Blimey! Has it been 9 months since I wrote one of these WTFHIBD things?? Where does the time go? Actually that’s kinda the point of these WTFHIBD posts; to tell you exactly what I’ve been spending my time on.
Let’s start with GOALS.
2014 turned into something of a damp squib for me. Whilst a lot of good things happened, on balance it was pretty much ‘the year of disappointments’. People often tell me I’m too tough on myself, but as summer rolled into autumn all I could see was failure, failure, failure… in every aspect of my life.
But around January, and as I sat down to set my GOALs for the year I somehow managed to summon some of the fight that I’d lost in previous months, and although my 2015 goals didn’t look a whole lot different from previous years, perhaps I altered my approach to them, because even though it felt like I was starting again, at the same time the only way was up; I’d already failed at everything – it would be hard to fail even more. Success was actually the easier option.
I BECAME ‘SELF-HELP GURU TURNED NOVELIST’
Having watched my debut lad-lit, rom-com novel – The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl – climb the charts in September… only to come crashing back down to earth again… I took the somewhat odd decision to start sending it out to agents and publishers again. On the one hand this seemed like a bad idea; I would be trying to sell a book that was already published. On the other, I could point at lots of nice reviews, the fact it did rather well during it’s first promotion, and my previous non-fiction successes. Surely that would make me, and the book, an attractive proposition?
Well, six months later and I had indeed got myself a new agent… and in turn a publicity deal with amazon!
The book underwent another edit, the cover got brighter, and after a little help from Kylie Minogue (sort of), amazon made it part of their July 99p Summer Reads promotion. It’s back up near the top of the charts …and it’s doing ok! Better than ok!
If you fancy a chuckle, as well as keeping me in the book business, now would be a very good time to spend a quid at the world’s biggest bookstore.
I STARTED MY NEXT BOOK
One of last year’s many failures was a five part serial that I wrote for a particularly well known woman’s magazine. After a full sixteen weeks of consideration, the fiction editor of magazine-that-cannot-be-named decided that it wasn’t really ‘real-world’ enough for their readers, and that she was going to pass up the opportunity of publishing it.
In the same week however, my new agent decided that actually it was a cracker of story – and could quite easily be expanded into a full length novel. My next novel. And so, Facebook pals have been subjected to almost daily word count updates, whilst readers of my other blog have been perplexed by various posts about how I use excel spreadsheets to write
I STARTED GIVING MORE TALKS
One of my few successes last year were the number of talks I was asked to give.
Whereas previously I’d been giving the odd talk to Women’s Institutes and Town’s Women’s Guilds – suddenly the U3A, the Rotary Club, the Trefoil Society, and numerous independent clubs and societies started to invite me along based on recommendations from those who’d heard me speak elsewhere.
As the year ended I realised that public speaking is pretty much one of the things I love most… and so I came up with a second talk (entitled: How I Met Kylie Minogue) and offered it to all those folk who were kind enough to invite me along the first time. The result is I’m now doing a talk at least once a week (this week I’ve done three!) – and whilst it’s hardly a living, it has relieved a little bit of the pressure I’ve been putting myself under to make a living from writing alone.
If you’d like me to come and talk to your group or society – drop me a line
My NOW List
Let’s move on from GOALS. What have I been doing for fun? (Not that writing isn’t fun – but you know what I mean…)
The NOW List is chock-a-block with exciting things that I’d absolutely love to do… sadly, most require time, money, often both, and I have neither.
That said, whilst I still haven’t managed to visit the Cook Islands, or visit Rome again, or anything that requires a plane trip, I have ticked off many items that I could do relatively cheaply, in around my local area. And some of those things included…
- A visit to Mr Foggs of Mayfair. A strangely wonderful place.
- My quest to find the strangest, experimental theatrical performances once a month – in the past few weeks I’ve seen improvised puppet shows, naked people rolling around in food, and a disturbing monologue about fantasy movies…
- A visit to a junk shop that I’ve driven past many times and always wanted to go inside
- A day at the beach with my very own luxury beach hut at my disposal
- An evening at one of London’s Roof Top cinemas
But enough about me
How about you? What have you been up to? What NOW List items have you managed to tick off? What goals have you set yourself or achieved? Feel free to drop me a line, here or on facebook, or post a comment below.