Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

If you have Dory in your head now, that’s ok. I do too…!

This week, writing-wise, has been all about keeping going.

It has been hugely busy: I am trying to sort everything out before my holiday, which starts on Tuesday, and I have been a little overstretched and under-rested.

However, I have only missed one writing session and as that was when I caught up with a friend I have only seen twice in the last 20 years, it was worth a night off.

Nothing outside of the new story has been looked at – no submissions, no chases, no revisions of other work – and I have to be honest and say it probably won’t be until June what with one thing and another. That’s a shame but I cannot spend time feeling negative about it: there’s no value in that and it won’t change things anyway!

What I have decided is to take the new novel with me on holiday and try to do a few sections here are there; I had intended to have a break but it’s flowing too well to stop, even if I only do a few sentences now and again. I don’t want it to get in the way of exploring a new place though: the writer in me also needs to have time to be inspired and learn about different places.

So writing’s going well on one hand and there’s room for development on the other.  I just have to keep swimming…

Actually, that’s pretty much every part of life at the moment!

Happy writing,

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So, Every Day In May is getting me back into a daily writing habit. I am writing in the car (as a passenger, obviously!), before I go to bed, in random spaces between things. I am, in other words, using my time more wisely.  I have done nearly 5000 words this week, which is a good start and a great place to progress from next week.

What I am not doing, as I focus on writing each day, is giving time to submissions. So that will have to catch up with itself again this week. I am not allowed to use writing as an excuse not to do it!

I am making a little collection of images to share for when I am on my holiday though, and because the weather has been utterly gorgeous the last few days it will involve sunshine, trees and sunshine through trees 🙂

I will leave it there for today – I don’t want to overwhelm you. I will be back tomorrow though!
Happy writing,

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It’s 11pm, I haven’t really got anything specific in mind to talk about, so instead I will tell you about the last few days…

  • I’ve been working extra hours at my paid job – but not had much in the way of creativity in my unpaid one.
  • I got my first rejection email (it felt ok, and had some positive comments in it).
  • I’ve been researching more agents for next week’s submissions.
  • I sent off a submission with a typo in it, which has made me mad at myself.
  • I did a Pilates class yesterday which singularly failed to make me feel at peace with my place in the Universe, but did help improve my writer’s back!
  • I went to drama group and am now seeking out some scripts for our next performance. The only time I’ve ever wished I was a playwright, it’s an opportunity to find some new writers to read.

Sometimes, I feel I’m not achieving much and it’s true.  But sometimes, I feel I am not achieving much and I’ve done a lot – it’s just not all on a new piece of paper, and I can’t check the word count.

There are elements of a writing life which are distinctly administrative – printing, filing, e-mailing, typing letters. It’s all writing work, and it’s all part of the process, and it does me good to remind myself of that.

And some things are only tangentially linked. That’s ok too: part of writing is recognising where you can find ideas and inspiration…

If that’s from a Pilates mat in a hotel banquet hall, so be it!

Happy writing,

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Yep – it’s submission season once more.

I thought I’d aim for 3 a week but then my real brain came into use and reminded me that I would probably not do that, and would then feel a failure. The reality is that I have to have my husband sit with me and do submissions to read things through together in case I muck it up, which limits the number I can do in a week!

I have sent it out though. And oddly, it felt much less stressful than it did two years ago, when it caused me anxious days and sleepless nights waiting for a response which never came. Now, it’s a bonus if it’s picked up, but not the end of the world if it isn’t.

There’s a lot of great writers who never get published, and a lot of terrible dross that does: it’s probably as much luck as judgement getting anywhere in the literary world!

So now I’ve started, I feel good about that, and can expend some energy on new tasks. Watch this space on that one, I have an idea and I might plan it out a bit with you guys!

You may have noticed it is another very late night – I had drama group today so was out late – and I am trying to get more quality rest so I am leaving it there for tonight with an apology for two rubbish blogging days.

But I’ll be back tomorrow sharing my reading jaunts with you – watch out for a bit of a classic!

Happy writing,

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This week, I’ve tried to fill in some blanks in my to-do list; it goes back a while so am feeling a little better for it, but I am a bit frustrated not to have finished off more!

