Here’s a confession. I have written no fiction for several months.
No, it’s not writers’ block, or me being lazy. Being a full-time author means, for the most part, making a living from other, writing-related pursuits. Contract work for other authors is one thing; running courses and workshops for other authors is another. But you can’t just turn up for a course without doing some preparation. The prep for a course sometimes takes many times the work required to actually run the course.
I’m not complaining. I’m very fortunate to be able to sustain myself (with a little help from small, occupational pensions, and being a partner to another full-time author).
I’m here with [ Anita Belli ] at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School – our annual (busman’s) holiday. We have a 2-hour course on self-publishing prepared and ready to go. In the second session, I’ll be publishing a new non-fiction book on author websites, live, to Amazon. Which will be exciting.
So now, as I write this, I’m sitting in a quiet lounge (music coming through my headphones is blocking out the chatter from next door), contemplating the near future.
A quick recap: in late 2019 / early 2020, I published 4 thrillers under my Jack Warwick pseudonym. These were my passion projects – politics, climate change, corruption. They’d been sitting around for a few years, waiting for me to, you know, actually finish them.
Since then (late 2020 / early 2021), I wrote and published a series of 3 cozy crime novels.
Also, I’ve written The Efficient Novelist (How I Write and Publish Four Novels a Year). I’ve delivered a workshop on it (2021) at [ Swanwick ]. I’ve also created and published an online course, which took way longer than I expected. A deep desire to ‘get it right’ over 40 modules takes time. Link: [ https://writersupportschool.teachable.com/p/the-efficient-novelist ]
And then, with the upcoming course here, I felt I needed to write and prepare a new non-fiction book (Author Websites) in order to show a live demonstration of self-publishing. That’s all done, the Amazon location for it is prepared.
So what am I going to write?
Originally, the intention was to write another series of cozy crime stories, based (loosely) around the small village of Orford in Suffolk. I did research, I did plans. I have a full plan, and the initial 7,000 words of the opener. I have over 42,000 words of a first draft for the second novel (which was going to be the first, but now it isn’t). I love the characters, I love the location, and I really want to write these books.
I have these other crime stories, you see. They’re dark, police procedurals. I have a serial killer story (Twelve Days of Christmas), 65,000 words; I have a nasty funfair-themed story (Death Spiral) at 37,000 words; I have Shed No Tear, with a political connection and a nasty death, at 41,000 words.
What to do, what to do…
If you’re interested in the Efficient Novelist program, there’s a Twitter account, but it’s fairly quiet at the moment. It might be worth a follow for future updates: @EfficientNovels
And if you found this blog post interesting or useful or a brilliant way to procrastinate, please consider buying me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/authorgeraldhornsby
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