Wednesday 2 January 2013

IWSG: What a Difference A Year Makes

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for...

Insecure Writer's Support Group
Seeing as it's also the start of a new year, I thought it would be good to look back over the past year.

If you'd have told me twelve months ago, that I would be published by Christmas and have a second contract under my belt by this time, I'd have probably laughed. Quite possibly, hysterical laughter, bordering on maniacal. Not because I didn't believe in my writing, but because it has all happened so fast, without the mass rejections I'd prepared myself for beforehand.

This was my goal as we entered 2012:

"I have two manuscripts on the go at the moment, 'The Masquerade Must Die' and 'Love in the Aisles', and I intend to finish the first draft of at least one of them during 2012.
Ideally, I will also revise and edit one of them and get my first query letter sent out but I don't want to go as far as making that a resolution - I would much rather wait until I had a worthy manuscript than rush it off because of a self-imposed deadline. Maybe I'll have it ready in time for next year's Mills and Boon New Voices competition and can go down that route instead, maybe not. I'll just have to wait and see how it goes."

So how did I do?

Well, The Masquerade Must Die is now called Pussy Kat, Pussy Kat (Where Have You Been?) and it will be book two in my self-published Peer Pressure series. Although this story is fully outlined, I suspect it will be 2014 before I can really get stuck into this one. What of Love in the Aisles then? Sadly, that too is languishing 'in the pipeline', having been shoved aside by one project after another. I will get to it, but it isn't one of my priority projects.

Instead, I started Their Last Goodbye and got 35,000 words into it. I even sent off a chapter and synopsis for the Mills & Boon Romance Fast Track, but wasn't at all surprised when it was rejected. Until I heard back from M&B, it was stuck in limbo as I couldn't really proceed in case I completely needed to change the heat level to suit them.

Then came the submission call-out for Christmas themed stories and it got rudely shoved to one side. It was almost like a switch flicking on, and I suddenly got it... writing, I mean. Overnight, my writing improved dramatically. Christmas is Cancelled became the first manuscript I ever typed 'the end' on, achieving my goal for the year. It was, of course, snatched up by Breathless Press (not to mention the contract I turned down from another epublisher) and meant I finished the year as a published author.

After that, I got the idea for my Peer Pressure series, but rather than go into that again, you can read all about it here. Now, it's back to Their Last Goodbye as the characters are getting upset at being ignored, and a dog barking inside your gets a little bit irritating. The story has already been back on the cutting room floor once, with the first couple of chapters getting a complete overhaul, and reading much better now as a result.

Later this year, my youngest starts school full-time so I will be able to make the switch from hobby to career, and I have to be honest, I can't wait. I even have my office ready and waiting so I can physically 'go' to work. In the meantime, I have to remember to make the most of her whilst she is at home as I will miss her enormously when she's at school all day. For now then, my writing time is limited to the two hours she is at nursery school and evenings, with the occasional weekend.

After the reaction, reviews and response I've had to Christmas is Cancelled, I am really starting to believe in myself - albeit in a paranoid, what if I can't match it, kind of way - but I know I am writing some good stuff right now and look forward to sharing it with the world.

Bring on the next twelve months!


  1. Wow, what a year! Congratulations on your successes and all that is in the works! Sounds like you have lots to do. My youngest started school a couple of years ago and I find it even harder to find time to write- how does that work? I hope that isn't the case for you :)

    Best wishes for this new year!

  2. Congrats on your achievements so far. Hope 2013 is filled with success for you too.

  3. Many congratulations from me too. You're an inspiration to the rest of us insecure writers, and I will keep you in mind as I devote myself to the opportunities ahead of me in the new year. I just might succeed beyond my wildest dreams too! :)


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