Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A New Year, A New Start!
A belated Happy New Year to you all!
The blog is now four years old and although I haven't always kept up the posting as often as I'd like, it's something to celebrate. The idea for starting the blog was to track my journey as a writer and I think it's achieved that. Alright, the journey is slow but there have been things to celebrate along the way. I've got to 'meet' so many other writers and value their support. Since I started in 2014, I have written 129 posts and there have been 1,279 comments including my answers to the comments. There have been 43,065 page views and many of these are from far flung corners of the world. I think this proves that lots more people are reading the blog than the relatively small number who comment. A big thank you to those who do, of course. One of the highlights for me has been when other authors have agreed to be guests and be interviewed about their newly published books. I already have more planned in 2018.

Each January, it has been a tradition on the blog for me to reflect back on the previous year and set out what I'd like to achieve in the one to come. In 2017, short story writing came to a halt but two stories written previously were published by Alfie Dog Fiction and Severance Publications. I was very pleased that my short-listed Flash Fiction piece, Deception Dawning, appeared in the 2017 Worcestershire LitFest anthology of flashes, WiredI belong to a small writing group and we have given ourselves the task of writing a flash fiction piece by the time we meet up each time. I don't always manage it but at least I had a piece to send to Worcester again this year! The reason for the lack of short stories is because, last year, I concentrated solely on my novel writing. All my efforts went into editing novel one and writing as much of novel two as I could. As a result, I received a very favourable critique on my partial manuscript, Whispering Olive Treesfrom a lovely RNA NWS reader who gave invaluable guidance and advice when I come to the editing stage. I began submitting A Mother's Secret to publishers and some asked to see the whole manuscript. Although the novel was eventually rejected, one in particular gave very helpful feedback. I attended the 2017 Conference in Telford and gained a lot from that experience, from the presentations, workshops, 1-1s and meeting more lovely writers. In the Autumn, I took an excellent ten week course on 'Writing Crime Fiction' at Cardiff University.

My journey may be slow but I've learned a lot in 2017. Being a member of a very supportive critique group, where we meet up every few weeks, has been invaluable. We are all at different stages with our novels and this year two members of the group secured publishing deals. Sharing their successes with them has been wonderful.
What does this coming year hold for me, I wonder? 
would like to:
  • find a home for novel number one by approaching agents and publishers. One of the hardest things is learning to be patient while waiting to hear back from publishers so I intend to move on to the next submission more quickly than I have been doing.   
  • having rejoined RNA NWS, finish the first draft my second novel, edit it and submit for a critique 
  • write new short stories and flash fiction and submit them to a few competitions, in between novel drafts
  • attend the 2018 RNA Conference in Leeds in July
  • support other authors by inviting them onto my blog 
  • continue to enjoy my writing and learn more about the craft.
Thank you for reading. What are your intentions this year? I'd love it if you left a comment. :-) Good luck in achieving your goals in 2018. If you have a new book coming out or would like to share some writing news, please message me. 

You may also follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit and on my Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page.

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 4th blog-birthday! Yours is a blog I always enjoy reading, Jan, and I have been lucky enough to be one of your guests on a couple of occasions. I am glad to see that one of your aims this year is to attend the Conference in Leeds - I'll see you there. No doubt there will be more late nights in the kitchen. My writing aim for this year is all to do with target-setting. NaNoWriMo really has rubbed off on me! I met last week's target. Week 1 down, 51 weeks to go...

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    1. Thank you, Sue. Yes, the Conference is again a firm date in my calendar this year. I'll get intoi training for it! ;-) I think your writing aim is a good one and certainly one from which I'd benefit, too. Well done on your flying start!

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    2. I should have said how much I'm looking forward to 'A Respectable Woman' being published in 2018, too. Can't wait. :-)

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  2. Great to have you back, Jan - I've missed you. Congratulations on your 4th birthday. Yours is a blog I always enjoy reading. Thank you for having my as a guest too & for being so generous about my books.

    If hard work & determination play any part in publishing success then you are certain to get there.

    My aim is to finish current Work In Chaos! Then it's finger's crossed (& on with the next one.)

    Happy New Year & may all your writing dreams come true! xXx

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    1. Thanks, Carol. Yes, I'm back. I'm looking forward to the new year and have hopefully got my 'bottle-half-full' attitude back! Good luck with book 3 - I can't wait for it to emerge from the chaos (I'm sure it's not!) and stand alongside 'Ghostbird' and 'Snow Sisters' with equal success. :-)

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  3. Happy New Year, Jan, and thank you for including my guest post on your 2017 blog. Your support has been invaluable. All the best for 2018 - I'm sure you'll be able to tick off every goal on your list! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Sara. It was a pleasure to spread the word about 'Not Thomas'. Good luck with your writing in the coming year, too.

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  4. Happy New Year! (I'm not sure when it's too late to say that, but as we're still less than two weeks in, I'm hoping I'm OK.)

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    1. Not too late at all, Patsy. I hope 2018 is a good year for you. 🙂

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  5. Jan, wishing you a brilliant 2018, with the publishing success you deserve. Your blog is such a friendly place to be and I know it's much enjoyed by many people.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Sandra. Good luck to you, too. I know there are exciting things in the pipeline for you. :-)

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