Thursday, 31 December 2009

My writing year: a look back and a look forward

It's the last day of 2009 and almost exactly ten years since I began to shift my career away from archaeology and into writing. Each year has been slightly more successful than the last, a steady progression that I'm striving to continue and hasten.

So how did I do in 2009? Two of my books were published, Outlaw Tales of Missouri and American Civil War Guerrilla Tactics, and one of my books, Moon Handbooks London, went out of print.

I had two significant steps forward. I saw my first book published by Osprey Publishing, who are very professional and make a great product. They even (GASP!) pay on time. I also finished a second book for them on medieval handgonnes. I also started working for Gadling, the world's most popular travel blog. It's teaching me to write timely, breezy, catchy articles, something history writing doesn't generally encourage. It's also a thrill to have millions (yes, millions) of readers every month. Gadling pays on time too!

Another potential success was getting my Missouri Civil War novel into the finals of Dorchester Publishing's Fresh Blood contest. The grand prize is publication. I'm now trying to teach myself online promotion, something that doesn't come naturally to me. I've already set up a Facebook fan page and am planning more outlets to get people to know my work.

Of course every year has its ups and downs. With all the travel and nonfiction commitments my fiction languished. I wrote only one short story and only got 25,000 words into my next novel. I'm planning on pushing my fiction a lot more in 2010. Not sure where the time is going to come from. . .

So what's ahead? Well, I'm negotiating some more books with Osprey and trying to win that contest. Gadling should be happy with my upcoming Ethiopia series. I'll also be writing more fiction and trying to become better at selling myself while not overselling myself. I think 2010 is going to be a good year for me.

Check out my other blog to read about my travel year.


Angela K. Nickerson said...

Congrats on your successes in 2009! Here's to a happy and healthy 2010 filled with even more joys. Ciao!

diannagraveman said...

Congratulations on a successful year. Your Civil War novel looks interesting; I just joined the fan page on FB (and followed you on Twitter). Best of luck with it!

irishoma said...

Hi Sean,
What a wonderful year it has been for you.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.