What a year 2015 has been! If I’m honest, when it started I’d hoped to be further on in my writing journey than I currently am, but that’s because my expectations were unrealistic not because I haven’t worked hard or achieved loads.
The main thing I’ve learnt is that every step on a writing journey takes a LOT longer than you think. When I look back to roughly a year ago – when I’d finished TSB, edited it “thoroughly” and thought it was ready to send to agents (hilarious idea!) – I’m amazed by how much it’s developed since then. Although the characters and plot haven’t changed fundamentally, both are so much deeper and the writing so much better. The first chapter alone has metamorphosed several times!
Apart from hours upon hours of writing and editing TSB this year, I’ve learnt a HUGE amount through the Golden Egg Academy and SCBWI, as well as made many new writing friends! I’ve been to numerous events/conferences, achieved Highly Commended in a Flash Fiction compeition and come nowhere at all in several other competitions!
I received my full editorial report from Nicki in October, which was really positive, encouraging and helpful. I was hugely relieved that there were no structural or major plot/character issues to rectify, just a few tweaks and clarifications. I’ve done those edits and the manuscript is now back with Nicki for her to check and send on to Golden Egg’s Mother Goose, Imogen, for a read (probably end Jan/early Feb). Until then, I wait (again)!
I still haven’t heard back from BBC Writers’ Room about the CBBC-style script I sent them in September – on Twitter they’ve said that they’re still reading through, deciding which ones to look at in more detail and will be sending updates to all writers before Christmas. Obviously it would be incredible to have a little wander down the screenwriting path – such an amazing way to tell stories – but if it doesn’t happen then I’m also happy to take the idea back and novelise it.
I’m excited about what 2016 will hold as I head into it, with lots of Hero’s Journey references going through my head – I’m definitely on an adventure, now “Approaching The Inmost Cave” and will be shortly coming into contact with some “Threshold Guardians”! Getting an agent is my main goal for 2016, although before then I have to make sure I have a top quality manuscript. Any goals bigger than that are probably wandering back into the realm of unrealistic expectations again, although I can dream! I’m sure there’ll continue to be challenges, highs and lows, but hopefully a few breakthroughs too!
In order to stop myself going crazy while I wait for cogs to turn that I have no control over, I’m going to keep writing, attending events, learning whatever I can, meeting people within the industry, reading lots and exploring the tons of fabulous fantasy art on Pintrest for location inspiration for future books. I’m even going to start looking for a job – you can’t be an unpublished “full-time” writer forever!
As well as the usual Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes (genuinely meant, even if they are usual!), I’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to all of you for your encouragement this year. Writing is a lonely business (not that writers mind that most of the time!) and it’s amazing to have friends asking how it’s going and encouraging me on with it, whether that’s in person, through texts/emails or via Likes and Comments on Facebook, etc. Your support is vital on this wonderful, twisty turny writing journey! See you in 2016 – I hope it’s a year when we all have lots to celebrate 🙂