HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Updated: Jan 19
It's been a few months since my last blog update, so I wanted to sit down and kick off the new year with a post giving you all an update on how 2021 went and what I hope will happen in 2022.
2021 was a strange year on the writing and reading front. And I'll admit that I have not wrote a single word of fiction in well over a year. And I only managed to read one book in the whole of last year... shocking carry on from someone who claims to be a writer and believe me, I beat myself up many a time over it. That said, the more I beat myself up, the worse the feeling of having to read and write intensified and before I knew it, I was overcome with guilt for not doing either. To make matters worse, I'd hop onto social media where all day everyday, writers, colleagues and the Horror Fiction community had daily updates about new books, new projects, vague book posts, good reviews, publishing deals, bumper sales, new agents, award nominations/wins and before I knew it, my confidence was shattered. I'd fallen into a 'Keeping up with the Jones' mentality and everytime I tried to begin, I started running before crawling and fell flat on my face, everytime. So that was it, time to RETIRE and give up this writing effort as I'll never be able to keep up with the pace required to be successful in this game...
Ever heard or experience a 'Moment of Clarity'? Thankfully, I had one in the later half of the year and a realization came over me... and that was that none of the above actually matters right now and putting pressure on myself to write and read was making things worse. In Stephen King's On Writing and his interviews about his working habits, he explains that he usually hits six pages a day and devours books on a weekly basis. When I start publishing back in 2018, this was the standard I tried to live up too... and my God, has it been a disaster because as useful as King's insight and book is, it is totally unrealistic for a writer who is only in the door... and here's why...
Throughout the pandemic, there have been some huge life changes for me and my family. My wife and I bought a house and moved to a new town (Huge ordeal!) and in June 2021 my second son was born. My oldest son started school and before I knew it, family life took all my time and energy. During one of the night feeds it dawned on me that if I want to continue writing, I'd need to establish a new work life balance of priorities, but also realise that while I enjoy reading and writing, I'm not actually in a race with anyone nor do I have to have a standard of one of the most successful writers of all time. Or any other writer for that matter. So, if you're like me and have a young family, pets, older/sick parents and a full time day job, then reading and writing should be your escape/downtime activity and not viewed as a career at this point in your life. It's okay not to write while you work on your priorities. Scribble when you can and read when you can. Reject worry about making money from your craft, that's what the day job is for. If you're lucky enough to find a readership that'll allow you write full time, then worry about making money from it, but until then, I'm heading into 2022 with the view of enjoying the craft for what it is right now and nothing more.
My biggest Achilles Heel is promoting my books. I never had or never will feel comfortable pitching sales on social media. Evidence of this can be seen with my collection, Keening Country and it's whopping SEVEN reviews on Goodreads, ZERO Amazon reviews and poor sales, so I'll use this paragraph to inform you that the hardback is currently on sale for only €7 on Amazon right now. If you pick it up and enjoy it, perhaps consider giving it a signal boost where you can.
Moving on... I wrapped up a big project last week with Stygian Sky Media that will be announced later this month and I will share the news via my mailing list as soon as I can. In the meantime, be sure to follow their social media channels so you don't miss it.
I've also completed a new post apocalyptic Horror novella that is currently out in the wild gathering blurbs. The title is still not confirmed, but I have both digital and physical ARC's available for any reviewers who might be interested in an advanced read for your blog / socials - feel free to get in touch. All going to plan, I'm hoping to release it later this year.
And that's about it from me for now. Other than a official announcements, I aim to start sending my newsletter/blog updates out on a quarterly basis. I hope 2022 is a good year for you and yours. Until next time, stay safe.