I’m happy to announce that yesterday I created a new writing plan for 2022, despite having failed in all previous attempts to keep to one. I think there’s slightly more hope with this one as I added a new element, which was that as well as turning over the page and starting again, something I’m always in too much of a hurry to do, I reviewed the writing I’d done in 2021 and tried to learn from it.
I should add here that it wasn’t the actual writing that I decided to learn from but the way it was distributed over the year. This only became clear to me when I looked at a list of publication dates and realised that although I had been writing fairly steadily at a rate of about 1,000 words a day throughout the year, most of the publishing had happened from January to July. I published 5 books during this time and then nothing until ‘The Christmas Catastrophe’ in November.
This wasn’t because I had slowed down my writing during the summer or anything. I ended the year with two unfinished novels and quite a few new short stories in my computer files. I had abandoned one novel (‘The Elusive Widow’ in the Heiresses series) at the end of October so that I could start a new thing for National Novel Writing Month in November, and then I abandoned the NaNoWriMo one (Max Falconer 3) at the end of November to try and finish the Heiresses one.
I would prefer to be able to include NaNoWriMo in my schedule without letting it cause havoc, so I’ve tried to be more realistic about this year’s plan and not have to pause anything halfway through, which is not ideal. I tend to forget what happened at the start of a novel once I get past the middle anyway, and if I have to go back to it later then the chances of remembering are far less than if I just carried on to the end.
As a result of all the above, I’ve told myself to finish the two unfinished novels, both a bit problematic, before starting on anything else, no matter how bad they seem while I’m writing. Otherwise I will feel as if I’ve reverted to my teenage years, some time ago now, when I had a whole cupboard full of unfinished hand-written stories in my room. I estimate that finishing them will take a couple of months. After that I will be eager to return to Pitkirtly, where I feel more at home and the stories write themselves, so Pitkirtly XXIV is next on my list, possibly in early spring.
There may be some odd additional publications from time to time during the year as I’ve been meaning to create a new short story collection and possibly a Pitkirtly ‘box set’ (not in a box) or two, in order to help new readers to catch up easily.