Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I know I've been near-silent over the last three weeks. This wasn't quite the plan, but our holiday schedule has been rather full. The week before Christmas, we had body fluids flying in all directions from three out of four bug-stricken children (apologies if you're eating breakfast/lunch/dinner), as well as my wife's birthday on the 21st, not to mention the usual last-minute preparations. I took my stepchildren to their dad's house after Christmas dinner (Santa's doubly busy in their case), then we flew from Glasgow to Gatwick on Boxing Day to stay with my parents in Brighton 'til Friday. The plane was delayed by an hour and a half due to... a broken windscreen wiper. And the solution was to wait until it stopped raining before taking off. Not very confidence-inspiring!

Then back home for Hogmanay (only hindered by a broken light bulb on the plane home). I trust everyone managed to have a (relatively) peaceful time with loved ones. Our holidays are still going on as the kids aren't back to school til next Monday, but I'm attempting to shake off the stupor induced by too much cake and chocolate and get back into a writing frame of mind. I have had a few new ideas, but not to do with the work in progress.

As many others have done, I'm going to set down my goals for this year and try not to fall too far short of them. Bullet points ahoy:
  • Finish the first draft of my WIP (and second, third etc as required)
  • Send out to agents and smaller publishers that accept unagented submissions (I haven't tried these before)
  • Write more short stories, try to publish some, start work on next book
  • E-publish a collection of short stories on Kindle (nerveracking, but definitely want to do this this year)
And in regards to the blog:
  • Get involved in more stuff (eg bloghops, blogfests, groups, contests)
  • Overhaul the design (got ideas for this, but not got round to it yet, and need to figure out what the flip I'm doing!)
  • I'd also like to bring my journalistic skills to the fore and do a series of interviews, probably on a monthly basis, with newer blogs or those with under 50 followers. The rationale is I'd like to help others in a similar boat to myself. I'll be approaching candidates, but feel free to mention in comments if this would interest you!
I'd also like to read a lot more - I've always been horrendously slow, as I like to take time to absorb everything in a book, but I'm trying to absorb faster. I'm hoping the lovely new Kindle of which I am the proud owner will help in this. I like the facility to know how far you are through the book. My first download is Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which seems to be quite short. I'm reading this concurrently with the new Terry Pratchett (it's a signed hardback, and I don't want to take it out and about - it's already got quite bashed taking it down to Brighton. So I'll have the Kindle when I'm going places). I won't set a target for how many books I'm going to read, though - but I will keep a tally on here.

I'm probably boring you now, so I'll just say I hope everyone has a great year and you make excellent progress in all your endeavours. I know you've probably listed your goals on your blog, so I'll ask: what was the best present you gave/received at Christmas, in relation to reading or writing?



30 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you're looking for a great blogfest, i recommend April's A to Z Challenge. I also think sending queries to publishers is a good idea. I never even tried to land an agent and went straight to querying publishers. Glad I did!

Nick Wilford said...

Hi Alex, I read about that challenge on another blog and it looks like fun. Thanks for the tip. I know of a few people who have had success with publishers, but mainly American. Hope the situation is good in UK too!

Julius Cicero said...

More days in the life of parenthood. It's fun though, wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. As for the goals, time and tide. You'll be able to do all of those and more, patience is that wily little sprite you've gotta hold to. Good luck in 2012!

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for your kind words, Julius. Yep, the kids can be tiring but it's always worth it. Good luck to you too!

Elizabeth Poole said...

I received a Kindle this year, which was pretty awesome, but my parents also gave me a laptop which was completely and totally awesome. So I no longer have to deal with my dinosaur of a computer and it's like a huge weight off my shoulders.

As far as giving, my mom and friend also got Kindles this year (it was a Kindle Christmas at our house) so I gave them Kindle gift cards so they could buy books. Normally I try to avoid gift cards, but I figured a Kindle card was a good exception.

Good luck with your writing and blogging goals!

Nick Wilford said...

Elizabeth - That's great, I hope you enjoy your new laptop. Now you can have a change of scene whenever you need to! My old PC is in my stepdaughter's room, but now she has a laptop too so it's kind of gathering dust like a museum piece. Don't know what we'll do with it!

Hope you, your mom and friend enjoy your Kindles too, I've got loads of books I want to read from my blog friends so that should keep it busy!

Stu Ayris said...

Sounds like you've had an excellent Christmas Nick! Good man!

Love your plans for the year! Kind of similar to what mine were at the start of last year except I didn't know they were my plans - just seemed to be how things panned out in my disorganised world!

If you need someone to interview (sounds a bit grand for a humble soul like myself!) give me a shout.

Just to say I think your blog is fantastic - a great mixture of writing stuff, human stuff, life stuff and humour. Brilliant mate!

Take care

Stu

Martin Willoughby said...

Aren't children little treasures. Always giving you things.

