The thing about a break is it gives you a new perspective.
I’ve been thinking about where I was when I started when paper met pen in August 2015, and how much I’ve learned since then about writing, about the process of pitching and dealing with publishers, and about the book community more broadly.
Learning is such an incremental process, sometimes you don’t even know it’s happened until you stop and look back.
During my break, I’ve done lots of work on my novels and read a ton of fantastic books, which is a joy beyond measure.
I’ve also made a few decisions.
One is that I’m not going to post reviews anymore. This doesn’t mean I won’t be talking about books – seriously, just try and stop me – but I’ve done a lot of reflecting and have come to the realisation that I’m blogging as a writer, not as a reader or reviewer, and for me there’s an important distinction.
I will be sharing updates on my own writing, because I’ve got lots on the go this year.
My novel The Space Between was shortlisted for the Ampersand prize (past winners include The Flywheel by Erin Gough and Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil). Though I didn’t win I have two publishers considering the full manuscript, which is beyond amazing.
I’ve finished the first draft of another contemporary young adult novel, which I’ll edit later this year, (it’s currently sitting in a literal drawer where I’m not allowed to look at it), and I have a young adult fantasy novel, the first in a series, with beta readers.
I’m thrilled by the possibilities of getting my work traditionally published but am also seriously considering publishing my young adult fantasy series independently. (If any of you are independent authors blogging about the ins and outs of indie publishing, drop a link in the comments below and I’ll follow you! I don’t want to do this alone!)
Most of all I’m excited about how much there is to learn: about the craft of writing, the hard work of editing, the plentiful challenges of juggling writing and life, and the business of publishing.
I look forward to sharing all of it – as well as random thought bubbles and messy brain explosions – with you.