The Writing Journal #41

Holiday season may well be in full swing for some, but here at Stevenson Towers it has been a relentless few weeks across a number of work projects. The podcast and the novel have dominated most of my time, but there have also been the first tentative steps back towards film production starting to be discussed with my producer as well. Add into this the fun and festivities of the school summer holidays with my nieces, and it truly has been a whirlwind of work and games! After a couple of months that felt a little stalled, however, this new found energy feels amazing, and I can’t wait to get stuck in for the rest of August – after tidying up the small matter of July’s targets first, of course…

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing my novel.

Status – ACHIEVED 😊

By some bizarre, ludicrous, miraculous intervention, I somehow managed to meet this target by the absolute skin of my teeth having thought it to be a “physical impossibility” this time last week. 20hrs 2mins and 30s was the final total as I closed my laptop last night, meaning that I made up eight hours of editing in a week that was already packed to the brim with podcast recordings, podcast edits, and podcast material gathering during my niece’s tenth birthday party/weekend. I did spend a significant chunk of my free time on the edits toward the tail end of the week, and I guess that’s a good sign that these targets are indeed helping to drive work on the novel forwards, even when other projects are taking priority. Had I already met the target, or not had it at all to work towards, I may not have spent that free time in front of the novel, but because I had a goal to focus on, it challenged me to keep going with it, even if it was more in hope than expectation right up until the final minutes.

Target Number 2: Launch my audiobook/podcast.

Status – ACHIEVED 😊

The BookCast has now been live for just under two weeks, with “Poor Uncle Dave” slowly but steadily starting to make an impression across the podcasting landscape. It’s been a very sharp and steep learning curve, and the amount of work required to get it to this point alone has taken me a little by surprise! Recording, editing, publishing, listing, and promoting have all brought unique challenges that I haven’t faced (in this way) before, all in rapid-fire succession that has made the last three weeks zoom past in a blur! There’s still a long way to go with it and much more work still to be done, but I’m beyond elated to be in the position where it has launched in time for the summer holidays, especially given that this release strategy was only thought up a couple of weeks before the schools broke up!

As July crashes into August, what new goals await for the summer months ahead?

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing my novel.

Having only just scraped through this target for July, and an even busier August seemingly ahead, part of me was tempted to drop this target down by a few hours to stand a better chance of meeting it in a more relaxed fashion. Then I realised that the whole point of these targets is to be challenging, and that whilst it’s always a nice feeling to meet a target, it becomes an irrelevant one if it’s been deliberately set to be on the easy side.

Time editing does not necessarily relate to narrative progress with those edits, and there is more that I want to say/explore around that at some point to come. With time being short today, I’ll save that musing for another time, but for now, timed targets like this are helping to get me in front of the novel which is the important thing at the moment.

Target Number 2: Launch and grow the social media presence for Poor Uncle Dave.

Social media is a very important asset for getting projects off the ground these days, and I think Poor Uncle Dave will be no different. So far it has done well off word of mouth among people I know and the social media channels I already have for my script reading/screenwriting ventures, but for it to truly take on a life of its own, it will need to have its own established brand/presence online too.

I have some experience with this from my time running social media for the cinema I used to work in before, but it will still very much be a process of trial and error as I find what works for this genre and what doesn’t. I did consider adding some numbers for likes/follows to the target above, but considering I have no idea right now what is a realistic target to set, I’ll keep it qualitative for now and see where the journey takes me from there.

Poor Uncle Dave is really starting to steadily take off now, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it has been received by friends old and new. It is a constant learning curve; one that sometimes threatens to overwhelm my brain but is always exciting nonetheless. August could prove to be a pivotal month in determining whether it is the success story I want it to be, and whilst that is daunting in some regards, I’m also incredibly excited to see where we can take it from here. Thank you to everyone here who has so far supported with listens, view and follows, and please continue to spread the word and listen in for new episodes every Wednesday to help this little fledgling fully take flight over the weeks and months to come.

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