A Writer’s Year

Okay, it’s post-Christmas and I’m considering my accomplishments as a writer in 2011. In fact, as it’s the season for lists, I listed them.

Now, this is not a bragging list. I’m actually going to make a point here. Here’s the list.
Iain’s List Of Writery Things He Did In 2011
1.       I began writing a collaborative novel with Heide.
2.       I began this blog with Heide, a blog which is being read by more and more people each month (or more repeatedly by the same few people, who knows?)
3.       I finished editing my ‘Birmingham’ novel.
4.       I approached approximately thirty agents and publishers with that novel in my most rigorous self-selling campaign to date.
5.       I wrote twelve short stories.
6.       I shared eight of them with my fellow writers at Birmingham Writers’ Group.
7.       I sold one story to an American anthology.
8.       Another horror story (written some years ago) came out in a paperback anthology.
9.       Two further short stories were written for other anthologies.
10.   Another short story was written after a request from an anthology editor.
11.   Two short stories written for a competition (in which I came second, thank you).
12.   I contributed writing to three performance pieces for the Birmingham ArtsFest 2012 and edited one of them.
13.   I performed ten minutes of stand up in a Birmingham Waterstones bookshop.
That’s what I did. Actually, I’d forgotten much of it until I looked back at my files. Thing is, it’s only half the story, because here’s the stuff I didn’t put on the list.
1.       No one but Heide and I has read a single word of our collaborative comic novel and comedy is a notoriously subjective thing…
2.       Twenty-five of the agents and publishers wrote me nice rejection letters.
3.       The other five never wrote back.
4.       I’ve lost the will to send speculative letters to the other fourteen agents who might be interested.
5.       Of the two stories written for specific anthologies, one was rejected and the editor of the other has not replied to my e-mails.
6.       The anthology editor who requested a story has also failed to get back in touch with me.
7.       The Birmingham Waterstones was empty.
8.       My current earnings this year through writing total £50
9.       Basically, I’ve failed to bestride the world as a writing colossus for the eighteenth year of trying.
So, is 2012 to be my year?
Well, I can already see from the list I’ve written that there are lessons to be learned from this year, namely…
1.       Don’t be content to let people not get in touch. Chase every unanswered e-mail and letter.
2.       Don’t be put out by twenty-five successive rejection letters. Either persevere or seek some other way or achieving publication.
3.       Speaking of which, 2012 is definitely going to be the year of my foray into e-publishing (along with Heide)
4.       Repeat the successes of 2011 which means selling more short stories and more ArtsFest (probably not stand up)
Bizarrely enough, that seems like a sensible list of resolutions for 2012 and a list I can probably stick to.
Now, what are you writing resolutions for 2012?
Posted in 2012, Reflections Tagged with: , , , , ,
2 comments on “A Writer’s Year
  1. Heide says:

    Here’s a resolution that I intend to stick to:
    I will post more reader reviews on Amazon. I’ve read dozens of independently published e-books this year. There were a couple of stinkers, but some really excellent ones too. The reason that the good ones get more visibility is due to good reviews, so we hold a lot of power now, as readers. It’s great to think that the system has become more democratic that it’s ever been, but it depends on us taking a few minutes to review and rate the books that we read.

  2. Heide says:

    Hey – what about you winning Birmingham Writers Group's Writer of the Year Award? If you're going to go round winning things, you should at least BRAG about them…