Taking Stock: Where next for the blog and my writing #amwriting #writing #books

What next?

The gratuitous photo above is of one of the flower beds in my garden – with lovely new wooden garden chairs behind. The picture has little to do with the post really, except being a writer, I also like a gratuitous metaphor. So just as my garden needs weeding and new planting from time to time so too does my blog. And writing a new book requires tending to lots of seedling ideas.

Therefore as this post is about taking stock, tidying up and letting new ideas take root, I defend my use of both the picture and the metaphors 🙂

Blog plans 

It’s almost a year since I set up and hosted the two-month-long Virtual Book Festival here on the blog. Little did I know, when I had the idea to go virtual, that in 2020 book festivals – like so many other events – would all be going online and that this would become the norm – due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a lot of work to organise but it was also great fun to do.

I’m not planning to do another festival this year, but I have been thinking about where next for the blog. Put it in Writing started out ten years ago as just a blog, but it has now evolved and is the front page of my author website.  And while the website pages are all about my books and my author business, my blog has always included much more than that. It was always my intention to share not only aspects of my own writing life, but also to post about books and reading in a wider sense and to offer interview posts to fellow authors. And that remains my intention.

So, to free up a bit of time and space I intend to do fewer book reviews – but I’ll keep my Books of the Month feature – which is more recommendations rather than reviews.

And while I’ll continue to offer some interview posts to other writers, I’m also going to add in a new feature which I hope readers of the blog will enjoy. This new type of post will be one where I invite an author to share their typical writing day – thereby giving an insight into how they work and what they do. It will be by invitation only and will be called A Life in the Day of …

New Writing Plans

And with the publication in May of Fulfilment, the final novel in my three part Rachel & Jack: Skye series, it’s time to explore the possibilities for my next book. I’m not short of ideas – I have a notebook full of ideas – but all these seedlings need thinning out – and only a few will make it to the plot – see what I did there? 🙂 Okay, I’ll stop with the metaphors now.

But seriously, I’m sort of spoiled for choice. Perhaps I’ll go for a series again – but this time set the books in southern Scotland and have each book focus on a different romantically entwined couple within that locality/community. Or maybe I’ll do a standalone – or two – instead of, or as well as, a series? And will I do another children’s novel – a sequel to The Silver Locket perhaps with the same three children as lead characters – and have them embark on another time-travelling adventure? These are exciting dilemmas to have and although I already miss Rachel and Jack it really is time to leave them in peace to get on with their lives without my meddling. Mind you a Christmas short story set a year after Fulfilment is sort of beckoning …

Back to the Creative Department

So after a lot of time spent on the online launch of Fulfilment, it’s time to spend less time in the marketing department and to focus on making something fresh and new – both here on the blog and with the crafting of a new novel. And I do appreciate how fortunate I am that the work I do can continue – lockdown or not.

Continue to stay safe everyone.


As a postscript to this post – a question:

Like many people I’ve found I’m reading more during lockdown but that’s not the case for everyone – have you been reading more – or less – during this difficult time? If you have been reading, please do share your favourite lockdown read – and why you enjoyed it – in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “Taking Stock: Where next for the blog and my writing #amwriting #writing #books

  1. Recently read A Dark Matter by Douglas Johnstone. Crime fiction not usually my kind of book but Leith WI invited him to talk at one of their zoom meetings and thought it would be a good idea to read one of his books. Thoroughly enjoyed this first part of a trilogy set in Edinburgh. Walked round streets in my head and even visited my old place of work all through scenes in the book. Looking forward to the next instalment!
    Read Fulfilment too and loved seeing how Jack and Rachel were progressing with their lives. Well done Anne.

    • I read A Dark Matter recently too, Kathleen. I t was excellent and, having spent the second part of my childhood living in and going to school in Leith the setting had echoes for me too.
      Thank you for your kind words about Fulfilment – so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    • I’ve read a lot of Susan Hill’s books in the past. I don’t know this one though – must investigate. Thanks for stopping by, June.

  2. I’ve been reading my way through my collection of Georgette Heyer as a sort of mental cushioning against the outer realities of our sad times. However, a lot of what she deals with is bleak, harsh even, but always with that light comedic touch and a true sense of the dramatic scene. Also reading an ARC, but can’t say much about that at the moment. Anne

    • Oo, intriguing, Anne. Yes, I’m sure the time your spending with Georgette Heyer’s books, as you reread them, must still be an escape from the here and now – even at their bleakest.

  3. My reading habits haven’t changed during the lockdown. I’ve always been an avid reader. 😀 I’ve recently discovered the author, Lisa Jewell and have enjoyed reading some of her books. Up till now, I’ve read The Family Upstairs, The House We Grew Up In and Then She Was Gone. Her books are domestic thrillers (I think that’s a genre?) and she’s really good at writing characters. I also read a lot of Christian non-fiction.

    • Aw, thanks Darlene. I’ll do my best with getting that sequel written 😊 The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all time favourite books. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Wow! You’ve been busy making lots of plans for your writing and your blog. Congratulations!

    I’ve found it difficult to concentrate enough to read books during the shutdown, but I’ve listened to several good ones.The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson was good — if you like history. It reads like fiction. My favorite novel during the pandemic was Big Lies in a Small Town, by Diane Chamberlain. I’m reading The Book of Lost Friends, by Lisa Wingate. I’m loving it, too.

    • Hi Janet. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment. Yes, audio books are often a great alternative. I haven’t heard of the books you mention but I’ll check them out. 🙂

  5. I’ve been reading about the same amount as I was before the pandemic, but I’m being careful in my selections, often choosing something that’s a little more upbeat or humorous. Anything plots about the abuse of human beings or animals isn’t likely to make my reading list these days.

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