Happy new year!
Yes, I’m pretty late to this party but no, I don’t feel like it’s TOO late. I’m pretty sure we’re still closer to the beginning of 2018 than the end of it, though it is hard to know for sure what with January being at least 13 months long and all.
I hope that your 2018 has been filled with rainbows and puppy dogs and unicorns trotting pleasantly through meadows. Mine has not.
I’ve spent the first few weeks of this year desperately clinging to the young adult manuscript that I’ve spent the last four months working on. It was with renewed vigour that I sat down at my new desk in my new writing room on 2 January 2018 (nobody actually starts on 1 January, right?). Surrounded by spider diagrams and index cards and maps and research notes, I cracked open the biscuits and I went for it. I was ready, I was excited, my word count was going up, I was…bored.
I pushed on – I spent a year re-stocking the fresh food aisle in Sainsbury’s, a moderate about of boredom means nothing to me. I sat down at least three times a week, as per my new year’s resolution, and my word count continued to climb, but I haven’t been enjoying it. It’s not the book I want to write, not the story I want to tell.
So I’m trashing it.
I’m going to start again (again)! This is the second manuscript that I have decided to abandon in just over a year, and I could feel really down about that (and honestly, some days I do), but I’m determined to focus on the positives. I have learnt so much about my writing over the last year:
- I’ve found a planning method, and level of planning that I’m comfortable with
- I’ve discovered that research can be fun
- I know that I want to focus on Middle Grade not YA – turns out I’m way more at home in the mind of an 11 year old than that of a 17 year old
- And *whispering accompanied by restrained and horribly uncoordinated dance moves* I think, maybe, that I have, potentially, found my voice. Perhaps.
I’m excited to write the new story and characters that butt in on my daily life and fill my dreams. I have a plan of attack to get me through the plotting stage that I know works for me. I have no life altering and disruptive events in the calendar for the foreseeable future.
And this time, I’m going to write about writing while I write.
I’ll share the methods that do and don’t work for me, the exhilarating highs of getting a chapter/scene/sentence/word down on paper, the terrifying tantrums when the words or characters just don’t do what I want them to, and the aching pain and embarrassment that comes with not being JK Rowling/Philip Pullman/[insert any and all published children’s author name here]. I might even share some of my actual writing. And please, PLEASE, feel free to drop any wisdom or advice that you may have along the way.
Come on, it’ll be fun!