After such a stressful 2020, I 'm relieved we're in 2021! Yes, I know the covid-19 infection takes no notice of dates, but there's something about a new year that always inspires me. I love setting goals for myself, yet I achieved little on the writing front in 2020. For much of the year my enthusiasm for writing novels evaporated, and I questioned whether to continue with my author career. That struggle is still with me to some extent, but I've made significant strides in conquering my demons. From talking to my author friends, it seems disillusionment is an occupational hazard!
Onwards into 2021! One thing I'm clear on - I'm keen not to overstretch myself this year. I've read social media posts from authors who publish a book a month; just the thought exhausts me. I want balance in my life, not burnout. Besides writing, I have other priorities in my life, such as health and fitness, improving my spoken Spanish and learning to paint abstract acrylics. Writing is hugely important, but not at the detriment of my other goals.
With that in mind, I've set myself modest and very achievable targets for 2021. My aim is to publish my eighth novel, currently in first draft format, and write and publish my ninth novel. That's two releases in one year, much better than 2020, which was a zero-release year. It's a far cry from joining the book-a-month brigade, but I'm comfortable with that. Wish me luck!
December 1 marks a very special anniversary for me!
As of December 1, 2020, I've been a full-time novelist for six years! It's been a rollercoaster ride in many ways, but I have no regrets. I've blogged before about my first five years (see post here), so I won't go over old ground. 2020 has been a challenging year for my writing, with no books published and a distinct lack of mojo on my part. I'm working hard to get back on track, with my eighth novel now completed in draft, and I've started plotting number nine.
I've never regretted my decision to go full-time, although writing can be a very isolating profession, and one that has various pitfalls. I'm fulfilling my childhood dream, however, and I love that I can combine writing with my love of travel. So long as I have a laptop and an internet connection, I'm good to go!
My plans for 2021...
I love setting myself goals! As we approach the end of 2020, I'm already considering what I want to achieve in 2021. I've no plans to change genres - I enjoy writing psychological suspense novels, so that's what I'll continue to do. Ideally I'd like to publish two books a year, one every six months. My process isn't as quick or efficient as it should be, however - editing takes me forever! - and I suspect a novel every eight or nine months is more realistic. We shall see.
Other goals? I aim to grow my email list and Facebook readers' group, and market my books better. Most importantly, I want to recapture my love of writing, which has been sadly absent for much of 2020. 2021 needs to be about FUN on the creative front!
Whatever happens, I'm very grateful to my readers for their support and encouragement. Thanks to each and every one of you!
During my writing career I've come across readers who say they hate prologues. This baffles me, because they're part of the story - why dislike them, if the novel is a good read? As an author, I believe prologues fulfil several useful roles, and I've used them in my books when appropriate. Let's examine why prologues can enhance a novel.
Uses of prologues:
So why do people dislike prologues?