What? 2019 already? Yep, I’m planning ahead.
So, here’s the state of play. I’ve written four unpublished books (two have been submitted to agents). I’ve also done three short stories (two of which have been published). This has happened over more years than I’m really comfortable with.
That’s why a post I recently read by J.D. Moyer gave me pause. During 2016 he went all in, producing a short story nearly every month and aiming to keep them all out for submission.
A recent rejection I received mentioned how one author, Malorie Blackman, received over 80 rejections before getting her big break. It reminded me that despite feeling like I’ve had a lot of rejections, I really haven’t. Do a quick Google search. It’s common for people to get rejected hundreds of times before getting accepted.
But how many rejections have I had exactly? While I have a spreadsheet of every submission I’ve ever made, I’ve never tallied up how many rejections I’ve received for each body of work.
Last month I bagged a MacBook Air. I expected it to be a slick piece of tech, and it didn’t disappoint. Having always taken a frugal approach to technology, I began to wonder whether I’d actually been short-changing myself all these years.
The thing is my cheap Windows laptop works absolutely fine. Sure it’s slow and the keyboard is very clicky. But so what? It never hindered my ability to write a book… right?
I recently managed to wrangle a second hand MacBook Air from a friend. It was meant to be a stopgap for a year or two, so I didn’t have to splash out on a new Windows laptop.
But having played around with it for a few weeks now, I’m rather enamoured with it.
Sure, it’s not fair to compare an £800+ MacBook to a £300 Windows laptop that wasn’t fast when I got it, and is now positively geriatric.
As I discussed last month, I’ve identified a need to make a few changes here. The primary change, and the biggest, was to get this site off Tumblr. Now Tumblr is fine for certain things, but text-heavy blog posts certainly aren’t one of them. Also, tumblogs (is that word even used anymore?) don’t rank well on Google.
I first considered WordPress in its various forms. It’s pretty much the standard for blogging these days, and I have lots of experience with it from years ago.
This year my work on this blog has basically ground to a halt. There are a couple of reasons for this:
Primarily, I’ve had nothing to write about. During the first years of this blog, I aimed to write something monthly. Most of the time I had an idea in my head, though occasionally I had to force myself to come up with something. This year I’ve given up forcing the issue and consequently went five months without posting.
This is a short rant about the recently introduced GDPR. Not what it is and what it’s about because that has been done to death by better qualified people than me. I’m talking about how it’s been applied to websites. An end user if you will.
In the UK, the proofreading tool Grammarly has been advertising hard on TV. I’ve been curious for some time about what such an app could offer in terms of creative writing. What those ads claimed Grammarly was capable of only piqued my interest.
But I didn’t want to spend money on something that could just be a glorified spell checker. And their free version appeared to offer little more than that.
Wow, my third end of year review here. Doesn’t time fly by…
On the writing front 2017 has seen a big shift I’m the way I write. Basically less writing, but what I have produced is more considered, with a lot more pre-planning involved. I bashed out the first draft of a new book at the beginning of the year and will be sitting on it well into 2018. The rest of this year was spent doing proper editing of another book.
This is just a little update regarding my experiment with OKRs. I’ve been using the method for over six months now and it’s proved to be the best approach I’ve ever used for managing my health and fitness. So much so, that I’m planning to write a more long-form post about it in the near future.
In the meantime, I’m going to publish little posts like this one, covering various facets of the system, how I use it and how I’ve evolved it to suit my needs.