At the beginning of the year I set myself two targets:

  1. Write 3,000 words a week for 48 weeks of the year.  (A total of 144,000 words.)
  2. Finish the first draft of ‘the Shopping Trip’
That was the ambition.  Did I succeed?  No. 

These are my stats:
-         Words written: 97, 391
-         Average words/week : 2,209  (for 48 weeks)
-         % target:  67.6%
-         Weeks over 3,000 words:12
-         Weeks with 0 words: 9
-         Least words in a week: 97
-         Most words in a week: 5,499
-         Draft finished?:  No

So I didn’t do it, not even very close, but I’m not too disappointed.  All things I considered I think I did pretty well in what turned out to be an unexpectedly tough year.  I nearly made 100,000 words.

From January to mid September I was looking after my increasingly frail father and running his home.  From that point there was his funeral to organise and his affairs to wind up.  Yes, I had my sister to help, and she was fantastic, but she was living in Australia until November, and also coping with the accidental death of her husband at the beginning of the year and her emigration back to England.  Some weeks it really wasn’t very easy.

In writing terms I have some good things to look forwards to.  The first draft of The Shopping Trip will be complete very soon, (new target end of January).  I am excited about this book and can’t wait to get it test read, final drafted and submitted.  I have one agent who said he wants to see it, and an editor who may well want to.

There is also the launch of PS Publishing’s Catastrophia anthology  at Fantasycon  on 18th September.  This includes a short story of mine, is a great sale and my first ever launch.

Elsewhere in writing Million Monkeys goes from strength to strength.  My writing group, the T Party now has at least half a dozen writers with agents, authors with books just, or soon to be, published and others being regularly published and talked about.  My own feeling is that for the group 2010 could be a nice year.  In the family my daughter has written, and started submitting her first novel and started on her second, and one of my sons has good ideas for a non-fiction book of his own.  Good stuff all round.

Personally, if the door slams on the arse of 2009 on its way out I shall cheer.  Here’s looking forwards to 2010.  I certainly am.  Peace on Earth.  Have a good one, everybody.

rock and rolled and a whole load of other stuff too.  2009 (including Christmas 2008) has been a pretty difficult year so far with an ailing father requiring daily care, and my sister loosing her husband in a car crash.
Slowly life is returning to some form of normality, though in terms of caring for dad that will never be as it was and I don't believe he will now ever regain his full health or mobility.
So it goes.  He's 91 at the end of this month and as a WW2 glider pilot, has literally been through the wars, surviving some desperate injuries and living with disability ever since.  Looking after him can be tough at times, but he deserves much consideration.
One side effect of all this is that I simply do not have the time, nor the energy to keep my leather work going ( and I have decided to mothball that project indefinitely.  I'll still be making a few things for pleasure, and for friends on request, but for the foreseeable future the Traveller in Black business is closed.
Which means that the free time I do have will be devoted to writing.  This year the ambition is to write 5,000 words a week (I tried 1,000 words a day but that is just not possible some days), stay focused, and write, write, write.
Many thanks to Terry Edge for the motivation and inspiration to do this!