Beachy Books Review of the Year 2014

It wouldn’t be Christmas without me looking back over the year and thinking how little I achieved, but realising I did some amazing things and then summing it all up in a blog post. Did I achieve all the things I set out to do? Did I do things I never expected? What were the successes? What were the fails?

I’ll start by reading what I wrote last year, however I notice that really that’s a 2012 review and after writing my 2013 resolutions I didn’t then write a review of 2013. This must have been because at the end of the year I was so busy trying to publish Jack and Boo’s Dinosaur Island! And I also notice that I only managed to complete one of my five resolutions. Hey ho, better one than none.

As a blogging year, it was my most pitiful yet, with only a handful of blogs published. The truth is, blogging is my least favourite form of writing. But, I still felt the urge to communicate with you all, and I thought an interesting way might be via a podcast. I almost gave up on the idea because I realised it would take too long, until one day I had the stupid idea to just record the nonsense churning around my head during my daily walks in the country. The result has gained a small but appreciative audience. The podcasts are about my thoughts on writing, my current projects and other topics on the writing life. I haven’t a clue who it’s really aimed at and I admit it is a touch idiosyncratic, but it’s all you’re getting for now. I hope to continue podcasting in the new year, so If I’ve piqued your interest then listen and subscribe here: Beachy Books – Beachy Rambles Podcasts.

Most of my time this year has been taken up with continuing my successful Beachy Books Community Book Publishing Projects, which enabled me to work with some amazing people from my local community and help them create their own community books, while having loads of fun and hopefully imparting some skills I’ve learned along the way.

The projects resulted in 4 amazing books, which I have now published under a newly created community imprint Beachy Community Books.

The books are Your Journey Into Ryde, Over The Bridge to Gunville, Freshwater Reflections and Animals Never Judge Me. I also published Addicts’ Anecdotes, a community book from 2013, via this imprint as our first community book.

All of the community books have sold at least 100 copies, most hundreds, and one, Freshwater Reflections, 700 copies! After costs, all profits go back to the groups who created the books to support their own causes.

During the delivery of my courses I was also observed by OFSTED and they gave me a GOOD rating, which is good, I think.

Unfortunately, due to the community book projects taking up so much time, we (the wife and I) failed to create another Jack and Boo children’s book this year, and also shelved a number picture book projects we had planned due to lack of time to dedicate to them. Perhaps a new book will surface in the new year if we get time…

I did manage to finish a short-ish children’s chapter book. I thought it was amazing. I loved it. Then I read it to my children. Their reaction was lukewarm. I have decided to shelve it for a bit and return to it another day. It took me ages to finish but I just don’t think it has the X Factor. Bit gutting really, but I’m just not feeling any love for it. I may be able to resurrect it one day. But if I don’t, it was just another step along the way.

And so, in the closing months of the year I have wrapped up my community book projects and finally had the time I was craving to go back into the study, close the door and start writing again. I discovered a half finished manuscript in the loft, which I haven’t been able to shake from my head so I’ve resolved to finish it in 2015. I don’t want to reveal too much at the moment, except that it’s not a children’s book. Of course, that’s not to say it won’t be childish. Only time (and my 2015 review of the year) will tell if I finish a publishable draft.

I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas in 2014!