5 year project: October update

do you have goalsI’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published. To pursue this goal, I really should be continuing my quest to find an agent interested in my historical novel, The Reluctant Scribe. But, in fact, I’ve been doing other things…

Walking the English Coast

Yes, this October was a wonderful month in England. Warm, dry and sunny. So I’ve not been sitting at my desk trawling through agents’ websites. Oh, no!

I’ve been out walking the English coast!Walking the English Coast, a beginner's guid, author Ruth Livingstone

Long-distance walking is something I took up 6 years ago and it has become an all-consuming passion. It’s the reason why I diverted from my project of fiction writing to produce my ‘how to’ book – a 250-page epic – for newbie walkers who want to take up coastal walking.

I’m proud to see Walking the English Coast up on Amazon. It’s had a smattering of excellent reviews and a small but significant number of sales. Now all I have to do is find some more reviewers and give the book an extra publicity push in time for the spring season of walking.

THE SHED - jpg thumbnailShort story writing

Last month I reported I’d self-published a 48-page booklet of four short stories, three of which were previously published in magazines, and one of them – The Shedwon first prize in a Writing Magazine competition.

The Shed: a collection is also up on Amazon, both as a paperback and Kindle version.

As a result of the feedback I’ve had from readers – enthusiastic – I realise how much I enjoy writing short stories. There is immediate satisfaction from finishing a piece. Writing novels, on the other hand, takes months and months and it is hard to have an overview of the finished work in your head.

This revelation leads me on to the next project…


November is just around the corner and that means the mad festival of writing is almost here. I’ve entered NaNo five times, and I’ve won five times. (Winning, of course, simply means finishing 50,000 words during the month of November!)

NaNoWriMo novel writing winners banner - Ruth LivingstoneNaNo 2015 : Last year I finished the first draft of my YA novel, originally entitled The Quantum Circle but which I’m going to rename as The Quantum Contract. This novel is, I’m ashamed to say, still awaiting its first revision.

NaNo 2014 : The year before, I was a ‘NaNo rebel’ – and yes, there is such a thing, with a special forum for us – and I didn’t write a NaNo novel. No. What I wrote was the first draft of Walking the English Coast, my non-fiction book.

What am I going to do for NaNo 2016 ? I’m going to be a NaNo rebel again and write a series of short stories. In fact, I hope plan to write THIRTY short stories. That’s one story each day, for the month. Wish me luck!

If you are participating in NaNo this year, I wish you the best of luck. Please do be my buddy. My NaNo name is RuthL.

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

12 thoughts on “5 year project: October update”

  1. Congratulations! You’ve gotten so much done and it sounds like things are paying off. I’m a nano rebel this year as well. Writing 1 novel, three novella, and planning to write about 10-12 short stories. I can’t wait!


  2. Congratulations!!! Go, walk and celebrate!
    I’ll be working on a series of stories as well – they are actually all with the same character, so it’s like writing chapters for a novel, but not quite.


  3. Congrats on your accomplishments, and good luck in NaNoWriMo! I’ve added you as a buddy, but be warned – I’m not 100% sure I’m participating. I need to revise my current MG and a couple more picture books for the agents, so my project “Trapped” may not actually be written this November.
    We’ll see.


    1. It’s always a big decision to commit to NaNo. Sometimes it fits in with what you’re trying to accomplish, and sometimes it doesn’t. Good luck with your writing, whatever you decide to do.


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