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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!

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Thursday 18th June 2020

This is my third week back in work and I’m now creating props and costumes for the Year 6 play – Peter Pan. Because there are only two thirds of the year group back, which have been divided into two pods, and the necessity for social distancing, we are recording each section of the play and piecing it all back together to run from start to finish. One pod will be responsible for the start, and the other one will be responsible for the end. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

I haven’t done much reading this week due to constant tiredness. However, I have managed to accomplish a lot more writing than usual. I’m gradually receiving some feedback on chapters 7-9, I’ve written chapters 11-12, and next I will be writing chapter 10. The reason I haven’t written the chapters in a chronological order is because I have multiple POV’s. I find it easier to concentrate on the protagonist before going back and filling in the other POV’s.

The Writing Community on Twitter has been fabulous. Everyone is supportive and encouraging. I’m slowly getting the hang of it and finding it easier to use than Facebook. This is only my opinion, and everyone will have their own, but I feel there is a more positive atmosphere on Twitter.

Because of being at work, I haven’t used my watercolours for a little while. I have decided that my writing is more important at the moment. It’s just under two weeks until I hear back from the mentorship programme. If I’m unsuccessful, I want to be as ready as possible to start sending my query letter off to agents/agencies. I still have moments of intense anxiety over the mentorship. It would be nice to have an idea of what other applicants have sent in, but I know that’s not going to happen. I just need to remain as positive as I can until 1st July.

Hope you have all enjoyed your week, and have a wonderful weekend. I will catch up with you next week.

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Thursday 11th June

Over the weekend, I decided that I need to finish rewriting my story. Firstly, it will make it easier if I’m lucky enough to get a place on the mentorship programme. If I’ve already finished writing it, then it will be easier to tweak. Lastly, if I’m unsuccessful, it means that I can start my submissions straight away.

I must admit, I’ve been stressing over the mentorship programme. Every time I think about it, I can feel the nerves scurrying through my body. Waiting makes me worry. I don’t suffer with anxiety, but my levels have been up and down like a pogo stick. Does it have a similar effect on you? Just under three weeks until I find out if I’ve got a place – 1st July needs to hurry itself up!

Having been back at work for the last two weeks, it has helped to keep my mind occupied. When there is little to do, I read my book. I’m still working my way through the Sookie Stackhouse series at the moment and am reading Dead and Gone (Book 9). I love a good vampire story. Vampire box sets are a good option too.

I’ve had no time to paint this week, but I have been on Twitter a lot. The writing community on there is so supportive, lots of friendly comments, lots of retweets and likes, lots of writer lifts – what’s not to love? It’s been great to connect with other people in a similar situation to me and see how they have progressed.

Anyway, I digress, I have rewritten three more chapters this week, read them back to myself out loud and ran them through ProWritingAid (mainly to check for passive sentences, adverbs and grammar). Anyone else do this? What do you check for? My updated chapters have been sent to my feedback group, so I’m just waiting for their replies to see if they’re as good as the other chapters.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my latest post. Speak again next week.