This year I will be able to give much more of my attention and time to being creative. I intend to spend time writing more, publishing my writing, and starting a YouTube channel. But first I need a new blogging plan.
The New Plan same as the Old One
Towards the end of 2022 I felt stressed about hitting the 50+ posts a year target I’d set myself. So in 2023, I decided to cut that number in half. Easier said than done, as it turned out. Apparently I’d so fixed myself into my weekly routine that pulling out became very nearly as difficult as going on. Nor did I plan for it properly.
I ended up publishing 38 posts. And I think, during the year, I may have actually started writing the remaining 12 to take that to 50, before time pressure caused me to give up on them.
This year, I have a better version of the old plan: 26 posts and (excepting these three at the beginning of the year) only publishing every other week.
Launching a YouTube Channel
Not that I’m going to be writing or otherwise creating less, week on week. Between times, 2024 is the year I plan to launch a YouTube channel, with videos publishing every other week alternately with the blog posts.
That’s the target at any rate. I’m not sure how long it will take me to build up the necessary momentum. Making videos is considerably more complex than publishing blog posts. (More fun too!)
As I write I have the first video almost ready to publish, and a second in the works close behind. Future videos are less clearly defined.
As you know, the blog tends to swing about from topic to topic. From what I’ve been reading to where I’ve been travelling. From exhibitions I’ve visited or films I’ve seen to essays, short stories or poems. Just look at the range of categories! From memoir and things about my family to posts about the craft of writing. It’s disparate.
Focus: Writing for Publication
The video channel will be more focused on writing. Specifically on the path I’ll be following this year and the next to become a published author.
Last year I turned 65 and retired from my last day job, so, I’ve got the time. And this year I’ve begun drawing my pension. It’s a modest pension. I was a teacher and a translator most of my working life, neither particularly well-paid professions. Added to that I moved around quite a bit, especially in my younger years. My pension is enough, but it would be helpful to earn a little bit more as a top-up.
But neither available time nor the remote possibility of an extra income are the principle reasons. (I promise, I’m not fool enough to believe the chances of earning anything from my writing is other than very slim.)
No, the main reason I want to be published is in order to grow as a writer and as a creator. To go a step further than this blog. (And to fulfil an old dream.)
For Your Consideration and Luce in Lundon
Later on this year I plan to self-publish an anthology of pieces from the last 15 years. My projected title is For Your Consideration, and it will be available as an e-book and print-on-demand. I think about half the content will come from pieces I’ve published here on TheSupercargo. (Quite a lot of it re-written.) The rest will come from elsewhere or be newly written. I’m looking at a publication date sometime in May or June.
I’m also continuing with my future history/science fiction novel (working title: Luce in New Lundon). I wrote 50,000 words for this during NaNoWriMo in November and I’ve added another 25,000 since then. The zero draft is more or less done. Now I need to go through it, re-organise it and write the alpha version of the first draft for my first reader, Mrs SC. As long as she doesn’t saw it off at the roots, I’ll rewrite again and hope to be able to send copies out to beta readers before the end of the year.
Alongside these projects I’m also working on a book of poetry (working title 50/50-ish). I’ve had a stop-start relationship with this for years. I still don’t know if it will be a book, a chapbook or just a handful of poems. If the latter … well, it already is the latter. About seven of the poems, to date, are accepted for publication or already published in different poetry magazines. Anyway, I’m aiming to have compiled at least a chapbook by the end of the year and have it submitted somewhere a serious editor/poet can look at it and tell me whether to carry on or not to bother.
My plan for the year, and the year to come, is to write and publish myself in several different contexts. Self-publishing is a given, but I would like to go through the experience of seeking a traditional publisher (submission, agent, acceptance, editor, publication). I know that is largely out of my control, so I’m not going to beat myself uop if I can’t get far along that road, but I want at least to try. I’d also like to try other routes to publication (co-operative or hybrid publication for example).
Beginner author documents his progress
It’s this process I’d like to document on my YouTube channel. (There may be some crossover in blog posts on this website too.)
On YouTube I’ve been struck by the number of people publishing How-to videos about creative writing. It may demonstrate the limits of my ability to devise YouTube search terms, or it may be what the algorithm chooses to show me based on my past viewing interests. But apart from How-to videos the volume of videos dealing with creative writing seem limited to interviews with established authors, poetry readings, and long, rambling, but (to me) rather boring vlogs or podcasts. Nothing by beginner authors documenting their progress.
YouTube advice I’ve received emphasises the importance of finding your niche. Well, “beginner author documents his progress” may be a niche of a niche, but it feels like a relevant place for me to start.
So that’s where I am at the start of 2024. I trust your year is looking as creative and as hopeful!