I’m in a bit of a quandary over where to take my writing at the moment.
Having decided to stick with pursuing the traditional route for now as far as publishing’s concerned, I have released my third manuscript into the ether for (hopefully) some useful feedback before another round of submissions.
And I guess to be honest if the feedback is not hopeful, then it will give me a mission in terms of either working on a redraft on my own or (and?) searching for other places to submit it.
But for now I am waiting – for the verdict on my latest novel, for the outcomes of a couple of competitions I’ve entered myself into – and it’s making me feel quite antsy.
(Here’s a beautiful picture of the seaside to induce some calm…)
There is – obviously – plenty to fill my days with. Blogging for Connecta Baby Carrier, grant applications for my beloved local lido, continuing along the unschooling journey with Arthur. It’s not writing though – or at least not WRITING writing.
It’s times like this I feel very grateful for my own blog, and even more for the wonderful What I’m Writing community. It gives me focus, support and accountability without which I might not think twice about letting the WRITING writing slip.
But instead I have spent the last couple of days dwelling on a focus for my #whatimwriting post, and in the process have realised that I need to find a focus for my writing itself.
I thought it might be competitions, but it turns out that besides the Mslexia novel competition that I entered recently there’s very little out there for unpublished novelists. Which I suppose makes sense. I’ve found one other to have a go at – and admittedly haven’t got round to it yet – but that’s not going to be all that much of a step forwards.
Because what I really want to be doing is writing – writing something new. I don’t want to make a start on another novel. I don’t have a pressing idea anyway which makes that option highly unlikely – but I feel like I need to make some headway with the first three (or at least one of them) before I get caught up in another. So I am coming back, in stolen moments of potential creativity, to the idea of short stories.
It was supposed to be my project over the summer. But, you know: summer. It didn’t happen.
Now though? I reckon it might be time. And – exploiting that aforementioned accountability – I am determined to have at least the start of something by this time next week.
I cannot wait to get stuck in to writing something – something new!
I’m waiting on a couple of competitions I entered. I’m sure I won’t have won anything but somehow waiting for the inevitable “not this time” can be frustrated.
Recently I’ve started 2 or 3 new short stories but am having trouble seeing anything through to the end. But perhaps I haven’t found the right idea for now.
But yeah, short stories might be a good way to get some work out there while you’re waiting to hear what opportunities there may be for your novel.
Anyway, have fun whatever you start working on.
There is nothing worse than waiting … for competitions to end … for agents and publishers to reply. It’s the kiss of death on creativity as we focus our imaginations on all possible outcomes of this waiting. What if they love it? What if they hate it? It’s enough to drive you mad.
My advice would be to forget all about the work you’ve submitted. Read something. Something you wouldn’t normally read. And write something. Anything. Even if you think it’s rubbish.
PS I love that gorgeous beach.
You’ve reminded me I really need to get back to WRITING writing – it’s been way too long! I have to admit I’m finding my illustration course a huge creative distraction. There’s always something to take us from our writing though isn’t there? I really should just crack on. I’m glad our #WhatImWriting community keeps you focussed. Good luck with the submissions and the feedback. Thanks for linking up! xx
It’s funny how our blog posts were kind of similar this week. I’m mad keen on my short stories so I’d definitely say go for it when it comes to writing short stories. They’re a good way of building up one’s publication history while waiting on other things. Oh, and they take a lot less longer to write than a novel! And I know well that feeling of antsiness when it comes to waiting to hear about submissions. Sending empathetic hugs! M x
Oh, and if you’re ever looking for more places to submit, please do check this out. It is simply a brilliant resource (and Cathy is lovely).
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