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Thursday 6th August 2020

Hello everyone.

I apologise for not writing a blog post last Thursday. It was my partner’s birthday so we were celebrating with a few (or more) glasses of gin, and I thought it best to stay away from the keyboard in case I wrote something completely incoherent!

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been watching lots of videos on YouTube from Reedsy and iWriterly on how to self-edit and revise your first draft. If you haven’t already seen them then I highly recommend watching their videos with an editor who provide critiques on writing that has been sent in. The best one on Reedsy is First Line Frenzy with Rebecca Heyman. Viewers send in the first line of their novel and Rebecca will give honest feedback. There is one on iWriterly with Meg LaTorre and a guest editor/literary agent who ring a bell when they feel a literary agent would stop reading the first section of a manuscript. These videos have been super helpful and has given me food for thought.

So far, I’ve edited the first five chapters of my novel and intend to finish the first round of editing by the end of next week so that I can start my second revision and send it off to my feedback group to get their thoughts and opinions on the novel as a whole. I have found this process daunting; it’s been difficult finding relevant flaws in my character arcs and plot etc. I find it much easier to line edit my work. I have hired an editor for a developmental edit on the first ten thousand words of my novel. To say I’m excited is an understatement – if I could send it off now to get the feedback then I would, however, I am booked in for mid September. Hopefully I will have some feedback before then so I can make any necessary adjustments before sending it off.

Last week, I came to the realisation that I’ve put on far too much weight over the last three years (not just over lockdown), so I’m now on a diet and have lost two pounds already. I started the diet three days ago and I plan on starting an exercise routine next week. I want to feel good about myself again and I want my clothes to fit because I don’t have enough money to keep buying new clothes every time I go up a dress-size. My partner and daughter have agreed to diet with me – we are going to be a grumpy household for the next few weeks!

Thank you again for being the amazing readers you are. Have a fab weekend, speak next week.

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4th June 2020

It has now been nine days since I sent in my first 15,000 – 20,000 words to a literary agency to apply for a mentorship programme. The wait is on!

Having rewritten the first part of my novel, I sent it out to those people I received constructive feedback from previously and was welcomed with positive comments. My characters were solid. I had started my story with a better POV. My descriptions were on point. There were only a few minor typos to edit. This filled me with so much confidence that I felt ready to apply. My fingers are now firmly crossed and waiting for the announcement on 1st July to see if I’m lucky enough to get a space on the mentorship programme.

This is why I must apologise for being absent on here over the past few weeks. I have been writing, rewriting, reading, responding to feedback, and homeschooling my daughter whilst working from home during the lockdown. It has been tough, but lockdown gave me the time to throw myself into research and rewrite most of my story. I also followed some tutorials on YouTube to learn how to use watercolours. Let’s Make Art is amazing and the instructions are super easy to follow. I have produced a couple of failed attempts as well as some surprisingly beautiful pieces, which are now in frames.

I initially said that I would write here on a weekly basis, however, this is something I haven’t stuck to. I am now setting a reminder on my phone to ensure that I update you each week on my progress. So far, it has been difficult and testing, but I’m determined to progress and succeed.

Thank you so much for reading,

Michelle.