I like your publishing plans for the year. Putting a book on Amazon for sale for the kindle is easy. Mareting it is the hard part. Good luck.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I followed over here from Alex's blog. Think about looking at my blog. It may give you a smile or two. Have a great 2012, Roland

Nick Wilford said...

Stu - Wow, I'm humbled by your kind words. I always think other people's blogs are better than mine, but I guess that will stop me getting complacent. Like writing really!

Actually, you were one of those I had in mind when I came up with the interview idea, so it'd be great if you were my first subject! If it's no trouble, I'll email over some questions in the next few days (just as soon as I've written them...) I think I'll aim to post on the third Wednesday of each month.

Martin - Haha. Although, to be fair, I think I gave it to them in at least one case.

Yes, the promotion will be a challenge. I might follow in your footsteps and do a launch, though that is terrifying. Any tips?

Roland - Thanks for stopping by. I'll do that - I planned to anyway after reading Alex's post. Congrats on nearing your 1000!

Nancy Thompson said...

Nah, not boring at all! And if you want to boost your number of followers, blogfests are the best way to go, that and lots of commenting all over the blogosphere. I sincerely hope you're able to achieve your goals. We share a couple, so I know just where you're coming from.

Happy New Year, Nick!

Nick Wilford said...

Nancy - Thank you. I hope you achieve your goals too! I might give that A-Z challenge a go - it's outside my comfort zone as in posting (almost) every day, but we need to push ourselves sometimes!

Stu Ayris said...

Would love to answer any questions you have Nick! No maths ones though. I struggle with maths...or is that meths? Oh I don't know...

Nick Wilford said...

You make me laugh, Stu. I'll get cracking on those questions... not had my journalist hat on for a while!

Stu Ayris said...

Good stuff mate! I really appreciate it!!

Keep up the fine work!

Martin Willoughby said...

The best tips I can give at the moment are don't spend too much and do it with other authors.

However, my group and I are trying to link up with a school this summer. I'll be blogging about it as it happens...or not.

Nick Wilford said...

Martin - Hmm, I don't know any authors in my immediate area. Actually, I've never met another writer (in my position, at least). Any bloggers in Lanarkshire got a book to launch?? I might wait until I have a novel ready.

Good luck to you and the gang with the school. I'm sure you'll make it happen!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I totally get that about wishing I could read faster. Like you, I tend to take my time and absorb my books. I read them in my head like I'd read them aloud. I just don't have enough time for that if I want to get through a lot of books. And it seems unfair to the writer now that I know how much we agonize over those words!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, and I agree with Alex about A to Z. I did that last year--and it was an awesome experience, both in what I learned and in the wonderful people I met. I'd so recommend it. One participant last year ended up publishing her posts as a book.

Stu Ayris said...

It takes me about three months to read a book! I just love every single word of a great book!

Matthew MacNish said...

Happy New Year, Nick!

Nick Wilford said...

Donna - Thanks for both your comments! Yes, it's a dilemma - I like taking my time and really "inhabiting" a book, particularly if it's one where I feel I'm right there in the action. That's down to the skill of the author. But I also know there are so many books I haven't read, including classics, and I don't want to miss out!

I'll have to find out more about that challenge. Are you allowed to use a dictionary to come up with interesting words for the topics?

Stu - I've been known to take that long. I think the Millenium trilogy took me about 8-9 months, but there was stuff going on that meant I had less time to read. I'm more than halfway through the new Terry Pratchett and don't want it to end!

Nick Wilford said...

The same to you, Matthew, and all the best!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Great goals! And I'm sure you can tackle them all! :)

My favorite gift was my new pink Kindle cover from my hubby! Woot! And I'm sorry about sick kids! That is no fun at all. :P

Stu Ayris said...

Now Chantele, I wonder if there are any newly released novels on Kindle that are like nothing you have ever read before? And just for £1.70!

hmmm...

yes - Tollesbury Time Forever by me!!


; )

Mark Noce said...

Sounds like you've got a busy schedule and some killer goals. Best of luck to you:)

Nick Wilford said...

Chantele - Thank you. Pink, pink, pink... I know all about it with four women in the house. Actually, one of my younger stepdaughter's best presents was a pink laptop cover. They're all better now - just hope it stays that way for school starting on Monday!! This holiday has gone on long enough!

Stu - Nifty marketing there, lol. About the interview, going to have to put it off til next month as I'd like to read the book first, but this can't happen until the end of the month as, post-Xmas, there are certain monetary restraints. Hope you don't mind. Quite annoying as I can't wait to read it!

Mark - Thank you, although nothing is "scheduled" as such! It'll just be as and when. ;)

Stu Ayris said...

That's fine Nick! Not a problem! Keep it up you fine fellow!!

Lynda R Young said...

These are all great goals.

The best present I got at Christmas was a much needed break from everything. So wonderful :)

Nick Wilford said...

Lynda - Thank you. Yep, we definitely need time to breathe now and again, before plunging back into things!