Short story’s back broken, Ooning coming next

Happy New Year. I’ve spent the break soldiering on with the female serial killer. I think I’ve finally got the handle of her, but it’s been a pain. There’s been more fact involved than in the previous stories and none of it’s come easily. Research aside, I was genuinely exhausted when I finished work in December, and that’s likely to have played a role in making things difficult. She’ll be done in the next week, even so.

I’m laying myself a few ground rules for 2012. I like New Year resolutions. They can help progress a lot if they’re put together sensibly and you don’t overreach. One of my biggest problems with writing right now is distraction. I’m putting a limit on Twitter and Facebook this year. I spend far too much time browsing status updates about football scores and whether or not Sherlock was any good. There’s no future in it. I can’t drop social media altogether for obvious reasons, but I’m going to pull back on the personal stuff. Ultimately, it doesn’t help.

I’m going to make sure I do half an hour of personal writing work every day, as I said previously. It’s achievable. The Ooning’s got a way to go and it’s not going to fix itself, so that’s first on the list. I will get it out this year. I’m going to stick with the short stories, too. But even if the 30 minutes is taken writing blog updates here, it’s still a valuable use of time.

I’ve been reading a lot over the holiday, which I’ve enjoyed hugely. Since the start of the break I finished a second read of Nausea and I’m nearly done with The Journey Home, an Icelandic novel that’s been sitting on my shelf for years. Reading more, clichéd as it is, is another resolution I will keep up. Since we started our family I’ve read frighteningly little; for the past five years I doubt I’ve read more than two or three books a year. I stumbled across Goodreads.com in December thanks to lady called Brenna, the author of reading blog LitMusings. Goodreads is a fantastic way to get back into books if you’ve lapsed. You can catalogue books you’ve read, rate and review, get recommendations from friends, browse genre lists and all the rest. I’m late to the party here; it has nearly 7 million members. I can see why. I’m addicted to it already. There are some fantastic reference lists on there (check Best French Literature for fun). It seems better to be hooked on reading and books than coma-refreshing Twitter, especially since my goal is to be read and write books. And not coma-refresh Twitter.

Create an account and friend me up, if you like. Here I am.

So. Short story in the next week. Work on Ooning to restart after that. I do have other personal writing plans for this year, but we’ll see how progress goes with current work before thinking further.

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