Monday, 2 May 2016

New Chapters

I’ve just marked my 4,578th Writers Bureau assignment. It was also my last. I’ve decided, after nearly 12 years, that it’s time for me to move on. 

I feel guilty for those of my students who’ve yet to complete their assignments with me, but there’s a band of fantastic tutors ready to take over, so I know they’re in good hands. And I’ve made many good friends over the years: staff, fellow tutors and students.

But life is not about standing still, and the same goes for our writing. I have some ideas and projects I want to develop, and to do them justice I need to devote more of my time to them. As I’ve commented on this blog several times, we all get given the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s up to us how we make the most effective use of them.

I think it does writers good to step back for a moment and go through all of our projects. Sometimes a new idea intrigues us so much it takes over, and we find ourselves devoting a lot of time to it. In the meantime, some of our other plans end up languishing at the bottom of in-trays and in half-forgotten notebooks, waiting to be rediscovered.

Stepping back, and taking time to reacquaint ourselves with those projects, can reawaken forgotten dreams. I’m currently liaising with a publisher about a non-fiction book idea I’ve had for a long time. It’s exciting, because they’re keen on the idea too. It’ll mean more time in the great outdoors (assuming we get a summer this year!), but that’s not a bad thing. I have a camera, notebook and pen - what more does a writer need?

I started this blog on 29th November 2007, with a post called Which Magazines Do I Write For? Although aimed primarily at my Writers Bureau students, I hoped it would also offer some useful tips to any other passing writers. And here we are, 495 posts later. See? Who’d have thought back in 2007 I’d have written nearly 500 blog postings by May 2016? (Remember what I’ve said in the past - regular writing makes you a more productive writer!)

This is not the end of this blog, though. Far from it. I plan to continue posting, although I shan’t be posting quite as frequently, as I have done in the past. I fancy taking a week or two, or three, off, from time to time. (Why not sign up for updates by email, to ensure you keep up with my less frequent posts, if you haven’t already?)

So here’s to new chapters. Why not go through your own in-trays and notebooks and reacquaint yourself with some of your old ‘new’ ideas? You never know what you might stumble across.


Good luck!


PS - And if you’ve read this blog since the start, can I thank you for reading all 242,031 words!

22 comments:

  1. Good luck with your future writing projects!

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  2. Good luck with your future writing projects!

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  3. Well, I'm some way behind (4,132 marked - thank you Excel spreadsheet ...) so will have to try to top what is no doubt a record! Well done on a long career with the WB - you're a great writing educator and communicator, so your students will no doubt miss you - but if they've got any sense (of course they have, you've been their tutor ...) they'll be dropping by to Simon Says! regularly for pearls of publishing wisdom! Best of luck with the next book project.

    Alex.

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    1. What would we do without Excel spreadsheets, heh, Alex? ;-)

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  4. What a brave decision. But you are right, we all need to take stock. I enjoy receiving email alerts to your posts, so I'm pleased they will still pop into my inbox from time to time. Good luck with your new endeavours.

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  5. It sounds the perfect time for new ventures for you, Simon. Good luck with all those new endeavours. And here's hoping for some summer sunshine. I do enjoy all your photos on FB :)

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    1. Fingers crossed the new book will include some of my photos too!

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  6. I had the pleasure of being a student of yours a couple of years ago Simon, so I know you'll be a great loss to the students at the Writers Bureau.

    All the best,

    Steve

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    1. Cheers, Steve. Hope the writing is going well.

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  7. Wishing you all the very best with your new plans. A combination of writing and the great outdoors sounds wonderful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a fantastic summer for you. I'm glad to hear you're keeping this blog going, I've picked up some great advice and inspiration here. Good luck for the future Simon.

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    1. Thanks, CJ. Glad you've found the blog useful!

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  9. Have been reading all posts since January 2015, when I joined WB and am happy to admit that I have learnt a lot by way of understanding writing, writers and techniques way better. Shall miss the Monday ping on my phone but express gratitude for all that I have absorbed. Look ahead to the future posts and extend good wishes to you. My first here, in this space of well established writers.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, BM. You'll still get a 'ping' on your phone, but just not quite so often ;-). Good luck with your writing.

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  10. Hi, Simon. I'm sure they'll miss you, but sometimes we just have to move on. I always found your guidance invaluable when I started my WB course. Thank you very much for all of your help, and I will continue to read your blog - lots of great advice on here, too.
    Best of luck with your new ventures.

    John

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    1. Thanks, John. Glad to have been of help! And I hope I'll continue to be ;-)

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  11. Hi Simon. Wishing you luck with your new challenges. Whatever that may be, I'm sure you'll be brilliant at it. Enjoy!

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  12. All the best with your future plans, Simon.

    I'm sure that while you've been busy with everything else, those projects have been fermenting and creating a life of their own just waiting to emerge.:-)

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    1. Yes, Carol. My mind is always fermenting something ;-)

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