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Thursday 23rd July 2020

Good evening to you all! I hope you’ve had a great week.

So, I would like to start off by saying that I was unsuccessful with the mentorship programme. They had over 1,500 applicants and only six spaces to hand out. I’m not upset; I was half expecting that result when they postponed the announcement date. It made me realise that I need to finish my first draft and give it a full revision so I can start querying.

The good news is that my partner and I have booked our wedding. We fell in love with the venue and are planning on paying it off by the end of next year to give us a chance to sort the extras out. We are super excited to have it booked after being engaged for a year already. The wedding won’t be until 2023 which gives us plenty of time to get things paid!

Work has finished now. I won’t be back in until September when the new academic year starts. It will be interesting to see how everything works with our new guidelines dependent on what’s happening with COVID-19 at that point. On the whole, I’m looking forward to a change; to be working with a new class teacher and to be with a new year group.

Some more good news – I finally finished the first draft of my novel! After two years of writing, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. My job over the summer holidays is to self-edit like crazy and send the first chunk of my story to a developmental editor as I can’t afford the cost of sending the full manuscript over. I have decided to send a small chunk to get as much of the beginning scrutinised as possible and apply the feedback to the rest of my novel. I’m hoping that this will put me in a better position for querying. I really want to start sending my novel off to agents before the end of the year so that I can make a start on my next novel.

Thank you for reading, it means a lot! Have a lovely weekend and I will be back next week.

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Thursday 16th July 2020

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not writing a blog post last week. The reason why I didn’t write is because I was baking and icing cupcakes, boxing them and labelling them. On Friday morning, I gave one to my daughter. The sticker on the box read: Will you be my bridesmaid? She said YES! Later on that evening, I handed a cake to both my sisters and to two of my closest friends who all agreed. My partner and I are going to view the venue we would like over the weekend to put a deposit down. It’s starting to feel real now that we are making arrangements.

Next, I’ve hardly done any reading over the last two weeks so that I can focus any spare time on my novel. I now have one chapter to tweak and one chapter to finish writing until my first draft is complete. It’s all coming together. I plan on printing it out next week to do a full revision before sending it out to my feedback group to get their opinions on the story as a whole, including the plot twist.

From Tuesday, I will have the summer holidays off work to dive into my reading and writing. I’m still undecided about an editor. Again, it comes down to money – and my lack of it! Tomorrow is the announcement date for the mentorship programme. Due to the number of applicants, I doubt I will get a place, but I’m holding out hope for some good news in the middle of this rubbish experience we are all part of.

I hope you’ve had a good couple of weeks and have a fabulous weekend. Thank you for your continued support. Speak next week.

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Thursday 2nd July 2020

Hello again. It’s been a tough week at school with continuing to make props and making a start on sorting out the Science and D. T cupboard. The class teacher and I decided to order lots of tray boxes – one colour for Science and one colour for D. T – to make them more visually accessible. We have thrown away three black bags of things that are broken or just don’t get used. This means we can create an itinerary to assess what we have and what we need. We are going to create new labels in the hopes of keeping everything where it needs to be.

After feeling guilty last week for not having written anything, I managed to write an additional three chapters over the weekend meaning that my fiance found out my major plot twist. He was surprised and I was happy! Although, it did highlight a mistake I’d made with my plot, allowing me to adjust a few details. Also, I had some negative feedback about one of my chapters. I have now broken that chapter into two and placed them in different sections of the story. This is my next task for the weekend – to rewrite both of these and continue to adjust some details along the way to ensure my plots tie in together nicely. Then, I only have three more chapters to write until I’m finished with my first draft.

I’ve been reading a few books this week. I finished Sookie Stackhouse #9 and have started #10. I’ve also started Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I finished a non-fiction book about prose and read a book called Show, Don’t Tell. I made lots of notes from this book to help me when I revise my draft for self-editing purposes.

I’m toying with the idea of hiring a professional editor. The cost is what’s holding me back from making that decision. Firstly, I have a wedding to save for. I also need to buy a car if my fiance and I are able to move house so that I can get to work. It would also be great if I could buy a new laptop given that mine is almost ten years old! Ah, money is always the reason for anything – good or bad. The thing is, I’d love to have a professional opinion by sending my work off for a developmental/structural edit. I feel it will give me a better chance of getting accepted by an agent if I’m unsuccessful with the mentorship programme. Decisions, decisions!

Thank you so much for reading. As ever, I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to support me along my journey. Have a fabulous weekend. Speak to you all next week.

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Thursday 25th June 2020

Gosh, it’s been hot this week. I am peeling my limbs from each other as I write through this sweltering heat. I’m writing at a later time today because I had to stay late at work to host a Zoom call with the class teacher and our year five children. It was lovely to see so many of their faces again. Unfortunately, we won’t get the opportunity to finish this academic year properly due to COVID-19. School staff are trying to picture how everything will be in September, how the classrooms will be, how break times will be, and how the children will be as well each other.

Whilst on Twitter early this evening, I saw a tweet from the agency that I sent my application to. Due to a much higher volume than anticipated, the announcement date for the mentorship programme had been postponed until 17th July. On one hand I’m happy that they are taking the time to read through everyone’s applications thoroughly. On the other hand, it’s not helped my anxiety as I wonder if that many more applicants dilutes my chances of getting a place. The frustrating part of this is not knowing the strength of the ‘competition’.

Over the last week, I have asked myself what my next steps will be if I don’t get a place on the mentorship programme. My first step is to finish my book. I’m also debating hiring an editor to get a structural edit to see if I’m headed in the right direction. I would love a professional pair of eyes to read through my story and tell me what’s working and what’s not. My friends have given positive feedback saying that they feel as though they are reading a book that’s already been published, which is fantastic, but I’d like to get a professional opinion. I have now written the first twelve chapters, and I’m waiting for my friends and family to email back their responses to some questions I asked. I did this to obtain specific feedback.

I’ve not completed any writing this week. I’m not happy about this, so I need to play catch up over the weekend to make myself feel less guilty.

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week and have an amazing weekend. Thank you for taking the time to read, it means a lot. Speak next week!