Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


Looking Forward, Looking Back

December 31, 2006 by Richard Wright in Journal, Life, Writing

So, that was 2006, was it? Well, it had its moments, I suppose – some highs and some lows. On a personal level, I got to travel around a bit, seeing both Paris (stunning) and Brussels (err… good beer?), and travelling up and down the UK, mostly for work reasons. Spring and summer were inordinately stressful, for reasons both pathetic and beyond my control, while August and September saw things swing the other was rather dramatically. My motivation, on all sorts of fronts, took a massive upswing in the closing months of the year, and have set me up well for 2007. I have several plans for next year, some worryingly dramatic, and when 2007 closes, life is going to look very different from how it does now.

As far as writing goes, there have been several achievements this year. I finished one novel, and am most of the way through a second. I wrote several short stories, some of which are forthcoming in various publications in 2007 and 2008 (details nearer the time). I sold my novelette Radio Trauma to the Pendragon Press anthology Choices (you have ordered a copy , of course), and I’m currently completing work on a secret project, about which no further details can be disclosed at the moment (trust me though – it’s going to rock your boat like nobody’s business). I self-published my short story collection Dark Terrains as a free ebook and trade paperback, the latter of which deserves its own entry early in the New Year, putting to bed some stories that have been gathering moss since being published in a variety of venues now out of print or difficult to find. It’s been a satisfying year, on the whole, with more to come (for example, I’m in very tentative talks with a publisher about… nah… I’ll have to wait and see whether contracts get signed before I blow that one…).

So what do I want to achieve next year? Here’s my personal outline of things I want to achieve next year.

  • Get an agent. After the horrible experience I had with my previous novel Cuckoo, and agent is paramount. Now that I’m producing novel length work again, I really need to have somebody making the most of it on my behalf.
  • Complete a novel a quarter. Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? Well, after writing most of Craven Place in thirty days over November, I suspect it’s probably not, if the nose is to the grindstone.
  • Complete a novella or novelette a month. This could be trickier, but after The Flesh Remembers and Radio Trauma, I’m developing something of a passion for working at the slightly shorter length.
  • Complete a short story a fortnight. Now you think I’ve lost the plot, I can tell.

All of this, as you can see, is concerned more with ramping up my output than anything else. You’ll note that I haven’t included any sales or publishing goals, such as ‘sell twelve stories’, or ‘sell a fat trilogy of novels for a juicy advance’. This is because these are matters out of my hands. All I can do is produce the work, and if it’s good, it will sell. The above four objectives are massively ambitious, but they’re also trackable. I shall, needless to say, keep you updated on how it goes right here, and you may feel free to cheer my successes, or jeer my failures.

Well, here in Glasgow, it’s currently bucketing with rain, threatening snow, and blowing a gale. Hogmanay (a Gaelic word, I believe, which translates as “drink too much, fall over in the road, start fights with inanimate objects, and be sick on a cat”) will by necessity be engaged in from the warmth of this house, though rest assured I shall be as drunk as the next horror author come midnight. Wherever you are, I hope you stay safe, and have a great time. Thanks for sticking with me over 2006, and have a happy new year!

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  1. JackieJanuary 2, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the usual drunken Hogmanay. 😉 I was also rather heavily intoxicated in the comforts of home, keeping off the roads full of foolish drivers, and walking no further than the washroom, or the pantry to get another bottle… Once in a while, sheer drunken laziness is a wonderful thing.

    Happy New Year, m’dear. May you reach all of your goals and more. *cheers*

  2. Richard WrightJanuary 3, 2007 at 8:27 amAuthor

    And to you too, m’dear…

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