2012 Retrospective

It struck me the other day how much I’ve really learned about writing and publishing this year, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on the ‘big stuff’ – the real eye-openers which have made a difference to my writing this year:-

Marketing will always take up more time than writing if you don’t manage it properly. Set aside one morning a week to read/respond to emails, set up automatic Twitter feeds if you can, and jot down ideas for blog updates so you’ve always got a handy stash up your sleeve.

Switch the internet off. You’re supposed to be writing, remember?

One project at a time. At least finish the first draft and have that tucked away ready for editing before you start something else – otherwise you’ll never finish anything!

Ask for help. I’m always amazed by the number of experts who are ready to drop everything to answer a question to help me with my research. For my current project, the next Dan Taylor thriller, I’ve met an ex-helicopter pilot, two submarine experts, a doctor and an ex-bomb disposal technician, all of whom have provided guidance and advice (thanks guys!).

Be brave. Don’t be shy – your research is going to involve more than surfing the internet for information. See point 4 above. People love to help – so ask them!

Read. Read a lot. Writing thrillers? Read thrillers. Watch thrillers. It’s called research. Honest.

Get a notebook and keep it on you at all times. Or use the ‘Notes’section on your smartphone. Or a recording device. Whatever. Don’t lose that idea for a sentence/scene just because you’re not organised.

Some people won’t like what you write. Some people won’t like that you write at all. That’s okay. Write for you. That’s why you started doing this in the first place, right?

Talk to other writers. Build up a support network of other authors. Help others when they ask for help – there are no ‘trade secrets’ in writing. Pass it on.

That’s it. Thanks to everyone for your support this last year – it’s been an absolute blast and I can’t wait to share the next book with you.

All the best for 2013.


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