I am not one for birthdays and anniversaries, but as everyone is talking about the past decade and as my 2020 plans include further developing my Arcane Publishing venture, I thought I'd go back over one of the most important moments of the past decade for me as a writer and book lover...
Exactly ten years ago, I starting working on my first novel, I Am a Muse. As stated in the FIRST EVER BLOG I wrote on this website back in the summer of 2010, the plot for I Am a Muse came to me almost overnight and perfectly formed, and I remember explaining it for the very first time to my partner whilst sitting in a cafe somewhere on the Essex coast overlooking a very grey sea...
In December 2009, I had resigned my full-time publishing job in Oxford and left the tiny London flat I had been living in for two years or so (extreme commuting anyone?) - I was moving to Southend-on-Sea and starting a self-employed "career" (not a career, a stint at freedom!). This was a momentous move: I was leaving London after ten years of crazy metropolitan living, with all its elating ups and crushing downs...
I had been writing for a long time (actually since I was a child, but in London, I had been a music journalist for a decade by then) but I had decided that enough was enough - reviewing other people's work was indeed exciting and rewarding (free gigs and CDs!) but I was going to have a go at what I thought was the best (non-paying) job in the world: being a fiction writer!
First came I Am a Muse. I wrote it then spent a whole year editing it and sending it to agents...
Which led to nothing.
And then, in 2013, Arcane Publishing was created - I registered Arcane as a proper publishing imprint and published my first novel!
When Arcane was officially created, I had already started working on my second novel, The Book of Thoth, which was published by Arcane in early 2015.
And since then?
Since then, I have found it difficult to work on my third novel, The Right Place. "Real Life" has a knack of taking over and distracting you on your path to publication... Unfortunately, writing and publishing books doesn't bring in any money - indeed, Arcane Publishing's budget is very, very tiny indeed, and I use my own money to get the books published... Therefore, other - mostly boring - things have taken priority over writing.
In January 2017, I moved Arcane Publishing's towers even further from my beloved London: to Dorset, for its inspiring landscape (and the opportunity to acquire a much bigger-sized HQ!).
It's been quite a ride, and in 2020, I hope to make things change a bit: the second-hand books side of the Arcane Publishing business will hopefully develop further with an online presence by the end of the year, and I am determined to finish the first draft of The Right Place - which will demand some sacrifices along the way, but I feel that I cannot wait any longer to finish this project, especially as I have two more really exciting books planned already - I genuinely cannot wait to get started on Hell Lane: A Barton Stacey Mystery.
I will be posting both on here and on the Arcane Publishing website more regularly in 2020...
Watch this space!
Here's my reading shelf for the next few weeks... It includes a few non-fiction books, as I carry on my love affair with nature writing. Before that, I never read non-fiction books (I read a lot of articles in magazines and newspapers if I want non-fiction).
I have already started Wild Places, The Outrun, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm and Wildwood, and pick them up whenever the mood takes me... They are all enchanting and thought-provoking - and of course a massive source of inspiration for my own writing.
My early 2020 list of "to buy" books is VERY, VERY long. After four months during which I haven't been able to read at all, this is paradise on earth...
I am taking a break to find my writing feet again and then will resume writing The Right Place. I hope to finish it by 2021. Wish me luck...
I think therefore I write.
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