End of year – 2018

Look back on 2018

This was an interesting year, for sure.
I looked back on my goals for 2018, written around this time last year.
2018 was going to be The Year Of Publishing Dangerously.
I was going to publish at least 4 (count ‘em) novels this last year. I was also going to publish two collections of short fiction, too.
Hmm. That didn’t quite happen.
One of the problems with a huge store of Works-In-Progress is that it’s difficult to decide what you should concentrate on. Which will have the most beneficial effect on my writing career? Which do I want to publish first?
It’s like the donkey in the desert scenario. A sad tale, for those who don’t know, but it describes a donkey walking through a desert, hungry and thirsty. He comes across a bucket of food (whatever it is that donkeys eat) and a bucket of water. He can’t decide whether he’s more hungry than thirsty, or vice versa. He stands in the middle of the two buckets, indecisive, and eventually dies.
Yes, I know it’s a sad tale, and it’s not even true, but there is a dilemma when faced with a decision between choices when all have equal merit.
I went on a writing retreat with my lovely critiquing group (Frinton Writing Group) and presented the multitude of options to them. Having analysed what I’d written, and where I’d reached in the writing, they advised me to concentrate on my crime fiction.
I have two major threads to my novelling – crime (police procedural, with a series main character) and thrillers, mostly concerned with the end of the world as we know it. I call it ‘pre-apocalyptic fiction’.
So I worked on my crime fiction, and I worked on my thrillers. But, alas, none of them are at the ‘publish’ stage yet.
So, I suppose, you could call me a failure. And I’m okay with that.

Away from writing, there have been other developments too.
I am working with two writing friends to set up The Novel Makers http://thenovelmakers.com – a service which will expand upon the work we’ve been doing as part of Frinton Writing Group. We will work with authors writing novels, whether they’re just beginning, whether they’ve begun and are now stuck, or whether they’ve completed their manuscript and are unsure of what to do next. We will be offering online courses, one-to-one mentoring, manuscript appraisals and writing workshops and retreats.
And I personally have set up Writer.Support http://writer.support, a service which begins the work of The Novel Makers, but extends the services sideways, into help with writing short fiction, ghost writing, author websites, and podcasting / vlogging.
Tomorrow, I shall be posting my goals for 2019. Yes. Ever the optimist, me.



  1. Interesting summary Gerald I like the writer support ideas hope they flourish. Am about to publish my 13th book very soon. Best of luck for 2019!


  2. Hi Gerald. I have stumbled into your blog. Very interesting.
    My career was based around goals. May I share some thoughts with you? Well, I’m going to anyway.
    I don’t like the fact that you had goals from last year that you failed to achieve, and that you are ‘okay with that’. You should not be. Otherwise, there is no point in setting goals. All the time and effort that you put into goal setting is a waste of time.
    You need some higher level goals. Maybe you do. Maybe they are not for sharing here because they are too personal. But why are you doing what you are doing? Are you doing this to earn a living? If so, how do you measure that? I’m sure you realise that all goals must be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). So, what are your life goals? Pay off the mortgage? Buy a Harley-Davidson?
    Set yourself a goal – a big one! Then how do all these lower-level goals feed into that? Make them SMART – what do you want to achieve, and when? For instance, your novelmakers project – how will you determine it is a success? By the number of authors who sign up? How many, and by when? How many workshops do you hold, and by when? What online courses, and by when?
    Don’t overstretch yourself. Don’t commit to things that you cannot possibly complete, because the sense of failure is damaging. If you’ve got a hole in your boat, you cannot be ‘okay with that’, because it will prevent you from sailing in the future, and you may even end up at the bottom of the briny.
    Sorry for sticking my nose in where it’s not wanted.

    With love.


    1. Hi Dave!
      Sorry I’ve only just got to this. I don’t know why I missed it before!
      I’m okay with missing goals. None of the missed goals are like a hole in a boat. They are not catastrophic.
      My approach to goals are that they are things which I would like to achieve. However, I’m old enough to know that real life sometimes sticks its nose in, and the added pressure of even SMART goals can cause harm. Also, over the course of a year, the aims can change or be realigned, as circumstances change and opportunities appear.
      Your nose is always welcome, dear friend.


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