“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemmingway.
Today, I am reflecting on how to develop my writing career. I am about to start the fifth of fourteen modules in my Diploma in Creative Writing course; which runs for over a year and completes this coming autumn. I have already completed four modules and written my first short story of the course. The next module is on poetry and remaining modules include scriptwriting, writing for the radio, writing novels, writing for children, writing non-fiction, life writing, editing and publishing. I am getting great feedback from my tutor, which is pleasing, and I am definitely learning new skills.
I’ve written for years, just purely for my own enjoyment and to develop my skills, and so I have never published any of my fiction. I have always been satisfied with the fulfilment I get from the creative process and I have thought little about publishing.
I love writing my Blog and I have enjoyed academic writing within my field of work for years; everything from academic papers on specific subjects through to writing treatment programmes for counselling and psychotherapy treatment services and policy writing for organisations and Local Government Authorities.
Now, I am feeling a change. Perhaps that’s something about my age? I feel like now is the time to change my focus and ‘put something out there’. I feel ready to create a variety of works specifically for publication, while still simply being a fulfilling writing process for me. I have a number of projects in mind, some of which I have started. My older works will simply remain my own private collection; for my own enjoyment.
I thought it would be helpful to set an initial writing plan:
- Write a book of poetry.
- Write a non-fiction book relating to Parkinson’s Disease.
- Progress and complete the novel I am writing.
- Write a short play for the radio.
- Continue writing my existing column for ‘The Parkinson’s Experience’, global online community.
- Find a role as Columnist for a print based publication.
- Dedicate more time to writing articles for magazines, online publications and newspapers.
- Write a biographical work on a person of interest.
I have quite a lot to achieve! Some of these will be short terms goals. You will notice I have not listed my deadlines! I have set them, but there’s no point publicising those and creating a sense of pressure.
My first and, seemingly, most difficult task is to create a pseudonym for publishing my fiction under. I had no idea how challenging it would be to try to invent a name that ‘feels right’! Have you had a similar struggle? That may be the hardest element! I will publish non-fiction and poetry in my own name, but I prefer a pseudonym for works of fiction. It just ‘feels right’, to do that. If you are a writer and have created a pseudonym, how did you finally find the right name? Was there a method you followed? Do please comment below, as I would be interested in that particular creative process.
Given that I have written for years, many people ask me why I am undertaking my Diploma in Creative Writing? Well, that is simple. I want to keep learning but I also want to build upon my credentials. There’s a lot of competition out there and so I hope to keep developing my credibility as a writer and to build upon my credentials as I progress in my writing practice.
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