Half of a strange year

So half of this crazy year is over and I thought I’d take the time to reflect on what I’ve worked on so far, whether I’ve achieved any of my goals and what I want to focus on in the second half, which I hope will be a little less dystopian.

selective focus photography of red flowers
Photo by Adonyi Gábor on Pexels.com

First of all, I’ve finally decided to write this blog in English from now on as most of the projects I’m working on right now and plan to work on soon are in English as well. After a long time of experimenting with both languages, I’ve concluded that English is the language I feel more comfortable writing in. Maybe that’s because I read almost exclusively in English or because I spent time in the USA when I was in elementary school that was important for the development of English or maybe It’s just the language that helps me express better what I want to say. I’m not sure but what I do know is that writing in English always feels liberating to me.
The lockdown in Germany has been a rather quiet time for me, despite having the kids home. And some natural feelings of anxiety due to the uncertainty of the situation. Apart from that to me, it was almost a relief to stay home as much as possible and not feeling any pressure to make plans. I realized that I’m even more introverted than I thought I was. Of course, I’m relieved things are looking up right now and I hope there won’t be major outbreaks anymore, but staying at home was not a burden to me.
It also meant I had more time to focus on my writing projects, of course. “Runes and Ravens”, my fantasy novel with LGBT content has just passed 80.000 words and as I would like the first draft to have about 85.000 so that I have some room to add scenes while editing that means I’m on the final stretch right now. I should add though, that I was planning on this novel to be a stand-alone and it turned out that I’m going to need at least two parts for telling the story I want to tell. I’m fine with that, though, because I enjoy writing the world and the characters and am glad that I won’t have to leave it behind yet.
I also finished writing two short stories for competitions. I still think that short stories will never be my favorite genre but I do like the fact that they allow you to practice writing genres and narrative perspectives and topics that are new to you, without committing to a whole novel. The first one unfortunately didn’t make it into the anthology, but I still got nice feedback from the editor, which encourages me not to give up on taking part in these competitions if any of them interest me. I just sent in the second one and am waiting for the feedback.

notebook writing pencil start
Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

I also sent my German fantasy novel “Der dreizehnte Prinz” to two more publishers and received a rejection from Carlsen Impress telling me at the same time that they liked my style of writing and the concept of the story as such. Apparently, stories that are solely told from a male point of view don’t sell well under that label and they asked me to send in other manuscripts, which was again very encouraging. I’m always thankful if an editor takes the time to write a few personal words because that helps to understand what you could change or improve.
I like writing from a male perspective a lot though because it allows me to see the world from a different point of view. I have a plan for another project though, that I’m going to start writing in July or August which I’ve been thinking about for a long time and which has a female focus character.
And I’ve made another decision. I’m going to try self-publishing with a gay cozy crime short novel that I’ve already plotted. I’d like to understand the mechanics of self-publishing better and I think writing a project especially for that endeavor could be a great first step. I love reading gay crime stories and I’ve also written one gay mystery fanfiction (“A Winter’s Tale” is to be found on AO3) which I enjoyed a lot and I’m looking forward to starting this project and see how it works out. I found out that I always write more words per month if I have a main project and a side project, so I have that covered for probably the rest of the year.
I also came to the conclusion it’s a good idea to have some novels finished before I start self-publishing, so I can publish at least once a year and the gaps between two projects coming out aren’t too large.
I’ve installed Scrivener and will write my novels with the help of this program from now on. It will be a lot easier if I don’t have to manage several word documents for one project. I think this is going to be a big help, especially the index cards feature.
As far as writing is concerned, I see the first half of 2020 as successful six months, even though it was a stressful and often worrying period in many other respects.
I’d like to hear how this time was for you in the comments.

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