30 things one writer learnt in 2018

At this time, in early January, I’m looking forward to what the new year might bring.  However, it’s always good to look back at the year just gone and see what nuggets of wisdom it left behind.  So here goes:

  1. It is possible to have a writing blip.  It’s not that I’ve fallen out with writing it’s just that other things have been going on and the thing that’s suffered most is my blog.
  2. How much stuff two people can stash in one kitchen.
  3. Those tins at the back of the cupboard are likely to be many years out of sell-by.  Our record was 2005
  4. You never stop learning as a writer.  I’ve been back over my first book.  Tempted to do the same for the rest.
  5. I can enjoy relaxing on the beach (as long as the sea’s warm, there’s a sun lounger and a taverna which brings you coffee).
  6. Get those stories out!  They’re no good sitting on my/your hard drive.  For me I’ve got two follow-ups to the first book I published which have been sitting there for a years.  A 2019 resolution?
  7. I still don’t like playing golf in the rain and mud.  When you see it on TV they’re always playing in warm sunshine.
  8. Sometimes you can’t have too much of a good thing.  In the UK we had a glorious summer, fingers crossed for 2019.
  9. Most of the time you can take out the word “that” in your writing – try it.
  10. Beware the passive voice.
  11. What is it about the human race.  We know we’re making a mess of the planet and yet we still refuse to do much about it?
  12. The easy part is writing the book, the harder part is getting it ready for publication, the hardest part is the marketing (or at least that’s how it works for me).
  13. Working in a messy environment doesn’t help (note to self – tidy your room.).
  14. I’m a hard working lazy person (my thanks to Billy Connelly for that).
  15. Going back on a squash court after 20 years can lead to a torn calf muscle.
  16. The best way to divide a nation is with a referendum.
  17. When the writing dries up switch to a short story.  Great for inspiration and experimentation.  Also the end is never too far away.
  18. Upgrading your web site is never as simple as it seems.  Also, it’ll cost you more.
  19. Just because they’re experts doesn’t mean they’ll explain it in a way you can understand.  Best go to someone who’s struggled with it and then worked it out.
  20. Detailed planning of your book isn’t always the best option.
  21. You can ski with a torn calf muscle, just expect to fall over more.
  22. I’ll never be a guitar playing rock god, but I can dream (that’s what we writers do isn’t it?).
  23. You never stop worrying about your kids.
  24. The people who make money from on-line courses on how to sell your books are the ones selling the on-line course.
  25. Having a book series may well be the best way for an Indie-author to sell more books.  I’m working on it.
  26. I rejoice in every single book download/sale.  It means someone out there who I don’t know is reading (and hopefully enjoying) my work.Which way?
  27. As soon as you’ve pressed “upload” to Amazon you’ll find a typo.
  28. The first time you download and read your own work from Amazon you’ll find another typo.  I blame the writing Gremlins.
  29. Just because you’re not writing doesn’t mean your characters aren’t up to something.  Or is it just me?
  30. Finally, a year always feels longer looking ahead in January than it does looking back in December.

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

4 thoughts on “30 things one writer learnt in 2018”

  1. Great list!
    Number I4 is definitely me, and totally agree with 27 and 28.
    I’m planning on releasing #3 in my epic fantasy series in March, and there’s no doubt a series is easier – you only need to market #1, and make sure each book is good enough that readers want to buy the next one.

    1. It’ll be interesting. I have books 2 and 3 to my last one in proof reading and if I can get books 2 and 3 to my first book sorted then I could have a couple of series out in 2019.

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