What’s Next?

A conundrum awaits for 2020; I’m not talking about Brexit or HS2 or if first past the post has any redeeming qualities. They’ll all be discussed endlessly, and I can’t bring myself to contribute to any of them right now.

This year marks something of a crossroads for me. I’m proudly looking forward to June, when my next book is published; the fourth that’s been released by Inspired Quill. As always, that’ll be a truly pleasurable experience, but it will also mark the end of my time with Inspired Quill. After eight years, four stories, and one novella, we’ll be parting company – my choice entirely, and I am confident we’ll be friends even after the parting. I did try and come up with a pun on this; Munexit, perhaps? I don’t think that works somehow; let’s forget I said anything.

So what’s next? What is next? What do I do with my writing career when I am no longer with Inspired Quill? I want to keep writing, and I’d like to be published again, but in what format?

I’ve spent a lot of time considering this, and I find myself at a crossroads in terms of my writing career. During December and January, I submitted a number of short stories to varius competitions; no success so far, but it’s early days, so I won’t judge on that basis alone. I find short stories hard, but there’s always the potential that I could get into some anthologies if they are good enough.

But my passion has always been in novels – full-length stories – as I can really stretch the characters. Short stories are focused, tangy, and to the point; novels are more expansive and enduring. I prefer the latter, but like to dabble occasionally in the former.

I wonder, therefore, if I’m doing the right thing by investing my energies in short stories, when my goal is to continue investing in novel-length stories. Perhaps a new novel, fresh from anything I’ve done before, and seeing if another publisher (or, perhaps, that glorious step of an agent) will take me in the future.

I wonder what other creative people think about this dilemma – entirely of my own making, of course.

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