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Thursday 27th August 2020

Good evening you lovely lot! Hope your week has been an enjoyable one.

So, I haven’t looked at my novel one bit, still refusing to leaf back through anything in case I feel the need to tweak anything before I get some feedback. I’ve not heard back from anyone yet. Everyone seems to be busy but hopefully I will hear back by next weekend with some honest opinions about my overall story.

I finished reading How Not to Write a Novel and found it cleverly entertaining. There are only a handful of the examples that I’ve included in my novel. Not to say there aren’t any other mistakes, because I know there definitely are, but it’s nice to know that I haven’t completely messed up, that there’s a chance someone will read my novel without throwing it into the slush pile. I also read Strangers by C. L. Taylor which I loved. I have started Sookie Stackhouse #12 and have also been reading Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. After I’ve read each section, I’ve been mapping out my ideas for my next novel so I have a very basic plan in place. I’m just reading about the different genre types at the moment, wondering which one my novels would would fall under.

I’ve taken a break on Supernatural, and instead I watched Unbelievable on Netflix and am almost halfway through season one of Cuckoo. My daughter and I have made it onto season two of Doctor Who and we’re nearing the end of season two of Friends. My partner and I have almost finished season five of House and are continuing with APB. I’ve also watched Practical Magic (one of my favourite films) and Catwoman. I watched those films with my daughter when we had our girls night in.

Even though school starts again next Friday, I still haven’t completed my planning. Luckily I only plan for one subject a week to cover the class teacher’s planning time. This will be a weekend job for me. I will have to put my novels, reading books and TV to one side, and just focus on getting the planning sorted. Most of it is on the system anyway.

As the time draws closer, I’m feeling nervous about handing my work to an editor. It’s like handing my child to a stranger, trusting that they will nurture and develop it with the same amount of love. In fact, I think I’m scared to finish my novel full stop. Once I’ve finished all the revisions I’m capable of, it’s time to venture into the harsh reality of submitting to agents. Will I ever be ready to do this, or will I procrastinate for the next few years? I have a tendency to drag things out when they near an end; I don’t like the idea of finishing something and being done with it. I’m that awkward person who lingers on your doorstep trying to say goodbye for over an hour. The idea of querying an agent terrifies me. I’m aware that I’m going to have to deal with rejection, but I’m also aware that I’m going to find this awfully difficult. Criticism I can cope with – but not having my work rejected without an explanation. Guess I will cross that bridge when it’s time.

Thank you so much for your continued support, it really is appreciated. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

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Thursday 13th August 2020

Hello. I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

I decided to re-edit some of the first few chapters so that I can go through one POV at a time. I have chosen my main protagonist (Andie) to revise first and finally finished my first set of revisions with her this afternoon. I aim to revise my second protagonist (Kaleb) tomorrow. he only has three chapters throughout the novel so should be nice and easy. This leaves me the weekend and next week to revise two more POVs before sending it out for feedback.

I would love to say that revisions have been fun and exciting, but I’ve found them stressful. Because I’m a newbie to writing, with no qualifications, I’m struggling with this process. I’ve enjoyed improving the writing and adding things in that were missed out in first draft, but I’m still not sure if I’m doing it the right way. It’s got me down the last few days. I’ve felt like a failure, like I’m wasting my time, like I’m not good enough. And the truth is – I can’t tell myself I’m not a failure because I’m still in the process of trying, I don’t yet know if I’m wasting my time, and I have no idea whether I’m good enough. One minute I feel positive, the next I feel down. One thing I have told myself, though, is that I’m not going to give up. I WILL revise my novel, the whole way through. I WILL act upon feedback I receive from my editor next month. I WILL try my luck with traditional publishing. If I don’t succeed through the traditional route then I WILL try self-publishing instead. It’s all a bit of a headache. I much prefer the planning and writing the first draft to revising. However, revision has been extremely beneficial at the same time.

Another thing I have struggled with is being an under-writer. I have read that I ideally need 70k words for the novel to have better chances of being accepted, but I’m over 10k words away from this target. Oops! I’ve increased my word count significantly with my first POV character, so I’m hoping the other three POV characters will help me climb closer to the 70k goal. If not, I’m hoping that my editor can give me some pointers. It’s too long to be a novella, so I need to up my game to be in with a chance.

Life at home has been pretty boring and uneventful this week. I’m still dieting but haven’t done any exercise yet. I wasn’t well last night so have sat on my laptop most of today; my daughter has been making drinks and giving me blankets as well as my much loved teddy bear. My daughter is actually my inspiration for writing my novel and she’s my motivation for continuing the journey.

I hope I’ve not been too depressing with my post today, just trying to relate how difficult I’m finding this writing process. Am I alone with this? Or is there anyone else that’s going/been through the same thing? I just want to walk into a bookstore one day to see my book on the shelf!

As ever, thank you for your continued support. I appreciate every second of your time – it’s precious! Have a great weekend and I’ll speak to you all next week.