Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Writing Year: Look Back and a Look Forward

It’s 2014, and like everyone else I’m taking stock of the past year and looking forward to the new one.

This past year has been one of ups and downs in my writing career. I won a travel award for my Iraq reportage, I got into a ghost story anthology, and saw sales of my Civil War novel go up thanks to a free story I posted. It looks like readers like to sample your wares before making a purchase!

The high point was National Novel Writing Month. I’d never done one before. Working furiously through November, I wrote a 71,000 word post-apocalyptic tale called Radio Hope. It’s coming out in February. The turnaround was so quick thanks to my being able to devote my entire energy to the project, plus the helpful aid of my many beta readers. You guys rock!

The big downside to this year was the death of Gadling. It used to be the number one travel blog on the web. I’d worked for it for more than four years, writing more than a thousand posts and doing many fun series to places such as Iraq and Somaliland. Sadly, a reshuffle in the parent corporation led to all the writers being laid off. Now Gadling is a shadow of its former self. Where once a dozen experienced writers reported in from all corners of the globe, now an in-house hack produces one or two rehash posts a week.

It’s sad to see something you love die. On the other hand, it can lead to new things. Gadling took up a huge amount of my time, time I am now devoting to more magazine work and lots more fiction. The year 2014 is going to be my fiction year. Not only do I have Radio Hope coming out, but I’m well into the sequel and plan to write a third in the series before 2015 rolls around. I’m also going to start an action series set in World War One called Trench Raiders. More projects are simmering in my brain pan as well, such as my Tangier novel, so stay tuned!

For my writer friends out there, how did your year go? What will you do different in 2014?

Happy New Year!!!


Sioux said...

Sean--I think I estimated that in 2013, I had 942 rejections for every four acceptances--just a slight exaggeration.

What will I do differently? I hope to devote a set amount of time daily/weekly to the NaNo I began in 2012. It's up to 77,000 words or so, but is still not finished, and I haven't begun to revise it yet. Actually, that's not completely true. When I officially went back to it in November 2013, I was adding and subtracting and tweaking as I went.

Congratulations on the work you've done on your novel and its sequel. I'm sorry that Gadling is no more--I enjoyed the stories you posted about the exotic places you traveled to because of your work with Gadling. But it sounds like you have found PLENTY of work to fill the void.

Sean McLachlan said...

Oh yes, there's always writing to do. No shortage of ideas, it's just a question of time to write them all down, and sadly I have a lot of time now!
Best of luck on your NaNo novel. If you need a beta reader. . .

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.