Monday, 28 December 2015

What have I done this year?

After the build up to Christmas and the day itself, my family and I are having a few days at home together. It's all very relaxed and with no real plans to keep to. Late nights, family games and good company. My husband and children are taking advantage of the lack of routine to have lie-ins so I'm usually first up, enjoying the quiet with my morning coffee. It gives me time to think and reflect on the year that's almost over. It's been generally a good one, in some ways quite magical, and definitely a year I want to remember.

Back in January, I posted my 2015 reading list and my goals for the year. I didn't do very well with the reading list, only completing three of the fifteen (even worse than in 2014). I must read more next year. I did better with my goals. I revised and polished my novel and began the search for an agent. I returned to the partial first draft of my second novel which now requires a massive rethink because of changes to the first novel. Due to the amount of time spent on my novel, I didn't get around to writing two more plays for Murdering The Text but I did start on a plan for one of them.

In February, I received back Brian Keaney's assessment of my novel. This set me on the track for revising Shadowbinder. I would thoroughly recommend Brian and the Writer's Workshop to anyone seeking advice on their writing.

March saw my first book review of the year of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I also shared a trailer review for Kelly Hashway's novel, The Darkness Within and talked about the sad news of the death of one of my favourite writers, Terry Pratchett.

In April, I took part in Camp NanoWrimo and although I didn't reach my writing target of 30,000 words, I wasn't far off at just under 25,000 words. I also found a new place to write and draw inspiration from which just happened to be a coffee shop. Who'd have guessed?

May was a month of working on my novel in earnest as I set myself the target of finishing the redraft by the summer.
In June, I made the decision to take a break from blogging to concentrate completely on reworking my novel. The break continued throughout July until I finally posted back on here in August.

That month, I also made some changes to my blogging routine and posted a new 7 ways article on how I cope with my anxiety.

In September, I reviewed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which I had read on holiday in August.

As part of the Chester Literature Festival in October, I met with agent Carrie Kania to discuss the first fifty pages of my novel. Her advice was informative and encouraging, and I came away feeling very optimistic.

In November, having completed and polished my novel, I submitted it to three literary agents. I also posted a new 7 Ways article on motivation.

December went by in a whirl of waiting for agent responses, preparing for Christmas and taxi-ing my children to various events. To date, I have received two no's from the three literary agents I submitted my novel to. The first came back with helpful and encouraging feedback though so I'm not downhearted.

Personally, 2015 has been a year of improvement and change, all of it welcome. Both my children are now at high school (which brings all kinds of new and varied challenges). We've moved house. I have my first ever study (no more hogging the dining table or sharing a computer desk). Life is good and looking better. I can't wait for 2016 to arrive.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good year. Here's to a great 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  2. By the looks of things 2015 was a good a year for you. Here's to an even better 2016. Happy New Year's!

    ReplyDelete

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