My aim for these blog posts is two fold.
Let me explain…

I’m writing this blog in order to track my progress from unpublished to (hopefully) published. Mostly so I can look back on my achievements later on, but also to provide a kind of route map for any other amateurs out there pursuing the same goal.  If I can succeed, then so can YOU!

I want this to be a place where we (and by we I mean me and you guys reading this!) can discuss things. So, from time to time I want to steer the topic of conversation towards things we, as a #WritingCommunity, might find interesting. 

This blog post is actually kind of a merging of the two.

I’m writing this as the clock is about to tick over from 2019 to 2020. So, I thought that this is probably a perfect time to take stock of:

  • What I achieved in 2019
  • The people I met who became important to me
  • And what I hope to do in 2020

Let’s start with by wrapping up 2019.

Now leaving 2019…

Okay, so, I’m going to cheat a little here and backtrack to the end of December 2018, just before New Year.

I’d started a Facebook page to do essentially what I’m doing here… track my progress on my journey. It was last minute Christmas shopping that really fired me up to finish this adventure.

We were in Waterstones (a UK bookseller) and I was browsing the shelves for books, when it hit me.  I WANTED my book on these shelves. So, I took a picture and put it up on my blog. It’s a picture I’ve looked at frequently since to keep me motivated.

Arrows indicate where MY BOOK will be once the dream is complete!

F for Ford.

My book should be in that slot on the shelf. That’s the target. That’s the goal.

It came at a demoralizing moment in my life. I’d just been to the doctors about a busted up knee (an injury sustained holidaying in Florence) and an ongoing battle with potential surgery and rehab. (It’s a long story not worth telling here!)

I entered 2019 in a weird place. Fighting age and injury, but determined to get the job done on my book. So I threw myself into the FINAL edit….

Or what I thought would be the final edit.

By January 25th, this is what I was writing on my Blog:

I have to admit I was deluded.

About a year ago I was ‘finished’ writing book 1. Fantastic – I thought – now all I need to do is edit it down to a more manageable size. Surely the writing was the hard bit? Now I’m just removing words…how long can that take?

Turns out it’s HARD!!!

At this point the manuscript was down to 190k words (from 260k) and I had 60 more chapters to edit. I’d been thinking that I’d get the book down to 110k words, but that was proving to be more and more unlikely by the day. I adjusted my expectations and plotted a course for around 140k. I figured I could get to that!

By February I was down to 160k, and had culled out 34 Chapters. I felt like I was making headway, but I was now re-editing chapters I’d already edited. 

May, though, was where things started to kick into high gear…

Because May was when I started engaging on Twitter.

I dabbled for a few days and then I found @Sylessae and her ART and her attitude changed me profoundly. She has a gift for inspiring you to be the best you can be.  

From there I met a whole bunch of other people, but more on them later!

In August… Shit got REAL!

Wifey printed out my manuscript onto that white stuff called PAPER!  Wow!

There’s something surreal about seeing your book in PRINT for the first time. Actual pages, not just typed up on a screen. It wasn’t a book yet, not published. But the dream was tangible for the first time. I was covered in goosebumps and had butterflies!  

It was also the first time Wifey was going to read it, and I was nervous! Of everyone, she was the one I wanted the most to validate my work. If she hated it, I’d be broken! 

Fortunately…she loved it.

(But then she has to say that ’cause she’s my Wifey!)

Back to Twitter…

Two things happened late in the year.  Firstly, I decided I needed this website. Secondly, to go hand in hand with it, I decided I needed to expand my social media footprint.

So, I got involved in the #WritingCommunity and the #ArtCommunity and found some amazing people.

You can find more details on many of them by visiting my Artists and Writers pages.  But here’s a quick recap!

First up, the lynch pin to the #WritingCommunity was J D Greyson. Once she started to ‘lift’ me in the Community, the followers started to come and I met loads of other amazing people. While at first it was – admittedly – a cynical move to get more followers, it swiftly became more than that. It is a fun and interesting community to share idea, thoughts, concerns and… FUN!

I met Nikki (who’s been super supportive and hilariously funny!), I met Dr Maggie (who’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!), I met Barry S Brunswick (who constantly amuses me with ‘Bottom’ gifs!), Veparion (who I’ve witnessed on a fantastic art journey), Zeiyth (who’s just one of the nicest artists you’ll ever meet!), Cassy (who is extraordinarily talented!), Lemon (who has gone out of her way to help teach me)… I could go on, but there are way too many.

I’m knocking on the door of 2000 followers now and it’s due to these guys and many many more.

Anyway, 2019 ends on a real HIGH. I’ve loved being a part of the fun of this community…which brings me to…


Here’s what I want from this year:

FUN. I want to continue to have the fun that 2019 ended with. That means more Twitter Pirate Parties and GIF wars!
I mean…isn’t this THE most important thing?

An AGENT. The first step on the ladder to publishing is to start agent querying as soon as possible. I’m terrified of it frankly, but I know I’ve made friends in the #WritingCommunity who will support me.

Get Published. I mean, that is the long term aim, isn’t it? To make the dream come true that I detailed right at the top of this blog post. I really want this to be a reality in 2020. Or to have at least made strides towards it.

