Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

New Year’s Eve. The usual reflective post. I feel pretty pleased with myself in writing terms. I managed to get ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ series out of my head (where it’s been playing out since I was about 14 or 15) and into the world. I released a short story from this series every month for 9 months, and while I did have to release the final five instalments all in one go due to other commitments, I’m pleased with the achievement and with the response it has received.

I’ve also been re-editing ‘Ivory’. While it seemed to please many when it was first released, I’ve read some reviews that raised similar questions that the narrative left unanswered and then my editor raised them too. I decided that they really should be answered. Sometimes you can have too much mystery and ambiguity. I had always planned ‘Ivory’ as part of a series, but I think bringing elements from the sequels I had in mind into a single story it makes ‘Ivory’ a more rounded tale in of itself. A tweaked ‘Ivory’ will be stalking the internet in 2014.

O-kay, it’s not all been whiskers on kittens though. My day job in health care has sucked like a hooker on a schedule this year. I got moved to a new department and lost the therapy side of my work in the process, so now I pretty much fill out two forms day in day out. I had been lucky enough to work in my last team for 12 years, and they were a great bunch, but in my new team I pretty much work on my own ‘hot-desking’ between offices so it gets a bit lonely. Not being a nurse or a social worker (which everyone else is in this team) I’m limited in what I can do so that‘s cranked up the insecurity I had already been feeling in my job for a while. 

Ok. Negativity done. There are plenty of people out there who are far unhappier than me and for better reasons too. I frequently remind myself that it’s bad, but not North Korea bad. The positive, if I can wring any out of this, is that I have had to do something to reduce this insecurity. I have been considering a career change for a while, but having always worked in health care everything else is a mystery… In the absence of the opportunities Mr Benn had in trying out different professions every week, a big change like that can be daunting. Then, in looking for opportunities for my younger sister I came across bookkeeping and accountancy courses. Now, if you knew me, for me to consider that is like the Pope kind of realising the whole religion thing and dressing up in a frock was a bit silly for an adult to be involved in. I have had a maths phobia since secondary school. Well, strangely, and to my surprise, I didn’t recoil from the idea like a vampire from a crucifix or a garlic baguette. A bookkeeping course came up while I was looking into it and me and my sister signed up. 12 weeks later I’ve taken the exam and signed up for the next course. It feels really good to be doing something completely different. I have no idea at this stage how I’m going to fare, but I tell you, just having a fallback position and the hope of doing something new feels great.

Studying has left me less time to write though, which is why the last 5 instalments of ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ came out in one hit. They were ready to go and I just wanted them off the agenda so I could focus on my studies. Fortunately though, 2013 and 2014 was planned to be about editing and getting existing work on the Kindle so my playing with numbers shouldn’t interfere too much with my writing.

What’s next? Well, I have three books that need editing, and they will be released in 2014, and as ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ are short it should be easy to fit writing more of them around  my studies. I’m looking at October as a possible start date for the next run, but I’ll see.

That’s pretty much me. There will be another post about plans for ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ soon, but the last thing I want to do writing wise in 2013 is to thank you for downloading my work, for the ratings, the reviews, the shared tweets and facebook posts. All that makes tapping at my keyboard worthwhile.

Thanks a bunch, and hope you stick with me to see what 2014 is like.

Take care, stay healthy, have fun, and I hope 2014 is all you want it to be. Oh, and er, keep reading…

Happy New Year!

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