525,600 Minutes: A Year in Review.
It’s been a year since I published my first novella on Amazon. So much has happened in the past 525, 600 minutes – but as the song from Rent asks: how do you measure a year? They suggest love. Here are a few of my suggestions on how I might measure my first year writing fiction.
How about blog posts?
I wrote a lot on my blog this year – my first post ever was about writer’s block. Since then, I’ve blogged on a mix of topics, with my most popular post being a reflection on how well J. K. Rowling paces her writing in the Harry Potter series – something I can only hope to emulate. There were also practical posts about Twitter, self-publishing, and Amazon keywords. In total, I wrote 75 posts, which were read by over 7,500 people.
How about works I’ve published?
Over the past year, I published three novellas, a short story, and a story on Twitter:
- What Went Wrong with Mrs Milliard’s Mech?
- The Vanishing Villa
- The Murder at Mansfield Manor
- Qan’s Adventure
- And my story for the #TwitterFiction Festival: The Last Lesson.
Finally, let’s not forget that I completed the first draft of my debut novel last month as well! That’s a crazy feeling, and is easily one of the biggest achievements of my year.
How about downloads?
More than 12,500 eBooks from my Inspector Ambrose series were downloaded last year – that’s about 35 eBooks a day on average! It’s also worth noting that in my first few months on Amazon, only 500 copies were downloaded. Once Mrs Milliard’s Mech became permanently free on Amazon, a lot more people started reading my writing.
How about the quality of my writing?
On reflection, the thing I’m most proud of from this year is how I’ve grown as a writer. I started last year with an idea that I wanted to flesh out. In fact, the whole concept of Mechs started with one line in a song I was listening to. After jotting my thoughts down, I proceeded to write the Inspector Ambrose stories as a way to explore the Empire and learn about the nature of Mechs.
I think the quality of my writing has improved with each story. I look back at cringe at where I was when I started, and I wonder if I’ll feel like that in a years’ time, too. My novel manuscript has received positive feedback from my beta readers, and I’m adjusting my writing as I learn from what readers are telling me.
Maybe it’s all of those things, and more.
When I hit publish on my first eBook, I never thought I’d be sitting here a year later in this position. I’m still really humbled that people are reading what I’ve written, but I’m realistic as to where I’m at: I need to keep writing in order to improve. So how do I measure my first year of writing? I’m going to go with what Rent suggested: love. I love writing. I love hearing from readers. I love the challenge of completing a manuscript. And I love being able to share my passion for all these things with the world.
Thank you for helping me live this dream.