I hate January. It’s the month everyone is broke and miserable and in my case, feeling frumpy after Christmas from excessive eating. January is cold and wet and just seems to go on far too long. I got no writing done that month - I focused on Day Job admin (I work from home) and the back garden which was in serious need of TLC. It wasn’t until the last weekend of January that I managed to brave looking at the half-finished mess of Part II and put together a plan of action.
I've given myself a deadline of the first week of April. After that I know I’ll have too many work commitments to juggle and writing time will end up falling on the wayside whether I want it to or not. Hence why I’ve stayed mostly silent on social media and my blog - I wanted to invest as much time as possible into the novel without distractions. And here’s how it's gone:
On my first official day back to writing I posted an Instagram story which better shows my feelings on the matter. (Remember how I keep saying writing isn't glamorous? Not only does the first image prove it, but being messaged by a friend the same day with a comment that both exuded amusement and concern at my appearance really leaves no room for doubt!)
But, as with all things, starting is always the hardest part. I read an excellent book to help me, to ease me back into the writing flow. It was set in the Georgian period (I find that helps, to read something similar [know your market]) - THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK. I'd read the opening chapter online in the January and was overcome with those pesky Doubt Demons, but early in the February I gave myself a mental slap and read the novel in one very long sitting ... by the end, for once - and rarely - I felt buoyed on by the writing. It made me confident again that I could inject my novel with the language and sentence flow I'd previously thought needed to be cut. I realised that I'd had too many differing opinions from early readers and had been trying too hard to please, rather than stay true to my own voice. As a result, I believe my writing these last weeks has been richer for the change. So onward I went and onward I go (albeit slowly, with good days and the bad). Part II is finally taking shape.
In other news, I:
Well, that's all I have to update you with for now. I hope by April I'll have some news for you - successful progress, a final draft, a last round of edits ... All I can hope is that the Writing Gods are with me and the Doubt Demons keep at bay, so that I can do a Dory.