The Write Side of Life: Happy New Year and I’m Baccckkk!!!

Some of you may remember that back in early 2014, I re-launched this blog and also launched my attempt at an on-line novel, Isis. If you follow me on twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you probably remember me spamming up the airwaves with this stuff. In March I then decided to take a break from writing the on-line novel for reasons such as work, wedding planning and writing for a couple of competitions taking priority of my time. There is a more detailed reasoning in an earlier blog.

 

I fully intended to come back and carry on Isis. In fact, in the time between then and now, I have written several more chapters. It has always been my intention to finish it, and I will. Unfortunately for those of you who were following it (I know that wasn’t many but thank you all the same), and also for myself, it seems that Isis is on indefinite hold. Let me try to explain why.

 

In-between last March and your reading of this, a few things have happened in the world, and in my life. The first would be that I got married. Planning a wedding, getting married, enjoying the party, enjoying the honeymoon and last but by no means least, enjoying being married takes up a lot of time; time that I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy as much if I was feeling the pressure of having to make sure that I stuck to my, albeit self-imposed, deadlines. Also, in that time, I have ideas for other stories and other writing projects have reared their heads and I am very easily distracted.

 

Another thing that has happened to me personally in this time is, almost as a bi-product of working on Isis, that I have become more determined than ever to write a book for print publication. As with pretty much all aspiring authors, it is my lifelong dream to get an agent and get published. With that in mind, I have been handing most of my writing time to that particular project and aiming for 2015 to be the year that I least get a manuscript submitted.

 

As for what happened in the world, well unless you live under a rock, you’ll know all about the terrorist organisation called, dahn-dahn- daaannnnn, Isis. That’s right folks as I was writing about a terrorist attack by clones from a planet called (that’s right, you guessed it) Isis, a terrorist group called Isis were carrying out horrific attacks in the name of religion. As my story sees many of the attackers from Isis using the ‘R’ word, I felt there were just far too many parallels being drawn that I felt way to uncomfortable. So until the situation with IS is sorted, or I can figure out a way to change the story but remain true to my original idea, I feel it is best to draw a line under it for the meantime.

 

As I’ve said above however, that doesn’t mean I’m not writing and as we are in the new year, I felt this site needed a ‘re-re-launch’ and this is what this is. Part of my writerly New Year resolutions is to heavily build up this site into something of meaning and quality. So, in the coming year expect lots of short stories, writing tips and advice and hopefully an invite to read my debut novel (fingers crossed).

 

Whilst on the subject, if you have any New Year resolutions to do with writing, I’d love hear them.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Tim.

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The Write Side of Life: Sorting Out Priorities

Welcome to my occasional feature, The Write Side of Life. From time to time, I’ll be using this column to talk about my writing, the progress I’m making with various ‘works in progress‘, lessons I’ve learned and writing tips I’ve picked up along the way that you may find useful for yourself.

For this first instalment I want to talk about priorities. When completing any type of writing, be it a novel, short story or some kind of essay or article, I adamantly believe that you need to sort out what’s most important to your writing. For some people that maybe the story and where it’s going. For others it might be sorting out which character needs most developing. It can vary from writer to writer.

For me, this week anyway, the priority that needed sorting has been which of my works in progress to be concentrating on. I currently have two ongoing projects. One is a novel that I am writing to submit to publishers and agents in the hopes of getting a book deal. The other has been Isis, the ongoing story I have been posting on this very site and then bugging you all about on Twitter and Facebook.

When I started writing Isis, I already had an outline of the story planned out and basic outlines for each chapter as well as detailed plans for each of the point of view characters and how they would fit into the narrative. The idea was to write and post a chapter every two weeks. The idea behind this was to give myself time to write the chapter, proofread it and then step away from it before giving it another couple edits and posting it. It also means that people have time to catch up on previous chapters.

As I am sadly not a full time writer, I do have a day job which takes up the majority of my week and means I only really get evenings and weekends to write. The fortnight gap between chapters not only meant that I could take time on each chapter but that I could also divide my precious writing time between Isis and the aforementioned novel. For the last few weeks this has been my system and it seemed to be working.

This week however, a rather large fly has dropped his arse, well and truly in the ointment. Now this isn’t your regular fly, the oily black, filth ridden, pox spreading kind that can ruin a jam sandwich in the blink of an eye, it’s actually an excitable bumbly cartoon fly who has arrived with news of a short story competition. The prize is publication in  one of my favourite magazines so I’d be a fool not to enter.

Nevertheless, this competition does put my system on the Fritz. Instead of being able to just split my time in half for each project, I now have to fit in a third and as my writing time is quite limited, it means I have to sort out my priorities.

Now, I know at this point, it probably looks like I’m whining about a first world problem but I assure you, dear reader, I’m not. I’mm not upset or distressed about having another writing project. I love writing that’s the point. I’m genuinely excited about the competition and really want to win. Not only because it’s one of my favourite magazines, but also because it will get my work out to a much larger audience. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?

So in light of the above, and with the deadline for the competition looming in April, I have decided to put Isis on hiatus for now. I know that there has only been a prologue and two chapters so far but I really want to concentrate on this competition and write the best entry I can. I also want to make sure that Isis becomes the best it can be so for now the priority will be the competition.

I’d love to know what kind of similar challenges, if any, to those I write about here that you face. So drop me a line in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

‘Til next time…