Dilliebooks' author Simon Evans tells us about his writing goals for 2017 and offers a few tips of his own...
This last year I have taken a sabbatical from writing so am just getting back into it. The best way to write is to just write. It’s no good thinking about all the other things you have to do. Writing cannot be fitted in as you find time (although Jane Austen did exactly that). Fit other things in around your writing.
Starting is the hardest thing, but I find that as soon as I sit down to write I am absorbed for hours. Write something every day, even if it is only a letter to the newspaper. I write these often. They are almost never sent but I find them a useful way of getting my thoughts on a subject organised and coherent. If I can’t get going on one of my own books I write restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor or comment on items on Facebook. The point is to practice your writing skills. Many people read my reviews because they are literate and interesting. Journalism requires getting your arguments across clearly and quickly; it is good training for a novelist.
This year I will spend time on new versions of my book of wartime letters With Love and a Huge Cocktail, published by Dilliebooks in 2015. Then I plan to finish two books: one has slowly been maturing for the last few years about an imaginary country that wants to build a railway. It came to a halt because my readers didn’t like the first chapter. After thinking about it for months I finally came up with the opening sentence and the chapter followed easily. Now it is ‘just’ revision, rewriting, polishing and marketing. The other book is a science fiction novel about Mars that I have always wanted to write. There are already hundreds such, why another? I keep asking myself that question, but in 2017 I intend to answer it. I have (I think!) some new ideas for sci-fi that I want to use.
I also plan to complete a collection of 8 short (ish) science fiction stories, which is about half done.
Will it all done? Probably not, but one must try.