The past six months have been a thrill and I would like to thank everyone who has read my blog, book, additional chapters and short story. While a bit more constructive criticism might have been welcome I am very grateful, chuffed in fact, at all the praise. It has swollen my head sufficiently to spur me to keep going when there are other demands on my time.
The money has also been nice. As expected, Changing the Subject is a long way from a best seller but an average of one sale a day will get me and mine a lovely lunch on Christmas day. l will think of those 90 odd discerning readers while I par-boil the parsnips. I don't know all of my readers personally, just nearly all, but I'm sure they're all lovely people.
Speaking of personally; Christmas appears to have come early this year, in fact it may have been and gone; I don't usually feel this much resentment at the bunch of overfed slobs lying semi-conscious in their own detritus wherever I step until boxing Day. But hey-ho, such is the life of a writer/teacher/Coordinator/mum at Christmas and I wouldn't really have it any other way.
This time last year and for the first half of 2020, I spent my days volunteering occasionally, teaching a bit and writing a lot. Since late June I have made a website with blog, self-published a novel, learned about marketing and promotion, had a lot of fun with semi-colons, tried my hand at writing a short story, added a Volunteer Coordinator hat to my collection of jobs and virtually and actually met lots of interesting people. Some of the learning curves involved have been steep, some have been a walk in the park. All in all; I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
The main thing that I've learned is that marketing is very time consuming and I will be doing much less in the next half year, partly as an experiment to see if it actually makes any difference to sales, partly so I make it to Christmas 2020. Marketing takes a great deal of time and focus. It is also repetitive and not in a good way like dancing or other physical activity, It makes me feel like I'm trapped in a GIF; unless the little snippet of film involves children falling over, then more than ten repeats and you want to die. Times that by a thousand or two and you have some idea of the torture I have been willing to undergo for my craft over the past months.
I know writers say it all the time but I need more time to write, not just these blogs, which I do like to put a little effort into, but some actual stories. The marketing, that somehow manages to numb and infuriate the same senses at the same time, will have to take a back seat at least until the summer. No more How-to guides for me; reading and writing is what 2020 will be all about.
I am going on holiday now and won't be doing anything to do with being a writer until 2020. I am looking forward to getting on with some reading while I wait for various things to set, roast, bake or boil. Here are my presents to me:
So all that's left to say is have a wonderful break and a very Happy New Year. And to paraphrase a very wise man; if you only read one book in 2020, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.