The last few weeks have been so busy that I've not only neglected my blog, I've also neglected my writing. With only two and a half chapters of my first novel left to write I had ground to something of a halt - with work being busy, selling the flat, looking at new properties, keeping on top of my volunteering commitments, learning to knit and enjoying my jollies stateside it really was a case of 'not enough hours in the day'. I also had a bit of a wallop round the face with self-doubt. A moment where my heart was in my mouth and I felt unsure. Was what I was doing any good? Was I wasting my time? Did I have false delusions of grandeur?
Suffice to say after a few weeks of reflection the answers - I think! - are yes, no and no. I have returned to the writing and planned out the remaining chapters. I have set myself the target of the end of March to complete it - then I plan to print it all out and at some point over the Easter break sit down with several cups of tea (or glasses of vino?!) and read it through from start to finish with red pen firmly in hand. I think a little break and a bit of distance has given me the clarity to be even more sure about the kind of work I want to produce, and what my strengths and weaknesses as an author are.
I have a submission currently with an agent, and I have also entered a writing competition to gain backing for your first novel in Good Housekeeping magazine so I haven't been completely resting on my laurels in the interim. I have also had an idea for my second novel - quite different to my first, a coming of age story about friendship based loosely on my experiences I had in my teens with one of my best friends, a boy called Tom who we sadly lost to leukaemia before his 21st birthday. We had many adventures together at an important time and I feel there is a comeplling story to be told there about a life beginning to blossom which does not bear fruition into adulthood but touches those left behind. I guess I really am a sentimental romantic at heart... but I still think of Tom a lot and I would like to find a fitting way to pay tribute to his character - hopefully with him as the inspiration for this story I can do just that. I'm going to try and sketch out what it might look like over the next few weeks.
I still have a huge passion to be creative and those of you who are interested can visit a website I have set up which includes some extracts from the first novel I am working on. I'm big enough and ugly enough to take any feedback and criticism so do feel free to share any thoughts. I'm well aware this will most probably end up as an indulgent hobby for me that won't result in anything actually being published - but the enjoyment comes from the crafting and the writing, so that's just fine for me!