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© Alan John Ward

  • Alan Ward

Six months since I left full-time work


The 13th of April was six months since I left my job. I've been focussing on writing, and enjoying having a different pace of life. The only pressure is the pressure I put on myself. It's hard work, but a different kind of hard work to the work I did before.

I'm writing this blog post to remind myself of some of the things I've achieved and what (a lot) I've still got to do.

These days I get a lot of rejection. That's what happens when you suddenly increase the amount of opportunities you apply for. Hardly a few days can go by without bad news.

I've had some nice things to celebrate too:


  • Being shortlisted in the Oxford Books International Poetry Prize.

  • Becoming Hastings Library's writer in residence.

  • Finishing the first draft of a novel for young adults (as pictured).

In numbers, the last six months looks like this:

  • Entirely new pieces of writing finished (stories, poems and a script): 19

  • Blog posts written: 15+

  • Writing workshops / events delivered: 40+

  • Submissions made (competitions, magazines, other one-off opportunities): 40+

  • Books read (not counting magazines and journals): 31

As well as those milestones, I've also got much more organised when it comes to writing. I've reread a lot of my old stuff and consolidated some ideas. I've researched opportunities and have a detailed spreadsheet that helps me set deadlines.

I've written, edited and rewritten a huge volume of material to submit to magazines and opportunities.

Thanks for reading this post. I'd love to be able to share more of my stories and blog posts with you, please subscribe if you'd like hear more.