When I started this blog, I planned to talk about my experiences writing and editing a novel and working towards e-publishing it.
However, as the blog has progressed I’ve found myself writing about a range of topics, from the things that inspire me, to social media, blogging tips and book reviews. I write more now than I ever have, but apart from occasional articles featuring tips and support for writers, there has been very little blog content about my own writing journey.
That’s because it has pretty much stalled. All my writing time goes on the blog.
I have a manuscript sitting quietly on my laptop. I finished the first draft almost four years ago now, and it has taken on various forms since then. The book has twice been critiqued by literary assessment agencies and it’s been shortlisted for an award.
But still it sits unfinished.
To be fair to myself, it’s not far off. Perhaps a few tweaks to the story, an improved ending and a final polish to the writing are all that is required. So why can’t I get started?
Editing a novel seems like a monumental task from the outside, especially when I haven’t done any significant work on it for about 18 months. I worry that it will take more time than I have available. Yet, when I was shortlisted for an award in 2011, I managed to whiz through my novel in one weekend and cut almost 20,000 words in order to submit the full manuscript.
However, the girl who eventually won the competition wrote her entire book in two weeks, after only writing the first three chapters for the initial competition deadline. Puts me to shame!
Having my first manuscript unfinished makes it hard to work on anything else. It’s always at the back of my mind, whispering to be read or worked on. At least if I complete it and press the e-publish button, it is out there, finally. I’ll be free to move on.
So by writing this blog post I’m hoping to give myself another push. Instead of just talking about publishing my own novel, I need to give myself a boot up the behind and get –it – done!
Regardless of how good or bad it turns out to be (at the moment it’s somewhere in the middle), at least I will have achieved one of my goals. Plus I’ll be able to say to people: “You can buy my book on Amazon.”
This tactic worked for my recent blog redesign, so hopefully it will focus my energies on getting over my own anxiety and doing some work on my book.
You have permission to shout at me if I don’t!