Friday 30 December 2011. The date of my first ever blog post.
Since then, the blog has had 68,971 visitors.
My posts have diminished since the start. But I'm still here.
This time last year, I did my annual review of writing and other stuff http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/trick-riding.html and it is helpful to look back and realise that despite everything, my productivity and achievements are, happily, better than I think.
I've managed to bring out 4 more of my backlist for kindle - after much editing and rewriting. In January 2016, Last Chance Horse, which remains popular, was followed in February by The Horse Who Dreamed of Home - which was an updated version of the first in my Wild Horse Island series. In July,
Trick Riders 1 and 2,
set in the world of equestrian vaulting, became available as one volume, in the English language for the first time. In July, I decided to bring out my emotional trilogy (Always in my Heart, Heartbreak Horse and Forever Horse) in one bumper volume, called Forever Horse, again for the first time in the English language. I do love the cover designs from the wonderful Klaus Hartleben.
I'm still awaiting print publication of my Western riding novella for children, Pony on the Trail,
now due December 2016, and recently completed another for children - a spooky pony tale - which I hope will be available in Scandinavia in 2017. I haven't tried Western riding yet.
I've pitched ideas for publishers that haven't been taken up, I have not yet written those final 3 pony
books, and I completed a novella for adults that was rejected by a publisher, but had helpful feedback, so may yet be revisited in the future.
Time spent on marketing and promoting my titles has been considerably less, and this has impacted on sales, but I have adjusted my pricing strategy with Amazon, and this has definititely been a move forwards.
So how - and why - has my energy been diverted away from writing? I've put a lot of mental energy into my part time job, and have also discovered that sitting at a desk writing for hours on end is not good for my health. I now use a standing desk at work, and also do as much walking as I can. Staying physically active is better for me, and I have rediscovered yoga, Pilates and pole fitness. I hope I find a balance that will enable me to write more. Until last year, my favoured writing method was to work in long time blocks, and in the past I have done 8 hour stints at the laptop. This had to stop, and for my last pony novel, I experimented with shorter writing stints over a longer period of time, which was more successful.
I'm still putting in many voluntary hours to raise sponsorship for a major art and music project, which is a huge and ambitious undertaking.
A new year looms....will I finally complete those yet unfinished and unwritten novels? Or will I find other big projects to divert my energies? Who knows what 2017 holds?