What started as a short break away from my manuscript turned into weeks. Then months went by and I hadn’t written anything new.
I began to worry that I would never work on my novel again. But I was afraid to sit down and start.
And then suddenly, over the last week or so, I’ve opened up that Word document several times and begun to make changes.
So what’s different?
It wasn’t anything dramatic. But a few small changes in outlook inspired me to continue improving my novel.
A positive email
Last week, I received a completely unexpected email from a publisher who I sent my manuscript to almost a year ago, during an open submission period.
I never heard anything back from them and had almost forgotten about the whole thing, when that email landed in my inbox.
It was a message apologising for the delay and telling me that unfortunately the publisher wouldn’t be taking my project any further. But it was one of the most encouraging rejections I’ve ever had.
The last feedback I had on my book was from a manuscript assessment, and although I tried to make the most of the comments, it was particularly negative and had been slowly bringing down my belief in the novel for a long while.
But having someone tell me they were impressed with my work made me feel it was worth persevering.
I don’t always take a lunch break at work, especially when things are busy. But since that email, I’ve been thinking about my book a lot more, and generally feeling more positive.
And that makes me want to grab a few minutes to work when I can.
By only working on the manuscript for short bursts, I haven’t felt overwhelmed or struggled with frustrating problems. I’m always eager to continue because I haven’t pushed myself too hard.
It might seem like a strange thing to include on the list, but Brexit actually inspired me to crack on with some of the edits to my book.
The story I’m writing is a dystopia, precipitated by events that happen in the present day. With all the recent uproar and fear over the EU referendum, it seemed appropriate to make Brexit one of them.