Otherwise known as my Author End-of-Year Newsletter. Bringing 2022 to a close with some updates from the professional life.
First of all, hello! I realise I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the website. For several reasons, 2022 has been a bit of a rollercoaster of a year, in both my personal and professional lives, for good and ill. There have been battles with my ongoing latest novel, a podcast to work on… I’ll go into that in a bit more detail now.
You can STILL hear Chopin from the attic
My current project, a World War II novel set in a hotel in Berlin, is still very much in the works. The readers I’ve spoken to throughout 2022 have all told me how much they’re looking forward to this or how they’re excited to read it. But it’s been a bumpy ride with the writing process. Call it the artistic temperament, call it self-doubt, or whatever else. Shortly after surpassing 100,000 words, I decided I was fed up of the constant series of back-and-forths through doors and into rooms that my characters were taking. In short, it was getting a bit dull to write, and I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. And so I made the insane decision to start from scratch at that point.
However, after I’d started the re-draft, I discovered I wasn’t actually doing anything different from the last time. And then I read a few posts from fellow authors reminding me that, when it comes to the first draft, you should just get it down on paper. Leave it to the editing process to wheedle out anything you don’t like, to catch out anything a bit lame or boring and do something about it then.
And so with that in mind, we picked up where we left off. You Can Hear Chopin edges steadily towards its halfway mark. So could 2023 be the year we see a finished draft at the end? It’s possible…
If you’re totally unfamiliar with the novel, why not catch up with the story so far?
A phenomenal second season
Of all my projects this year, I’m probably proudest of the second season of my podcast, The Dale Hurst Writing Show. When I launched it last year, I only had it in mind to be for a bit of fun. Just to talk about writing and storytelling with a few likeminded individuals.
In 2022, something felt different. I’ve had people find me on LinkedIn and tell me how much they’re enjoying it. Authors have messaged me on Instagram, asking me if they can feature on an episode. PR reps have emailed me inviting their clients onto the show. While our listenership is still fairly small, we are seeing some definite growth, with key audiences not only in the UK but also the USA and Canada.
At the end of the first series, I put it out to my followers to decide if they wanted to see a new season. This time around, I didn’t bother. I know there will be a Season 3 in 2023. Plans are already in place and I can’t wait to get stuck in.
Making the longlist
One of my 2022 New Year Resolutions was to enter at least one writing competition per month. And unlike most of my New Year Resolutions, I actually kept it up for seven months of the year! As usual, these entries proved mostly fruitless. Mostly, not totally.
Earlier in the year, I received confirmation that a short story I’d written – a surreal tale called Sunday on the Boulevard with my pet lobster – would be published in not one, but two anthologies by Fresher Press. But even more fantastic news; the story had been longlisted for the Bournemouth Writing Prize (also run by Fresher and Bournemouth University). It may not have won or even made the shortlist, but I still regard it as a professional victory. Especially when my reading of the story was so well-received at the anthology launch event in November.
Signing off for 2022
In other news, I joined the award-winning marketing team at Arts University Bournemouth earlier this year. Providing me an outlet for both creative and administrative talents. But also an academic setting that’ll hopefully prompt me to start looking into a Ph.D. properly, as I plan to enter the world of lecturing and research if I can manage it. Within the fields of Creative Writing and/or English Literature, of course.
What else could be on the cards? A play? A film? …I should be so lucky to have the time!