My Writing Year – 2021

Most of my time over the past couple of years has been spent in fictional worlds, which might sound peculiar but has for me, been a blessing. As an author I’ve found it easier than many people to accept national and international travel restrictions. Late in the year I fitted in trips up to Scotland and across to Amsterdam. In both cases I witnessed a different real world from before Covid 19.

I started my writing year as usual, with targets. Four new titles was always going to be ambitious, but without ambition, there’s little point in setting goals. Next Steps: and other stories, Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, Codename: Foxglove, and Crusader were all in the line-up. Of those, only Crusader remains a Work in Progress.

What else filled my time?

A challenge I’d set myself was to produce my mainstream titles in paperback, which created a lot of work. The task was accomplished. A secondary job was to publish my short stories in paperback but not include tales from my anthologies which had been submitted by guest authors.

To cut a long story short, if you’ll pardon the pun, I had eighty tales which I mixed to produce four volumes of twenty short stories. My aim here was multi-faceted:

– produce books which were value for money for readers.

– an approximately equal word count.

– a mix of genre but without erotica.

– all my own work.

Did I maintain any other author interests?

As always, I filled in many hours reading, reviewing, beta-reading for fellow members of the IASD, and mentoring a couple of aspiring authors.

Apart from those things I offered my services to my pseudonym — Katya Cumming. For her part, she produced five new titles. Her books are slightly shorter than mine but have plenty of action, albeit for a different taste. Five may sound like a lot, but they are written over a longer time period because most are based on notes and short story ideas from over the years.

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Do I believe I’ve had a productive writing year?

Yes, I do, and as we all look forward to 2022, I’m content with the titles I have planned. One of next year’s stories is Selena: Sea Nymph, my first attempt at sci-fi paranormal fantasy. The first five chapters are available for reading and comments in my Work in Progress menu.

Not to be outdone, Katya also has more titles lined up.

I already know how most of my author’s year will be spent in 2022, and 2023, so I’ll drop a hint with my New Writing Year blog in January 2022.

Comments and suggestions are welcome as always, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

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6 thoughts on “My Writing Year – 2021

  1. Barbara Speake

    I think that, like you, Tom, a lot of writers managed the lockdown better than others. We enjoy being in our fictional worlds. As you know, I felt privileged to have been part of your 2021 writing year, being a beta reader for Codename: Foxglove. You’ve achieved a lot in 2021, Tom. I’m sure you’ll be as successful in 2022. Stay well and enjoy the holidays.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara, and it was kind of you to get produce such great feedback. You and yours keep safe. 🙂

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  2. You certainly have been busy, Tom. Well done. I’ve also been grateful for other worlds to retreat to and explore. My work in progress, presently at 65,000 words, has taken me halfway around the world in sailing ships, and I’ve starved in Darien and been taken by pirates – no, Katia, not in that way! My beta readers for ‘Revenge’ are going to need to have sailed the Caribbean and the East Indies, preferably as 18th century pirates or slave traders, have visited Panama, and have a background in Scotland. Now, I wonder why I’m mentioning this to you? 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Ruth. I appreciate the lengths you go to in research, and your efforts produce great stories. I’ll be on hand when the time comes for beta reading. 🙂

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  3. I’m envious of your productivity Tom.. I’ve had a disaster of a writing year.. couldn’t be helped- hopefully 2022 will being us all some joy . Happy Christmas Tom ☘️🎈🎄

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    1. Patrick, I admire you for your resilience after the issues you’ve faced and seen off. I hope 2022 is good for you and yours, and I know I’m talking about myself and many others when I say that your next title is eagerly awaited. Health to enjoy and move forward.:)

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