My Writing Year – 2018

As many of us do, I like to look back and believe I’ve accomplished something in the past year. For me, this was my first full year in retirement—having finished my regular working life in late 2017.

My aim was the same as always, to use my time productively. Apart from reading/reviewing and my literary output, I had a couple of big domestic projects to plan and complete. I wouldn’t concentrate properly on my writing if I didn’t deal with one of my domestic jobs first, so January was written off.

February—I bought Vellum, a quality formatting programme to use with my Mac. Not only was I intent on producing paperbacks—I wanted the interior to look smart, and professional. Before a book was released as a paperback it would be completely revised. The revisions were already underway. My eBooks were also scheduled for the processing through Vellum.

MarchAmsterdam Calling; published in paperback.

AprilTen Days in Panama; published in paperback.

MayCurious and Camping: An Erotic Journey; published.

—helped to edit and format Lisa: and other short stories, for my dear friend and fellow author Carmen Lopez.

JuneQuiet Night Inn: and other erotic stories; published.

—Commenced work on the conversion of A Life of Choice from five eBooks to a paperback trilogy.

July/August—Continued A Life of Choice conversion.

—Editing and assembling stories for the next IASD anthology (with the invaluable help of several members of the group).

—Completed a large domestic task and fitted in a holiday.

September—Created Tom Benson – Artist, a new website to replace Tom Benson Creative Writer and Artist, which was heavy on admin and light on visitors. 

OctoberRhyme & REASON: 200 Poems, published. A collection I’d considered for a few years which encompasses my serial poetry and samples from each of my genre-based volumes.

NovemberBeing a Good Girl: An Erotic Novella, published.

NovemberA Life of Choice: The Trilogy Edition, published. This was a major task, on which I started work back in June. It is the paperback version of my popular five-part eBook series.

DecemberSharing: An Erotic Novel, published.

In terms of reading, I set myself a target of fifty books and completed forty-six. I will read two more by the end of year. 🙂

Do I feel as if I’ve met my targets?

I do, and apart from dealing with the occasional injury or extremely bad weather, I maintained my daily early morning cycle ride. Personally, I feel as if I’ve had a good year and I now look forward to continuing with the same enthusiasm as we go into 2019.

(I’ve never produced a ‘flag’ from folded T-shirts before ….) 😀


My aims for 2019 will be set out in my next post … very soon. In the meantime, thank you for being a part of my writing life, in whichever way, large or small. It all counts for me.

A heads-up for all you lovely people who have taken the time to read this post. I have four very different titles being offered free and they’ll be available* from Wednesday 19th through Sunday 23rd December.

*This is, of course, if there are no technical hitches with Amazon.

Have a peaceful end to the old year and a great start to the new one.



Back to the Future

The graphic for this post is of an acrylic on canvas I completed last year.  It depicts myself and my wife sitting on a hill overlooking Derwent Water in the Lake District.  I used a photo taken by our son as the basis for the painting.  Apart from being a fellow artist I think he’s pretty handy with a camera and has an appreciation of good photo composition … but then I’m biased.

Since my last entry here I’ve allowed ‘life’ to infiltrate my writing world.  A home improvement project which had to be done in logical sessions took up a lot of time, but the finished result is like looking at a good piece of writing.  It would be selfish of me to concentrate only on my writing so I don’t mind the occasional sacrifice of some time.

Making matters worse for my time at the keyboard, work took it’s toll because it’s the busiest time of the year for stationery retailers, so I was left feeling too tired to write anything worthwhile.  It was a couple of days before I realised I wasn’t writing on my train journeys – preferring to concentrate on staying awake.  It’s over a year now since I last dozed off on the journey home, thus adding another ninety minutes to my trip.

So here I am, back at the helm, controls, bridge or whatever is the best analogy.  On the odd occasion when I have been relaxing I’ve managed to upload some poetry, a short story and a variety of my artwork to the ‘Apollo Blessed’ site.  Like all good sites they appear to be a nice bunch of creatives.  I do like the idea of stories, poetry, art, photography and music all being treated as ‘art’, rather than a single strand of work being concentrated there.  Like myself there are several folk who like to express themselves with more than just words.

I feel better now that I’ve managed to put another entry together, so now with the redecorated kitchen and dining room organised I feel free to get back into the saddle, relax and write.  Two short stories for competitions, my novel and untold ideas for poems await my attention … and I can feel a drawing coming into focus …