So, it turns out that if I have more time, I do get more stuff done on writing projects, as evidenced by the fact that I had this week off work, and have done project stuff on six out of seven days.
Today required some personal dedication on my part. I had a three hour gap between two appointments in town, so I found a cafe, bought some coffee and got on with some projects.
I made final edits to the cafe story, based on comments from my Write Club buddies, which were much more incisive than those I received from Scribophile. It’s useful to get a range of opinions, though, and I think the story has been much improved by the additional editing. I gave it a final read-through to make sure it still made sense, and then it was finally ready to submit.
Then I discovered (as I had for one of the competitions I entered the day before) that it needed to be sent in hard copy, which led to a printing/posting scramble. It seems very odd, in this day and age, that hard copy entries are required, since it must make administrating the competitions much more difficult. Hey ho.
I spent two hours submitting pieces to seven more places – phew! This really does take up a lot of time, but hopefully will garner some publications.
I moved my usual writing date with Ann to today. We met at our new regular, Good and Proper, at 11am, and I embarked on my list for the day. First up was a reviews catch-up, always a good way to ease me into working gently.
Then I launched into the expansion of a short story I wrote a very long time ago, and which I received some useful feedback on last month. I added a new section, then posted the whole thing on Scribophile to get more comments on it.
I did a couple of Scribophile critiques to get my karma points up and speed my story into the spotlight.
I went through this month’s Writing Magazine and circled all the interesting-sounding submission opportunities, of which there were quite a few.
I then decided I wouldn’t feel satisfied with myself unless I made some progress on the new novel, so I dragged the third scene out of my brain, kicking and screaming. It wasn’t my best work, but it introduced some of the central plot points in what I hope is an intriguing way, and at least it was words on the page.
I started a spreadsheet to keep track of characters and plot points as I go, since I’m working from a very rough outline that doesn’t have a lot of detail yet.
That brought me to a solid five hours of work for the day, which felt really good.
Bear accompanied me on my writing date today so, when we got home, I helped him post the photos he took, even though he has grossly misrepresented my productivity on writing dates!
I also got news that a Canadian publisher wants to record the short story that eventually became the first novel on their podcast, which is exciting!
I edited the podcast story as per instructions from the publisher, and sent it back to them along with a bio, an author photo, and a list of my publications.
I added this month’s list of submission opportunities from Writing Magazine to my rolling spreadsheet.
I gave the first 1,500 words of the new novel to Geena to read and she came up with some great ideas for story and character development.
I read out the first 1,500 words of the new novel to my parents over lunch, which highlighted some repeat phrasing I hadn’t noticed until I heard it aloud. Very good lesson there!
I collected all the workbooks from the Six Month Novel Programme and started completing them for the new novel. I also set myself a deadline for completing the first draft, which is provisionally the end of May 2018, as I’d like to be able to say I’ve got something mostly done when I meet agents at Winchester Writers’ Festival in June 2018.
No harm in being ambitious, right?
I added some new submission opportunities to my rolling spreadsheet.
I posted reviews of the film, two plays, and two new games I experienced throughout the week.
I did a detailed critique on Scribophile to build up my points and get my current story closer to the spotlight.
I submitted two stories to paying publications for consideration.
I also read through the first 1,500 words of the new novel and fixed the couple of repeated bits I found on Thursday.