The Writing Journal #45

Time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently, it also flies when you’re producing a podcast too, because somehow, we find ourselves in September with the summer holidays behind us and that back to school feeling in the air. It still feels, to me at least, like summer has only just begun, but that could well be because this is the first time in nearly ten weeks where I haven’t had a podcast episode to write/record/edit to a very short deadline, and I have that “phew” feeling that I’ve associated with the start of summer for over twenty years! Whichever way we’ve arrived, September means new beginnings, which is as true of writing targets as it is of school terms…


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

Status – ACHIEVED 😊

For the third month running, a final week blitz has meant that the 20hr editing target has, against all odds, been met, squeezing over the line with 20hrs 9mins on the clock. These eleventh-hour turnarounds are happening with such frequency at the moment that calling them “miraculous” now borders on being disingenuous! But every time it happens, it does feel like a miracle to squeeze so much out of that final week, especially when the other half  of the target takes three to achieve. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – this is the benefit of having deadlines and targets, even if they are self-set, and it’s certainly helped to continue the momentum behind the novel whilst other projects have taken priority.

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

Status – Ongoing

This was a nebulous target to begin with, so it’s no surprise that it ends with a nebulous result! Launching the social media was a more tangible target, and on that front, I can claim a very swift success. Poor Uncle Dave is on Twitter and Facebook, and is posting on a regular basis. Growth is where things becomes less clear cut, as growth can be a very relative term. In the simplest sense, there has been growth over August as I have more followers at the end of the month than I did at the start; the very definition of growth (even the Internet says so). But are the numbers that I have at the moment going to bring a more meaningful reach to the podcast, which is ultimately what they are there to do? Probably not yet. In this regard, I’m going to need more of a think about the process and my options to try and increase this reach, hence why it is still an ongoing process.


Overall, it’s been a very successful summer. Poor Uncle Dave has made a strong start to its audiobook life, and I’ve been really encouraged by how well it has established itself in a relatively short amount of time. Admittedly, writing, recording, and editing these episodes has been far more labour intensive than I initially thought they would be, and it has been a very steep learning curve in a brand-new genre for me! It’s also opened my eyes to some new opportunities too, and has given me a lot of optimism for it as a project moving forward. With the first series in the bag (and available to listen to here…), it’s time to turn my attentions to the next challenges along the writing road…


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

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is a motto I think many people would do well to remember, and is one I’m certainly going to abide by this September. Twenty hours has consistently been a challenge, and one that does really motivate me to keep going with the novel, even when other projects have taken priority. There’s still a long, long way to go with the novel manuscript, but thanks to the constant motivation of these targets I feel like the world has grown immeasurably and is more solid than it has ever been before. I’m therefore extremely keen to keep the momentum behind it in the months to come.

Target Number 2:…

I don’t know. I’ve spent so long focusing on the bookcast that I haven’t paused to consider the next route to take after its completion. I know some of the options that are available to me, from film to theatre and television, but since I haven’t given these options the thought they require, setting a target may not be the best route to go right now. I’m therefore going to think about these options in more detail instead, in the hope that this will lead to a more effective strategy in the long-term for the next writing steps.


Summer may not have been much of a holiday for me personally, with the relentless deadlines of the weekly bookcast, but I still feel creatively refreshed and ready for new beginnings as I usually do this time of year. What those new beginnings may be is still to be decided, but I’m excited and energised to find out…

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