30, yes 30! things I’ve learnt in 2013

2013 in many ways has been a big year for me.  I started blogging, twitter and e-published my first two books.  So, in no particular order, this is what I’ve learnt this year:IMG_8378

  1. Twitter isn’t just for teenagers / young adults (whatever those are).
  2. How to put a web site together in WordPress.  Then, how to do it again when you find out it works better in Linux.
  3. Soup doesn’t do your keyboard much good .
  4. Twitter can be very, very distracting.
  5. On twitter, number of followers isn’t everything – go for quality not quantity
  6. Which biscuits are good for writers and which have flaky chocolate that you then find on the seat of your trousers some time later.
  7. Blogging makes you think about your genre in ways… you hadn’t thought of, if you get my meaning.
  8. You can eat too much chocolate – sad but true.
  9. The best way to improve your writing is to write, oh, and to read.
  10. Writing poetry is fun!  Or in my case trying to is.  It’s a different discipline where every word has to count – try it.
  11. A writing group is a great source inspiration.
  12. Self publishing is easy.  Self marketing isn’t – it’s hard work.
  13. A comment that someone has enjoyed your blog makes it all worthwhile.  A comment that someone has enjoyed your book (having paid for it) is even better.
  14. Playing golf is not taking time off to think, however much you want it to be – its playing golf!
  15. If you reply to someone’s tweet they will often tweet back – nice!
  16. No matter how great you think your writing is an editor/proof reader will soon put you right – mine did.
  17. You can’t be sad when you’re playing the banjo (you can be frustrated though).
  18. Other peoples blogs often look better than your own.  But search hard and you’ll find ones that don’t!
  19. You can have too much coffee – also sad but true.
  20. I have more ideas for stories than I think I’ll ever have time to write (an unexpected by-product of blogging – see 5.)
  21. I’ll never be an exercise junky – I do it (reluctantly) because I feel I should.
  22. I can still be a rock god (in my imagination and the privacy of my own room).
  23. You can’t have too many guitars.
  24. My wife thinks I have too many guitars.
  25. As soon as you press publish on Kindle you’ll find an error.
  26. Tweeting  ‘buy my book’, ‘buy my book’, ‘buy my book’ all the time is boring.  Occasionally is fine and mix it up with some other interesting / amusing stuff.
  27. No matter how much proof reading you have done and how many times you run spell check etc. there will be errors (Sods law for writers).
  28. Homemade bread is really, really good.  Try Paul Hollywood’s basic bloomer recipe on the BBC web site.
  29. Writing a blog on robots has attracted more hits than just about anything else.
  30. There are a lot of generous people out there giving good advice, insights and information for free – I’m trying to do the same.

Well, that’s it for now and for 2013.  I’m sure there’s more, but hey, I’m already looking forward to what 2014 might bring.  Hopefully at least one more book published (perhaps two if I get my finger out).  Have a good New Year everyone.


Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

9 thoughts on “30, yes 30! things I’ve learnt in 2013”

  1. Ian,
    Great post! These are crucial gems that they simply don’t teach in school anymore.

    To clarify #23 for those who might lack understanding, you can’t have too many guitars because it dissipates the value and relationship you have with that One Special Guitar. Three or four might be necessary for different moods, but more than that, well, you can’t have too many guitars because they take up too much room.

    I appreciate your posting these here. Here’s hoping you scale even higher peaks in 2014.

    1. Katie

      Thanks for the comment. I think I understand. I may use the additional explanation which I shall save and use in the future.


    1. You are correct I am in the UK. And I have not heard of Tim Tams. If I can get hold of some I’ll run my rigorous analysis on them (probably over several weeks) and report back.

        1. Sorry, answered this late last night and didn’t get the connection – Tim Tam’s, I’ll keep an eye out. Watch out for a future review.

  2. “Self publishing is easy. Self marketing isn’t – it’s hard work.” So true. Publishing your work is really just the first step. If you want people to find it, you need to become a skilled marketer.

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