Monday, February 13, 2012


I've had another article published.

It was about the book launch last November and has been published in Christian Writer. Sadly, it's not available online, so you'll have to take my word that it was brilliantly written and illustrated.

No money was earnt in the writing of this article, but it's yet another piece to put on my publishing CV and brought me to reflect on my writing career to date.

My first piece, a religious article, was published a little over five years ago and it took almost a year before I got anything published again, a short story. There then followed a hiatus, during which I got divorced and moved three times.

Since then, I've had three more short stories published in various magazines and had a large number of book reviews published. Last year, I launched a short story collection and a novel as well as another article, this time about epublishing.

2012 has started with another article published, the Write1Sub1 challenge and the ongoing writing of two novels and a play script.

In short, my writing career is progressing nicely.

One thought that occurred to me as I listed these achievements was that I am not focusing on novels to the exclusion of all else. This goes back to something I either heard or read somewhere, which I'll have to paraphrase. "It takes 6 months to a year to write a novel and if gets nowhere you are another yesr older and still no closer to being published. It can take a week to write a good short story, a day to write an article and if it doesn't get anywhere, you still have the rest of the year to produce someting publishable."

It's not a question of quantity over quality, it's a question of awareness. The more short work you get published, the more you'll get known. Once your 'brand' (yuck) is known and you have a publishing track record, your novel submissions will have more weight and have a greater likelihood of being read.

I'm pleased with the progress so far, even if I'm not a multi-millionaire publishing sensation...yet. I've learnt a lot about writing and publishing in that time and am looking forward to learning even more in the coming years. It's been slow, unspectacular success, but success nonetheless.

I'll end this piece with a question for you. When was the last time you looked back on your progress to date and listed your successes?


Chloe said...

It's great to hear how things do seem to snowball. Once you get a little name for yourself you can work on making it bigger. I totally agree about doing lots of different things. I enjoy writing my novel but I've written 1 novel which is doing the rounds of rejection, while I've written a lot of short stories in the same time space and won various competitions and been published etc. It definitely adds credibility (I hope - no luck so far!) with submissions.

I tend to look back on my successes whenever I have a submission cover letter to write and work out how to make them sound as important as possible!

I won a year's membership to Christian Writer when I won their SS competition. Haven't read the current issue yet, but will get on it!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Congratulations, Martin! Hard work does pay off. I've got a novel coming out through Angelic Knight Press soon, called Seven-Year Witch. Since I work full time, my spare time is spent focusing mostly on novels and my blog, so no short stories for me since I write those at work for a newspaper. Enjoy your success, everyone!

Martin Willoughby said...

Chloe: I also find little successes keep me going on the bigger work.

Cindy: Writing for a newspaper counts.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I bought a novel recently by a guy who I knew from publishing short humour pieces online at a well known humour site I'm a fan of. I saw a link to his novel on the site, it looked interesting so I bought it from Amazon and it ended up being probably my favourite book of the last god knows how many years. A hilarious, inventive sci fi novel, the likes of which I've never read before. All because I knew him from shorter articles on a humour site.

So, I think what I'm trying to say here is you are correct, writing the short, punchy stuff gets you noticed and allows you to build an audience for your longer works. (I took the scenic route, sorry!)

Martin Willoughby said...

Veg: Nothing wrong with the scenic route. It's...scenic.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Well done on the article, sounds like you have a smart plan. I'm a list addict, so I guess the last time I checked my progress was five minutes ago... and again in thirty seconds :)

Wagging Tales

Martin Willoughby said...

Charmaine: I can just imagine that. ;)