d part-written which was called Deceit (although the title changed several times during the process, and used to be called Circles of Corruption). This was another thriller, showing political corruption surrounding the UK activities in Syria. I’m pleased with how it turned out, and that’s now ready for a first edit before sending out to beta readers.

Short fiction-wise, I STILL have the dark Christmas collection that I collated a year or two ago, that needs a serious editing session, but that will be later this year (again). Also, I have the beginnings of a collection of 500-word stories, which I might publish later this year.

Non-fiction wise, I have an outline plan for a non-fiction book which describes my outlining and plotting method. That’s a bit meta, I know, planning a planning book, but there you go. I think the method works for me, and hopefully might be insightful for others. Look out for something which may, or may not, be called Save The SnowCat.

Away from writing, there are two writing-related businesses I’m involved with.
The first is Writer.Support which aims to support writers (geddit?) for all levels of ability. As mentioned in the 2018 roundup, I help writers from beginning writing, short fiction, memoir; through to editing, self-publishing and ghost writing; and beyond into marketing and promotion.
The second business is The Novel Makers which is an expansion of the work I and two colleagues have been undertaking with our wonderful critique group, Frinton Writers. The three of us will focus on helping novel writers from the initial steps, through completion and into and beyond the first draft status. Our ethos is to turn writers into authors. The business will help through manuscript appraisals, online courses, one-to-one mentoring, and eventually workshops and writing retreats.

In addition to all that, there are some ‘ideas’ which may or may not come to fruition during the year”

  • Vlogs – I have ideas for three entertaining (hopefully) writing-related vlogs (video blogs), which will comprise edited videos published to YouTube.
  • Publish Literary Roadhouse reviews on website – I have been a co-host of a Literary Fiction podcast for several years now I aim to publish my reviews of both literary short stories and novels on my own writing website. Because I can.
  • Proper blog schedule – yes, a recurring dream this. A proper blogging schedule with subjects planned in advance. Dream on, Gerald.
  • Local and online book clubs – as authors, we should be reading widely from both within and outside our favoured writing genres. So I hope to form at least one reading group during the year to encourage reading and discussion of general fiction.

Phew! A pretty big list, eh? Aim for the stars, and you might hit the moon, and all that.
Let me know what your aims and goals are for the current year. Because without a destination to aim for, we are wandering aimlessly.


Look ahead to 2018

As I’ve explained before, I don’t do resolutions. There’s just something about stating a specific goal, which then becomes a binary success indicator – you either ‘win’, or you ‘lose’. Or else they become wishy-washy, “I resolve to not eat so much junk food” type resolutions.
No. I’m a goal person. It’s good to have goals in life, especially when you want to achieve something.
And what do I want to achieve? I want to publish more of my writing. 2018 is *that* year, when I’m going to publish some of my long-form fiction (i.e. novels).
For those that don’t know me, I’ve been writing ‘seriously’ since 2003. I’ve written a lot of short fiction, and I’ve written a lot of long fiction, too. And there it’s stayed – unfinished, unedited, unloved. And over the past few years, I’ve been getting more and more dissatisfied with this situation. Part of me thinks “what’s the point in creating new stories, working hard on the plots and the characters, for it just to end up as hard disk filler-upper?” There’s no point writing the beginning of new stories, adding to my glut of part-finished works.
So, 2018 is The Year Of Publishing Dangerously.
Basically, I want to publish at least 4 novels this year. I want to publish two collections of short fiction this year, too.
These are not pie-in-the-sky dreams. I’m not coming from a blank sheet of paper here. I have seven completed novel-length works, and several more which are close to being completed.
I’m working on completing a political conspiracy thriller for the first book to be published. Then there are crime stories, and more political conspiracies, and pre-apocalyptic thrillers. There’s a ton of stuff which could be completed, edited and published. Which ones are close enough to make the cut, I don’t actually know yet. But they’re going to be sent out there, into the big wide world, so I can move on with other, new stories I want to write.
And who knows, someone might even like them. We’re not going to know until they’re released into the wild.
And that’s what is going to happen.
Wish me luck, people.