The start of a new year always seems to be the springboard needed to dive into another year of writing. So after giving myself a twelve month break from writing in 2015, yet still managing to release two new Train Tripping eBooks, I'm excited at the thought of what 2016 may bring with my New Year's resolution to complete another novel. Add to that my plans to release a colour print edition of my railway adventures along the Australian east coast, and 2016 has all the hallmarks of being a great year for writing.
Writing anything from a commercial view requires two things, the time to write it and the money to make it happen. Writing about travel however also requires a great deal of research, just as much time to write it, copious amounts of money to afford the travel and even more money still to make it happen. When it came to travelling Australia by train for my Train Tripping series, there was only so much train travel that I could afford to undertake on my own budget, which is why I had to draw the line at travelling across Australia from Sydney to Perth aboard the Indian-Pacific. With no offer of assistance forthcoming from Great Southern Rail after numerous proposals, the cost of the whole exercise for my wife Denise and I to make the trip on our own, including around Perth and Bunbury by train, came in at almost six-and-a-half-thousand dollars! In return, I would have been able to release just two more Train Tripping eBooks. I decided it was by far cheaper to spend 2016 writing a new novel before taking a break in Port Douglas at the end of the year. I guess the moral of the story is; if you are planning on writing, be sure that you can afford to reach the ending first.
So my New Year's writing resolution is this.... To finish the novel I first started writing back in 2013. Then if successful, complete the novel I first started developing back in 2007. Both works are around 20,000 words in progress. With Denise and I now successfully running our own small business, for the first time in almost a decade I have the pieces in place to fully support whatever future writing project I care to throw myself into. There is no pressure of having to get things finished by a certain date, or trying to write what is the next 'hot ticket item' that publishers are looking for. I can finally just write what I want to write, whenever I want to write it. To be honest, the thought is as exciting as a blank page, a fresh cup of coffee and a room full of silence.
Whatever interest you have as a writer, take a moment to think of what the new year has to offer you. Even if your stars haven't all aligned for you to take a year off from your job to pen that epic novel you always said you would, take the time to start somewhere. A short story for a writing competition, some poetry or even a blog like I did, outlining my railway adventures in Australia and New Zealand, are all ways to not only keep your writing sharp, but your skills continually developing. Who knows? You may even surprise yourself like I did, by receiving a nomination in the Global eBook Awards for Train Tripping Coastal Queensland. A fiction novelist receiving a nomination in a non-fiction category for travel. All in what was supposed to be a year spent taking a break from writing. So whatever it is you enjoy writing, may 2016 bring you an enormous feeling of satisfaction, and let success worry about itself.