Firstly, I chased my outstanding responses from agents.  It’s always a bit unnerving – there’s a comfort in not knowing – but I also want to make sure I have explored the options in full.

Then I prepared some more submissions to go out – I had intended to hold off due to the competition but decided that the likelihood of winning was so small that waiting was simply a way to waste a few months.

Unfortunately the requirements are a little different so I have had to re-work my synopsis, but at least it’s done!

I’ve also been revisiting some early writing exercises.  This might seem a bit weird when I’m supposed to be planning my next book, but I wanted to try freewriting my story line to see if it would help me answer a few questions I have.  It’s a work in progress but if it works I’m going to try this approach for my characters too.  I know who they are and what they want but I need to make them live a little.

This idea came about when I was looking for exercises for the next writing group; I hope the group find the exercise as useful as I always have…

So that’s a start of my to-do list being done; here’s hoping for another few ticks next week!

In other news – I missed book 25 (Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat) of the list – I haven’t read it but it sounds light enough to try after the one I’m just finishing off so I’ll see if I can download it.  We’ve now reached book 26, The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle.  Again, I haven’t read it and I’m not convinced I’ll enjoy a full-length Sherlock story but I have got it and I will give it a go sometime soon.

Also – Recently one of my cousins posted a link about speed-reading, and then I saw this article, and I felt obliged to talk about it!  The purpose of the various bits of software is to get you through a book as quickly as possible. Now, I generally read pretty fast, but the speed of these things is ridiculous and I don’t understand the purpose for most people – why rush a good book and finish in an hour or two, and not have taken on board the ideas, concepts, motifs etc…  It might be useful for people behind on their deadlines I guess – but maybe not for people who read for pleasure and like to linger in a comfy chair with a packet of biscuits and their latest tome!

And finally – I’d like to say hi to all my new followers – well, all my followers actually!  I really appreciate your support and encouragement as the blog undergoes another round of changes 🙂

I hope you are all enjoying the new Thursday posts and the more in-depth challenge updates on Tuesdays – please do let me know what you think!

Until Tuesday,

Happy writing,



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I said a couple of weeks ago that I was looking into a competition. The details were given to me by a friend in my writing group and it’s a first novel competition for unpublished writers.

The prize is incredibly good and worth a great deal to any writer; it is however only open to unpublished writers which makes it even more amazing! It’s so good, in fact, I would be an idiot not to do it.

To enter, I have to send my work, a mini biography and a synopsis, all things I have ready to go.  But when I was preparing the paperwork to print off and send, I started thinking about ways to improve the submission.  I haven’t really read any of it for months, I just print it or attach it and send it whenever I need to do so.  This time, I’ve had a break from it, and I can see it in a more detached way.

So I looked at what I was sending.  I won’t change the novel much, although I have decided not to submit the prologue.  It hasn’t necessarily been cut forever, just left off this submission due to word count limitations.

The synopsis is being properly, and carefully, reviewed.  I need it to grab the judges so they engage with the potential of the story as well as enjoying my writing – I need them to see there is a market for this work and that it is the kind of market that makes taking a risk worthwhile.

I’m also trying to make the biography more dynamic – I’m trying to sell my ideas and the better I explain myself, the more the judges will understand my vision.  That’s the theory anyway…

In the meantime, research on the next novel continues – but this’ll be a boring blog if I just say that every week until the end of April!

I did have a little burst of inspiration this week, heading home from an eye appointment.  This idea needs me to collaborate with someone – I have an idea who, but I haven’t approached them yet.  It feels exciting and like I have a great secret, just thinking about the story, so that’s got to be a good sign, right?

In other news – we’re up to Book 18 in the best novels list – Alice in Wonderland.  I’m reading it now; I can’t remember ever having read it before though.  I won’t say too much here as I’m going to comment on it on Thursday, but I’m enjoying it!

And finally – I’ve told you before that I set up a writing group as I couldn’t find one I was happy with – well, after a few months getting everyone to have a go at different styles of writing, we are now up and running.  It’s been great so far; positive, supportive and rewarding, and I really recommend that for any of you who can’t find a group you like, to set one up yourself.  You can meet in pubs, cafes, libraries – wherever suits you and keeps costs down.

I’ll tell you how it’s progressing another time, but for today it’s time to pack up and relax!

Until next time, happy writing,



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