Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Evaluating the value of a blog

Years and years ago, when I started this blog (July 2009!) I had a clear intention. I was going to systematically work on my writing until I got up to a publishable standard - or at least, as far as I could take it. With the Open University's excellent courses and an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester, I found an outlet for my imagination. I've loved it, I've honed my craft and am still enjoying writing and still learning. I've done well in competitions, got an agent, got books published. I wouldn't change that, it's been a great journey. I made all

And it was fun, and hard work, and frustrating at times. Because publishing is slow and I work fast. Most of my books are done, in first draft, in about 8-10 weeks. Which means I now have a backlog of books that haven't found a home, mostly because they are sat on my hard drive in second draft. I miss the guidance that a good agent can give you, a few pointers in the right direction that can make or break a book. So, January/February will come with more approache
s to agents, with the new book: Northern Penguins. I never thought I would write anything like it, it's about a new person in a settled community with all its traditions and tensions and secrets. As I can't come up with thirty distinct characters, I have broadly based some of them on people in the village (with their consent, of course). This is going to be interesting. I might be thrown out of the village next year, if they a) don't like the book or b) don't like the character they think is based on them.

In the meantime, I have taken up art again, which is hilarious. There is something very challenging about not knowing enough, being bad at something, making mistakes. I always learn as much as I can before I go on a course. I'm one of those people who hates the idea of being the idiot in the room.  So I think this will be very good for me.

So why continue to blog (especially as i haven't been very reliable at it)? I think a creative journey, with all that learning is always valuable to record, so I will continue to witter into the universe alone about all my artistic and creative endeavours, no matter how badly they turn out.