‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’
I first heard this in John Lennon’s song, ‘Beautiful Boy’ and John’s fate is my reminder to appreciate each day as it comes whether your plans work out or not.
We do thrive on plans that take us forward though, and I’m happy that my writing plans for 2016 are forging ahead.
I’ve completed my final draft of ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’ and , each month, I’m sending it off to two agents and a publisher. I figured that this means I’ll always have one of two people considering my work and won’t have all my rejections back at once.
Talking of rejections, I’ve just had my first. It was a nicely worded rejection and I’ve been told so often that I’ll get lots on my journey to publication that it was a sort of right of passage. Opened it, read it, over it.
As well as looking for representation, I’m looking into self-publishing. My plan is to be published one way or another and, while I would be delighted to be taken on by an agent who loves my work, I’m prepared to go it alone.
I’ve sent ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’ out into the world to be read by my nearest and dearest. That, I feel, is harder than giving it to strangers. ”Love It!” ‘Hated Neil” “perfect summer holiday read” ‘Ha! I can’t believe ….(spoiler)” ” I loved that man” It is lovely to hear that people couldn’t wait to find out what happened to my characters. I even got “Is there a sequel? I want to know more about….”
I’ve loved writing for the past couple of years but now I’m learning how satisfying it is for my novel to have readers. I know I’m going to have great fun when I’m taking it out into a wider field and promoting it.
While the first born is getting out there, novel 2 has not got a title. There are several that I like but I don’t want to pin it down yet.
With number 2, it’s easier to make writing time, to allow the characters to develop as they come to life on the page and to allow the odd new twist to appear in the story. There’s a welsh terrier who wants to make an appearance. He’s a lovely character like my welshie , Oscar, but older and wiser. I’m enjoying drafting this story because I’m getting rid of the ‘this is rubbish’ voice that used to crop up when I first started writing. If it whispers that it’s rubbish, I say that I can always go back and change it. I’ve written right up to THE END once so I can do it again because I’m a writer.
‘A Jarful of Moondreams‘ is about romance and family relationships. Cleo and Alex are sisters and it’s complicated. They infuriate one another but they both want what’s best for Teri, their mother. Can they fall in with Teri’s plans and survive a whole summer together!
Somebody liked my writing. I don’t know my ROMANTIC NOVELIST’S ASSOCIATION reader but I’m very thankful for their support and advice.
This arrived in December and I’m taking the advice on board and then getting my novel out to people.
Here is my plan for 2016.
I’m going to look for a brilliant agent and a two book publishing deal.
Whether I get an agent or not , I’ m going to publish ‘ A Jarful of Moondreams’ and ensure that lots of people find out about it and want to read it. I will self publish if I don’t find my agent or publisher
I’m going to finish book number two in the Dunbridge series and send it out to publishers and agents.
When I’ve got book one published, I’m going to take it to local libraries and radio stations and talk about it and read parts of it and encourage more readers to try my writing.
I’m continuing my RNA New Writers’ Scheme membership and going to the RNA conference in Summer. There is always lots to learn
I’m really excited about 2016 !
Oh for a space to call my own, a place to create! Do you ever think this way?
There seems to be a spate of sheds popping up to give space and peace for creativity. Which model would you choose?
I’ve been thinking about space. Work space. I was the eldest of four and, as a teenager, I felt deprived. I shared a bedroom with a younger sister. I studied for A levels at the kitchen table with a three year old toddler sister at my heels and two middle siblings watching TV. I ‘looked after’ the younger three whilst studying and I did OK.
As a student in a house of six, I could listen to loud music or block it out, join in and out of conversations and complete my assignments without the push of mum and dad because this was what I’d always done.
This ability to work anywhere stood me in good stead when I became headteacher of an inner city school. I had a spacious office but kept the door open as I worked through a pile of local authority directives and bag load of national bureaucracy. Every day several ‘selected students’ sat in my office or at a desk outside my door. These young people had been discarded for not fitting in and needed a respite from unfair or at-wits-end teachers or hostile peers before being returned to their class at the end of a session. I learnt a lot from chats with these students and I hope they felt their concerns were appreciated by me. They kept my answers and returns to the local authority and to the government real. I could never forget that I was paid to make a difference to these students.
I became a literacy consultant for my local authority so I must have been doing something right! I worked in an open plan office with chatter, debate and meetings galore. I sometimes worked outside of a school in my car to get something finished but generally I let the bustle of the office wash over me.
Now I’m freelance and I have a spare room that has been turned into my office. Just mine. It houses my files, my office equipment, my bookcases and the door closes whenever I wish.
I thought I would love it: I hate it! I feel punished for going there. I go and collect what I need and take it to the kitchen table or the conservatory or to a coffee shop.
Lesson learnt.You can take noise and mayhem away but it might not be what you want! My office is like my wardrobe,it is handy for storing things but it is not a place to stay in for long.