So, tomorrow marks an exciting new chapter in my authorial journey: the day that I return to university for my final year of study.
A bit of background, for those who aren’t aware: I’m an English with Creative Writing student at the University of Birmingham. I set up this site at the very start of my long summer break as I decided it was time to take a hold of my life and start pursuing my dream. I completed my first draft of What We Saw back in June, as you can reminisce through a very excitable blog post, and since then, everything has been on an upward trajectory.
If you’d told me at the start of summer that I’d have people commenting on a website I ran, people retweeting my writing, and people helping my short fiction break into the Top Ten charts on Amazon, I’d have laughed. I’ve always been motivated and ambitious, but carrying out such a momentous challenge is much harder done than said.
Chapter Two: A change of schedule
So, yeah, I know it’s only the end of my summer break, but it kind of represents the end of the first stage of my journey, in a way. I return to the ‘real world’ now, and my new challenge is finding a balance between what will undoubtedly be a taxing final year of university, and my blogging/writing.
I’ve mentioned a change in schedule a few times, without ever really going into detail. I have Yesenia Vargas to thank for prompting me to make the switch, after her great post brought my attention to a whole new way of crafting a schedule.
Firstly, the major change to my schedule is that I’ll be cutting my Monday posts, instead focusing fully on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is mainly because my busiest days at uni next year are Mondays and Tuesdays, so dropping the Monday makes the most sense.
Also, following Yesenia’s advice, I have created a ‘four-week plan’ of my own. The plan will go into action at the start of October. I’d like to dub the new stage of my journey, ‘Chapter Two’. Until then, I’ll just post some spontaneous stuff next week. Here’s a taster of what to expect over the next few months:
Wednesday 3rd October – Marketing & Social Media Advice
Friday 5th October – Four-Part Series: Building an Author Platform from Scratch #1
Wednesday 10th October – Confidence, Positivity, and Motivation
Friday 12th October – Four-Part Series: Building an Author Platform from Scratch #2
Wednesday 17th October – Publishing & Digital Media Talk
Friday 19th October – Four-Part Series: Building an Author Platform from Scratch #3
Wednesday 24th October – Monthly Writing Progress Report
Friday 26th October – Four-Part Series: Building an Author Platform from Scratch #4
Silhouette & Something in the Cellar
If you’re a regular reader of the site, then you’ll be aware that I put a new short story out called Silhouette the other day. Big thanks to everyone who bought it – it’s inside the Top 100 Short Stories on Amazon UK, and in the Top 20 Sci-Fi Shorts to boot.
As for Something in the Cellar, the free promo appears to be working wonders. After hitting #2 in the UK Short Story charts last time round, and getting four or so away from the overall Free Top 100, Something in the Cellar is currently at #4 in the UK charts, and #262 overall. Cheers to all my UK friends who have grabbed a copy.
However, the amazing news comes from Amazon.com, where Something in the Cellar has up to now failed to make ripples. The book is currently #7 in the Short Story charts, and in the Top 1,000 overall. Cheers to all stateside and everywhere else who have supported me. Amazon links are available through here, if you want a free copy.
A final word
Well, I’ve forgotten the aim of this post by now. Excuse my waffle. I guess my intention is just to let you in a little bit, and to encourage you to get started on your own project. Last summer, I was a little low on confidence, and began writing a book simply to see if I could, more than anything. A year on, I’ve got people I’ve never met telling me they love my work. It’s so worth it.
I’ll give you a hand setting up your author platform starting two weeks today, as is scheduled. I know it’s overwhelming, but it can be done. Believe me, perseverance is key.
And with that, I bid farewell to a gripping, engrossing first chapter, and look forward to what a challenging chapter two has to offer.
Image courtesy of NeilsPhotography via Flickr
I’m glad the schedule tip helped! I’m also in college (or university as you call it), and it’s just not feasible to blog three times a week. I love how this kind of schedule allows you to look at the big picture and make sure you’re addressing the topics you want. I can’t wait for your author platform series and congrats on the book!
Thanks Yesenia! it’s really good to have some scheduling transparency, I reckon, not just for the reader but for us writers too. I think you’re right about uni/college too – looking at the big picture and being able to balance things to fit in with that is one of the key advantages of this kind of schedule, I find. Thanks for the comments, and all the best in your own endeavors!
I can relate. I went from being unemployed this summer to having a full-time job (a “day job” as I call it). Talk about eating into your writing time. I’m lucky if I can get a blog post per week. Good for you for setting up a schedule – and good luck in your final year!
Thanks, Mary. I can imagine balancing both job and writing can be massively overwhelming. A schedule will hopefully be helpful. I’ve moved in now and am all settled again, so fingers crossed!
I felt the same excitement when I was about to return to university after a year-long leave of absence. It certainly cut my blogging/freelancing time by a mile, but I saw it as a challenge to create a system or schedule that could achieve the balance I need. Good luck, Ryan!
Cheers for the comment, Stef. I totally agree – the return to university is more of a ‘new challenge’ than anything else. I look forward to seeing how it changes my writing habits. Thanks for the support!