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#WritersLift & Developing My Art With 2020 Vision

So here it comes, the obligatory (albeit late) #NewYearNewMe blog. Except it's a new decade and an evolving me. I've written in the past about my writing journey to date and the importance of being active within the writing community for both social and professional reasons. What I haven't really focused on before though is the importance of the #writerslift.

Although I always do what I can to raise the profile and support the work of colleagues in the writing community, particularly my crime fiction writing peers, the impact of doing so is much more far reaching than I always realised. I came to this conclusion recently when in a moment of self-doubt / procrastination, I turned to social media as an avoidance tactic. Imagine! Within a few minutes I came across a new 5 star review of my work and some really positive comments about my upcoming novels and a short teaser trailer I had produced. On seeing these things, not only was I reinvigorated and returned to the work in progress, but it also really lifted my mood for the rest of the day (not that I was feeling particularly down, but I was definitely in great form after). Thinking more on it made me realise that physically being around friends and acquaintances within the writing community and chatting with them from time to time had a similar effect, as of course does my writing and blogging.

In a world where our attempts to maintain a positive mental attitude and maintain good mental health are often eroded by societal pressures and those we all too often decide to burden ourselves with, we all know that little things, particularly when they involve interaction and conversation with others can give us a vital lift. With that in mind, my promise to myself is to give myself more opportunities to give a lift to others both within and beyond the writing community, in the traditional sense re promotion of work / product etc, but also in the sense of promoting and supporting their well being and my own continued well being.

My other major goal for the year as a writer is to develop my art by creating a vision for what I want to achieve and how I want to do it. In one of my other roles (as an Educationalist) I have used vision creation and action planning to great effect, something I've learned I could replicate, in theory with my writing. Here are just some of the things that have made it on to the Action Plan:

*Becoming more proficient in creating good content- Working much more closely and collaboratively with Excalibur Press and The Content Club in marketing myself and my work as a writer, particularly in the creation of a media campaign around the release of "Dark Light", the final book in the Terror Trilogy.

*Further developing the Teaching aspect of my work- The courses I have taught to date have been both successful and rewarding and I'm looking forward to building on that success.

*Building on the success of The Northern Ireland Festival of Writing by increasing the festival's capacity to provide excellent programming of events in line with our ethos all across Northern Ireland throughout the year.

*Building upon the excellent outreach and intervention work undertaken by The Merlin Project to date.

*Increasing the number of festival / panel / writer events that I take part in.

As far as the blog goes, no January post would be complete without the again obligatory talk of more frequent posts (though I didn't do too badly this year). Of course it is my intention to post more frequently. It is also my intention to continue to host guest bloggers on my page.

That's exactly what I'll be doing in my next post. I can't say too much about who it is yet other than that I have been a fan of the music of this person and his band colleagues for a long time, am very much looking forward to his debut as a crime fiction writer and that he really in one of life's "Beautiful Ones". It would be pointless to say anything more.

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