It’s been a while since I last gave an update on my writing progress, mainly because I’ve not really done much actual writing in the last couple of months. That probably isn’t that much of a surprise to regular readers here. In fact, it would be fairly accurate to say it’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to me and my sporadic output. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, believe me.
Firstly, I can confirm that after my last update in November I have since finished the first draft of the rewrite of A Pocketful Of Secrets, and it’s now gathering digital dust on my hard drive. As I explained back then I don’t want to make the same mistake I made with my first attempt at self-publishing, so I’ve put the first draft to bed for now and plan on coming back to it in the next few weeks for a first edit. I’ll post any further news on this as it becomes available.
In the meantime I’ve decided to be a little more proactive about the whole writing thing and to that end I’ve joined the online writing community over at Scribophile. This is a members only online writing group that doubles as a social network for writers, and so far seems to be a very cool place to hang out. Members who want to get feedback on their own work are encouraged to critique other peoples’ works by earning points for each critique they make, using those points to then post their own compositions. The site also carries a wide selection of forums for those who just want advice, and in addition there are hundreds of genre-, locale- and topic-specific groups to join to get your work noticed if and when you finally post something. The fact that you have to be a registered user in order to view the posted material means that it doesn’t infringe on any first publication rights, so it’s a great place to get some solid feedback from other writers before submitting works for publication, if that’s your intention.
One thing I have noticed as a result of joining Scribophile (or Scrib, as the locals call it) is that it’s given me more motivation to write. Before joining, the fact that I wasn’t getting much in the way of feedback was working against me, making me question my reasons for writing. Now that I know the potential for more feedback exists I want to write more. Even if the feedback I get is telling me that I’m not at the top of my game, or that I still need to learn more as writer, as long as there’s some constructive criticism in there it’s still all useful stuff. It still helps me hone my skills, still points me down the right paths to make me a better writer, and (more importantly) gives me validation as a writer because someone is reading my work. For me it’s that last point that motivates me the most, the realisation that I’m not doing this for nothing, that my words, however sparkling or dull, are reaching an audience that ‘s appreciative and supportive.
With that in mind I recently started work on a new short story that I hope to have finished and ready to post to Scrib by the weekend. If it generates good enough feedback I may try submitting it to a few magazines, or I may just post it on here for my regular readers. Either way round, I’m hoping this marks the start of a longer and more productive period of writing.