A belated Happy New Year to you all!
The blog is now four years old and although I haven't always kept up the posting as often as I'd like, it's something to celebrate. The idea for starting the blog was to track my journey as a writer and I think it's achieved that. Alright, the journey is slow but there have been things to celebrate along the way. I've got to 'meet' so many other writers and value their support. Since I started in 2014, I have written 129 posts and there have been 1,279 comments including my answers to the comments. There have been 43,065 page views and many of these are from far flung corners of the world. I think this proves that lots more people are reading the blog than the relatively small number who comment. A big thank you to those who do, of course. One of the highlights for me has been when other authors have agreed to be guests and be interviewed about their newly published books. I already have more planned in 2018.
Each January, it has been a tradition on the blog for me to reflect back on the previous year and set out what I'd like to achieve in the one to come. In 2017, short story writing came to a halt but two stories written previously were published by Alfie Dog Fiction and Severance Publications. I was very pleased that my short-listed Flash Fiction piece, Deception Dawning, appeared in the 2017 Worcestershire LitFest anthology of flashes, Wired. I belong to a small writing group and we have given ourselves the task of writing a flash fiction piece by the time we meet up each time. I don't always manage it but at least I had a piece to send to Worcester again this year! The reason for the lack of short stories is because, last year, I concentrated solely on my novel writing. All my efforts went into editing novel one and writing as much of novel two as I could. As a result, I received a very favourable critique on my partial manuscript, Whispering Olive Trees, from a lovely RNA NWS reader who gave invaluable guidance and advice when I come to the editing stage. I began submitting A Mother's Secret to publishers and some asked to see the whole manuscript. Although the novel was eventually rejected, one in particular gave very helpful feedback. I attended the 2017 Conference in Telford and gained a lot from that experience, from the presentations, workshops, 1-1s and meeting more lovely writers. In the Autumn, I took an excellent ten week course on 'Writing Crime Fiction' at Cardiff University.
My journey may be slow but I've learned a lot in 2017. Being a member of a very supportive critique group, where we meet up every few weeks, has been invaluable. We are all at different stages with our novels and this year two members of the group secured publishing deals. Sharing their successes with them has been wonderful.
I would like to:
- find a home for novel number one by approaching agents and publishers. One of the hardest things is learning to be patient while waiting to hear back from publishers so I intend to move on to the next submission more quickly than I have been doing.
- having rejoined RNA NWS, finish the first draft my second novel, edit it and submit for a critique
- write new short stories and flash fiction and submit them to a few competitions, in between novel drafts
- attend the 2018 RNA Conference in Leeds in July
- support other authors by inviting them onto my blog
- continue to enjoy my writing and learn more about the craft.
Thank you for reading. What are your intentions this year? I'd love it if you left a comment. :-) Good luck in achieving your goals in 2018. If you have a new book coming out or would like to share some writing news, please message me.