Weirdly, I think I’m missing having a big project to work on. I’ve been doing writing-related stuff, but I haven’t felt very focused or motivated this week. Perhaps I need to pick my next novel and throw myself into it…
I spent the morning going through all the stuff I brought back from NAWG Fest and adding all the Writing Magazine competition and submission info to my rolling spreadsheet. I also sent my Editing Action Plan and first 3000 words to Amie for her editorial feedback, which will be the official end of the Six Month Novel Programme. I also sent the whole novel manuscript to Tony, Jane and Beckah for their comments, though I stressed that I don’t want any feedback before December.
I generally felt quite demoralised about writing in general and my lack of editing motivation in particular.
I went to my scheduled writing date with Ann anyway and did manage to get stuff done – not least editing the competition entry I got feedback on at the weekend. I also caught up on my reviews and wrote a blog post about needing constant reinforcement of lessons learned about writing.
Nada. Zip. Nothing. Which is fine.
I felt very demoralised about the day-job and had a splitting headache at the end of the day, but still went along to my writing date with Hannah, since she promised she would actually turn up this week, and I didn’t want to be the one to cancel.
We had a very encouraging conversation about balancing confidence and complacency, versus falling into a pit of despair about the quality of one’s writing and chances of ever getting published. Writing can be a very isolating activity, and it’s always a good idea to talk to other writers to gain some perspective and exchange moral support.
I sent a pitch paragraph for the novel to Dave’s nephew, Laurence, as he said he had some friends who might be prepared to read it and send me feedback. It will be very useful to get comments from some younger people (early 20s) as they are more likely to be my target market than the people who’ve read it so far. It’s quite terrifying, though, as they are completely unknown to me, and might be painfully honest (which would be good, if not pleasant).
I edited and submitted my entry for the Retreat West Short Story Competition (based on feedback from Write Club over the weekend).
I also wrote one of my better reviews for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, discussing enjoyment of a book as a reader versus analysis of a book as a writer. I’m struggling with this a bit at the moment because I’m at the editing stage with my own novel so I’m finding it very difficult to take off my editorial hat and just read stuff for fun.
Nada. Zip. Nothing. Which is still fine.
A trip to Bristol for work would normally mean writing on the train, but I got engrossed in my book and didn’t do any in the end.
Back in May, I submitted a sample of ten pieces of flash fiction to a publisher specialising in collections of the same. The editor emailed me to say my ten pieces weren’t strong enough in total to make a collection, but that she had particularly liked five out of the ten, and could I send a further five for her consideration.
It was a very long day, involving a flight in a four-seater prop plane, which ended in an unexpected landing at an airfield in the middle of nowhere in Somerset, and a long train journey back from Yeovil. But I was enthused by the at least partially positive response from this editor, so I spent some time in the evening selecting and formatting five more stories to send across to her.
I posted on my website about The Wishing Star, adding it to my publications page.
I also wrote and posted a Bear story about our aborted trip to Guernsey on Saturday.
So, overall, plenty of stuff done and plenty of days where I worked on writing projects. But it all feels a bit nebulous at the moment. Maybe, after six months of intensive work on the novel, my brain just needs a break for a while. Or, maybe, if I launch into something huge and new, I’ll rediscover my enthusiasm. I guess I’ll never know until I try…