My novel draft (yes, the one I was working on here) was finally finished and zapped off (all 71k of it) for a critique last Monday.
Yes, I know, weeks later than it was promised but it wasn’t through lack of trying or laziness: it just took a heck of a lot longer than I expected.
What a relief, though! As a friend of mine said, it felt like the end of exams.
Of course, it will be winging its way back to me in a few weeks’ time and then I’ll have to start all over again, with the third draft and all the amends that I’m expecting to have to make but for now.. ah, sweet freedom!
It’s the first time I’ve ever actually written a novel from beginning to end and it’s quite a satisfying feeling. Not, I hasten to add, because I think it’s brilliant. I suspect the chances of it being published are slim. I’m looking on it more as a learning experience. No, the reason I’m feeling pleased with myself is that I’ve proved I can do it. I can write something that long. I never thought I could but I can. I can sit in a room on my own for hours on end, for days on end and conjure up something, from my imagination, that has a beginning, middle and end and actually isn’t gobbledygook.
And if I can do it once, I can do it again. Only better, next time. (And, hopefully, a bit quicker).
I gave myself last week ‘off’ as a reward but now I need to buckle down and get some short stories written. I haven’t written a new short story since December because (this is another thing I’ve learned!) I can’t write a novel and short stories at the same time. It has to be one or the other.
Something that people don’t realise (not you! I know you realise this!) is that when you’re writing a first novel, you don’t earn any money. So, for the past three months I haven’t been writing anything that I might be paid for. And I was hoping that my ALCS statement today would save my bacon – because it has for the past two years – but this time, it was a very paltry amount (only about 15% of what I got last time), so that’s not going to last very long!
Now that I’ve finished all that writing, I can do other things too: like use my soup maker, finally! (I’ve only had it for 6 months). I actually got as far as getting it out of the box today and reading the instructions. I felt fairly confident that I was going to be able to make broccoli and blue cheese soup but then.. disaster! My OH, who’d kindly done the shopping, had forgotten the celery! (It was on the list!).
So, the soup maker remains pristine and unused until I can get to the shops tomorrow. First World problems, I know.
New Writing Blog
On a completely different note, the lovely Paula Williams (who I met once at Writers Holiday in Caerleon although she probably doesn’t remember), has started a new writing blog.
She’s posting writing prompts on there (the one for today is “This is what happens when someone doesn’t listen properly”, which could be the first line of a story, couldn’t it?). Pop over and have a look! Tell her I sent you! (And don’t forget to come back…)