Writing in 2023

2023 has been a mixed year for my writing. I started out planning to release more self-published work and, in the end, the only physical booklet I released myself was Memetic Infection Hazards. But I’ve published some good pieces online, my favourites being:

I’m pleased with the work in Memetic Infection Hazards, but it took me months between getting the cover produced and sorting out the printing. And then I barely promoted it afterwards. I’m not sure what all the resistance I face is, but it is something worth thinking about.

I also produced Fishscale, a double-page spread in Dan Sumption’s Krill magazine, which I was very happy with. This was an entire A4-sized short story collection, containing 12 tiny pieces of writing. I need to do another version of this in 2024.

In July, I started sending pieces out to a substack mailing list, concentrating initially on the South Downs Way collection. Publishing something regularly has been good for me, as it’s got me thinking more carefully about audiences. There are issues with substack’s politics at current, so I need to move platform, but I would like to keep on with some form of mailing list.

I’ve probably shared more work publicly in 2023 than any other year, and this can only be a good thing. It’s made me consider which work is worth finishing and sharing, and how many distractions I have. I’ve deleted a lot of half-finished stories this year, and I need to continue to avoid getting bogged down in old, half-finished ideas.

2023 has also got me thinking about what I want from my writing. Is it worth the effort I put into it, when I could be putting that effort into my career? I’m not sure it has justified the effort in the past, but I want to look at how it could.

My main plan for 2024 is to release the book True Clown Stories. I’m currently preparing the kickstarter with Dan from Peakrill Press (sign up here to be notified about the launch!). This project has been over 13 years in the works, but I am enjoying the collaboration with a publisher.

I’ve a few ideas about what to do after True Clown Stories, but whatever it is will involve a different approach to my writing than in the past. One that focuses more on the joys of creation and sharing my work.

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