A glance in the rear-view mirror…

Every few months or so – usually at propitious or convenient points – I take stock of where I am with my writing. These reviews take the form of notes scribbled into one of many(!) notebooks, and essentially provide a snapshot of where I am with my creative work.

When arriving at such moments (as I do now, finding myself in that strange ‘half-world’ when I’m between projects), I invariably look back at the previous notebook entry to see how I measure up against the thoughts and ambitions I had sketched out then.

Back in July 2020, I set myself five goals:

  1. Finish A Pattern of Sorts.
  2. Continue working on a new collection of poetry.
  3. Decide on / commit to Project X (a long-standing work that has been on the back-burner for a while).
  4. Context Q121 – decide if this is a publishing venture or not.
  5. Think about the next piece of fiction.

So how did I get on?

  1. A Pattern of Sorts was finished and published. TICK
  2. A new collection of poetry was finished and is currently in review; we’re probably looking at April publication. TICK
  3. Hmmm. I think the reason I haven’t settled on Project X on way or another is that I don’t quite believe in it yet. I will complete it at some point, but for now it remains in the background; something I tease at from time to time.
  4. Anthology completed and published at the beginning of the year as New Contexts: 1. TICK
  5. Not only thought about but drafted! (70k words) Currently in review. Probably publishing around May. TICK

So not a bad six months?!

But what about the next six months, you ask. How are they shaping up?

Well, it’s early days, of course. Usually I will cogitate for a period of time – from days to weeks – before I settle on something. Sometimes the route I end up taking is out of my hands, driven by a sudden thought or idea which takes hold. I anticipate a New Contexts: 2 anthology at some point in the year, but at the moment I’m not looking to any more formal poetry projects for myself. So fiction it will be – but what?

Yesterday I had a trawl through my archives and came across no less than eleven old ideas for novels, each at various stages from the most embryonic, through to a few thousand words drafted and the whole thing planned out. Is any one of them worth resurrecting? Perhaps. But if I had really liked the idea behind them why did I drop them in the first place? It could be a question of timing of course, but in most cases I’m sure it’s more fundamental than that… Maybe I’ll post bits and pieces of the stuff I have drafted and see if there’s any reaction.

Yet having said all that, I think it’s likely I’ll land on something new – though what that will be, who knows?!

Watch this space!