My writing year 2017 began with a successful essay for ClassicalMPR.org of an interview of one of the young composers participating in the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute and Future Classics concert. It was a great way to start the year. I wish that momentum had continued. Last August, I wrote a short update about my writing this year, but it’s been a year since my last full update. Rather than skip writing because of the holiday this week, I thought I’d do my annual end-of-the-year update/review today and take off next weekend for New Year’s. My next post will be in 2018!
Non-writing Employment: Working for others affected my writing this year far more than I’d anticipated or wanted. The first three months of the year, I continued to work part-time at the customer service job and receptionist position. At the same time, I continued to search for a fulltime job as my bank account dictated. In March, I accepted a fulltime position with a financial services company as their front desk receptionist. After beginning that job in April, it took me about three months to get used to the new work schedule. I wasn’t able to do any writing, but at least I did a lot of reading on my daily commutes. That position lasted until about two weeks ago, and now I’m back to searching for another fulltime job. My financial situation has now become especially precarious. Although I’ve applied for unemployment insurance benefits, what I’ll receive barely covers rent. I’ll be working even harder, when not working on the job search, at selling my possessions as well as promoting my writing.
If you have not yet bought your copy of Perceval’s Secret (only $2.99!), please do, and give it a read. It’s available at Amazon and B&N.com. The reviews continue to be good to excellent! I’d love to hear from readers through reviews at Amazon and B&N, or at Goodreads. And I could sure use the money!
I’m planning a couple promotions in the first quarter of 2018. The first will probably be at GoodReads — a giveaway, if that’s possible for e-books. The second will be through BookBub. Please feel free to take advantage of these promotions, or encourage friends and family to take advantage of them.
As for the other novels in the series, all my files for Perceval’s Shadow, the second novel in the series, remain piled on my desk awaiting my attention. To be honest, I have not had much time to think about the Perceval series in 2017 except for handing out postcards for Perceval’s Secret to anyone interested and talking about that novel a lot.
Marketing: Marketing and promo for Perceval’s Secret this past year was catch as catch can. It will receive more time from me in the weeks to come. I did talk more about the novel and hand out the postcards for it more often. As I mentioned above, I plan to run a couple promotions in the first quarter of 2018. Still need to utilize the marketing tools at GoodReads, LinkedIn and Publishers Marketplace. I continue to promote the novel on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been writing more posts at the Perceval Novels Facebook page, too. Please go and like it, and visit often for updates on the novels.
New Novel Project: This project landed on the back burner this past year. I still plan to transform my original screenplay, Over the Rainbow, into a novel. While cleaning out some computer files yesterday, I opened the last draft of the script and read some random scenes, a bit surprised by how much I’d forgotten. I love the story, the main character, and the potential of it, so I hope to be able to work on it soon.
GoFundMe Project: What a crazy failure this was! I launched the GoFundMe fundraising page last March. I’d hoped to raise the money to pay off all my debt, especially the credit card debt. I raised about $600. I must give heartfelt thanks to all those who did contribute to the project, and I will be posting their names on my Appreciation Page on this blog soon. During one promotion for the project, one person won the prize of having a character named after him in one of the last two Perceval series novels. That will be fun for me too! I continue to very slowly pay off the credit card debt I’d been carrying from production, publication, and marketing expenses that I incurred to publish Perceval’s Secret as an e-book. I won’t be able to even think about doing a paperback until the debt is paid off.
Short Stories: In July, I completed the first draft of my science fiction short story, Light the Way. Then another interesting character, Aanora, entered my life, and I began writing her story. It was slow going since I’ve only been able to write on weekends, but perhaps I can finish the first draft of this story in the next month or so. For 2018, I plan to continue to work more on short stories to get more of my writing out there for people to read.
Blogs: I continue to write posts at the Eyes on Life blog (as Gina Hunter) and here at Anatomy of Perceval. My focus at the Gina Hunter blog has become a bit fluid: I continue to write “The Successful Patient” posts, but in addition I’m writing about the experience of being one of the Working Poor, so it’ll be about economics, money, working, etc. I also joined a blogfest called We are the World dedicated to spreading light in the online darkness, i.e. drawing attention to positive news about the love and compassion that human beings have for each other. Those posts appear on the last Friday (or Saturday) each month. I may also look into guest blogging, especially if they are paid gigs.
Essays/Paid Gigs: After the published interview/essay in January at ClassicalMPR.org, writing essays landed on the back burner. I plan to return to writing essays for ClassicalMPR.org (if they’ll have me) as well as research and investigate more markets for my essays.
Yager Editing Services: I closed this online business in May and took down the website.
Journal Writing: After an 18-month hiatus, I recently returned to my journal writing, although I’m taking a different approach to it than I have before.
The Successful Patient:
Nothing has changed on this project — still on the back burner.
Reading: I exceeded my 2017 Reading Challenge at GoodReads thanks to so much reading time on my daily commutes. Reading is an essential part of being a writer, and it’s been fun to read both wonderful and awful books this past year. You can check out my reviews of them on GoodReads, and give me a holler while you’re there!
Right now, my life is one big Uncertainty. Please keep your fingers crossed that I come through this time OK, and I don’t end up out on the street. While homelessness is an experience, it’s not one I want to have. So, let’s hope I find that fulltime job that’s just waiting for me so I can return to my creative life.
Best wishes for a happy and healthful 2018!