Tag Archives: getting published

Taking stock in November

Do you have Novemberitis? It’s a thing, really. I reckon it’s a thing. In November, you can start to get restless because really you’re running out of time for whatever goal you were hoping to achieve this year (to finally make peace with your mother, to stop hating kale, to get that three-book deal). You can see December looming and you know it’s going to whizz by and then bloody hell … what happened to 2016?

Some of us will have had successes. Some of us will have had nothing but discouragement. Some of us will have had small victories. The fact is, we’re all trying hard.

And for writers, that’s really what counts. The main thing is the writing, the doing, the learning, the improving. The getting published bit feels so vitally important, but really it’s the process that matters most of all. So if all that happened this year was that you wrote and re-wrote and edited and maybe submitted, plus you ran a household or a sales team, fed the cat and phoned your sister and ate some steamed greens now and then – well surely that’s a successful year. And success feeds on success.

Writing seems to me to be a constant apprenticeship; to write is to be forever learning. So every day spent writing pays off, adds to the next day. Nothing is wasted, not even the words we throw away.

I have a mild case of Novemberitis but I know the best remedy. #amwriting 🙂

 

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What I Have Learnt From Quitting my Sensible Job and Writing Made-Up Stories All Year

1) Change is terrifying

2) Change is good

3) To become better as a writer it’s important to read plenty of good writing and to write a lot.

4) It’s not hard to read but writing is hard. Suck it up, do it anyway.

5) Some jobs (like my previous job) give you status, ego stroking and a daily sense of making a difference. Writing isn’t like that.

6) Learning something new (writing and surgical assisting in my case) when you’re not a young thing is bruising. You feel five years old again. People treat you like the imbecile that you seem to be. Suck it up, do it anyway. (My nurse friend told me “Now you know how I get treated every day”. Gulp.)

7) Supportive family and friends are an absolute blessing.

8) I’m braver than I thought.

9) Persistence really does pay. I’m getting a story published (in The Suburban Review) this month, and I’m so happy, and grateful for the opportunity. I honestly didn’t believe I’d be published by now. So I guess sending stuff off, even when you feel terrified at the thought of others reading your imperfect work, is the only way to get your work read.

10) I love making up stories.

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