Health and Happiness. I’ve been battling with my weight for a while now and 2020 is the year I NAIL it. Now that my knee is feeling better and the lump has been removed from my jaw (long story, don’t ask!) I just want to get back to being thinner and fitter again.

So…now you’ve read all about me, what is it that YOU guys and gals want from 2020?
Comment below and tell me what you’re looking for from this new year.

Happy New Year everyone.  Here’s to a FANTASTIC 2020

Love & Books

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  1. Robert

    What I want is to actually finish one of the few stories I have started. To do this I may have to make one a short story. 5,000 words isn’t all that much to me considering how long I have been writing. (More than a few decades) It’s all about focus and cutting out writings that get in the way of my main goal: Finishing a book.

    • Jon Ford

      I feel you!

      I’m really trying to buckle down at the moment to getting book 2 finished, or at least in a state where I can edit it while I pursue the Agent querying!

      You can do it! As you say, in the grand scheme of things 5000 words isn’t a huge target to meet.

  2. Nikki

    Hi, Jon! It’s so cool to be able to go from hanging out with you on Twitter to being on your website now! Great job with this…it’s a really nice site.

    I know 2020 is going to be a landmark year for you as you accomplish all your goals, including publishing Hunters. I’m so excited about this!

    I’m also so happy we met and I am honoured to be on this journey with you. Your writing is fabulous and deserves to be seen by the world. And you’ll be walking into bookshops seeing your work on those shelves before you know it!

    Your Biggest Fan

    • Jon Ford

      Hey Nikki,

      Thanks so much for your help and support, especially all those Writer Lifts on Twitter!

      So glad we met!! IT’s been a fun ride so far, I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for us both. Let me know when you’re book is imminent and I’ll support the hell out of it!
      We’re on this journey together through 2020, with the same goal in mind.

      You, me and the rest of our Twitter writer chums, all heading to the Published Promised Land! We CAN do it!

      Loadsa luv

      P.S. Thank you so much for being a Beta Reader! Means so much to me that you’re willing to take the time to read my humble little book and feedback to me.
      If I can return the favor just holler! 😀

  3. Robert

    Thank you for the positive feedback Jon, it is much appreciated. You mentioned getting an agent for book number two. Did the one for the first book not turn out so well? Somewhere on my computer I have a list of the order in which to do things when publishing a book, and getting an agent was mentioned before a book is even finished. Is this what you do?

    • Jon Ford

      Yeah, I’m actually querying for Book 1.
      In the meantime I’m trying to get Book 2 done in draft form so I can get into editing it.

      How did the writing go? Did you get your 5000 words?

  4. Sean

    Weight is always a thing, isn’t it Jon? It may not seem like an important aspect concerning writing, but it really is. It is so easy to get lost in making a story, that you can look up and see that 6 hours went by in a flash.
    If you let that happen too much, your weight is going to get the best of you, you will find yourself unhealthy and, whether or not you realize it, not writing to the best of your abilities.

    A healthy body is a healthy mind is healthy writing.

  5. Jackie

    Wow, Jon, those are fantastic goals! I truly hope you find an agent this year and get published. It would be amazing to see you achieve your dream.

    Are you done editing your manuscript or are you still working on it? That has to be such a monumental task to tackle. I can’t even imagine trying to edit that many words.

    • Jon Ford

      Thanks Jackie!
      I’m almost done now. This will be the final edit. I’m about a half way through the final proof read which will give me edit number 20 which will be it.
      Hopefully it’ll be good enough to get some interest and then if a publisher buys and wants to make changes I’ll address those then.

      • Jackie

        I cannot imagine trying to edit such a big piece of work! How long does it take you to go through an edit the whole book? How is finding a publisher going? I hope you find one soon, and I hope they don’t want you to make a billion more changes. Please keep us posted!

        • Jon Ford

          It’s taking a while. I’m fortunate enough to have help proofreading the manuscript and spotting where I’ve put errant apostrophes, extra spaces, missed commas and periods, screwed up an ellipses or a hyphen. Sometimes a sentence here or there needs reworking.

          In truth… I actually quite enjoy the collaboration aspect of working through the edits.
          The book has been about 4 years in the writing and editing so far (but bear in mind I have a life and a day job too!) but I’m now almost done!!!

          As for the publisher… badly! ?

          The querying continues, but no bites yet. It’s a little demoralising at times, but I understand the industry is subjective. I’m just gonna keep plugging away. And that’s just to get an agent to represent me! It’s then up to them to get me into a publishing house, so we’re a long way off yet.

          I’ll keep everyone who reads my blog updated! ThNks for the interest Jackie!

  6. Simon

    Those are some awesome goals to try to achieve this year. I hope you are able to finally see your dream come to pass. I think it was a great idea to take that photo. It can work as a positive affirmation every time you look at it. Picture your book right where you want to see it. I don’t know if the Law of Attraction works or not, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to visualize what you hope to come to pass!

    • Jon Ford

      I agree. I like to think that if I’m determined enough and never lose sight of my goal, eventually I’ll will it into being. I guess it’s just making sure that you persevere until you get there. Sometimes it’s tough to stay positive, but I try!

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