The answer is two-fold. Answer One is ‘not much’ and Answer Two is ‘loads’.
I feel like I haven’t done much, mainly because I haven’t published the third volume of my Posh Hits Trilogy yet, and I’d made a mental promise to myself that I would publish that in February this year. So a lot of how I feel about my writing at the moment is centered around my weird Writer’s Guilt which comes from failing to follow an arbitrary and self-imposed deadline.
But we need deadlines, even arbitrary and perhaps especially self-imposed ones. Otherwise it’s very difficult to analyse how things are going in our work and it’s very difficult to remain motivated. The temptation is to go into drifting dilettante mode, only showing up at the desk when we feel like it, when the (mostly fictional) muse is upon us. If we approach our writing careers in this way, chances are we won’t get a lot done. To quote an often over-used comment from arguable sources, ‘I only write when I get inspired and I see to it that I get inspired nine o’clock every morning.’ That’s not really a quote, it’s more of a Zeitgeist/Life Rules kind of thing. I thought it was Stephen King but apparently not. My point stands and it is this: we are responsible for creating our own inspiration.
That said, I still have a missing deadline to deal with and another looming. This year I promised myself I would publish Check Mate (Posh Hits 3), and another novel still untitled even after rewriting, editing and beta-reading, and the much-talked about first Miss Burkett murder mystery book, which again, has been written, rewritten and faffed about with but not actually finished. And I’ve even pencilled in next year’s publishing itinerary – Miss Burkett 2 (already halfway through first draft), a stand-alone novel called Easy Living (reincarnation/murder mystery thing – is that a generic category?), and either another stand-alone one, The Refuge, or a new series…
The first drafts and even second drafts continue to pile up, along with short stories, a poem or two, crazy little haikus and 25-word stories, articles, musings, weird stuff, so I can’t say that I’m not working but…I’m stuck. It’s like I’ve got stage-fright. the end-stage is defeating me. How do I get from here to there?