A Good Year
My 2015 writing diary arrived yesterday. I love new writing stationary. For me, it symbolises new beginnings, hopes, dreams and aspirations. But before I opened the package, I made myself plough through my old diary to see where my journey began and where I’ve ended up after a year. Even though it’s not a Forest Gump achievement and involved no running whatsoever, my journey has been a life changing experience of which I am proud.
In January 2014, I jumped onto a path of the unknown. A path that I chose to take. At first it was a straight track that led me to complete two writing courses, 32 new short stories, completing my first novel, writing five articles. Then came the twists and turns of the bends in the track. I had no choice but to follow. What lay beyond was a mixture of emotion.
Firstly, accepting and learning from a professional’s critique. I made the mistake earlier in the year of sending off four pieces at once to be critiqued. My tutor strongly advised me to send one piece in at a time, next time. Obviously there was much need for improvement at this stage but I was actually quite proud of my resilience and I didn’t cry much. I ploughed on and after a few months my tutor sent a story back stating it was at publishing level. That story was short listed in a competition.
In May, I started to send my short stories to women’s magazines in the UK. Sending work out into the ether and losing control over what was to become of it was quite a difficult transition. Then the rejections started to land in my post box. One after another. What a horrible feeling that is. In order to cope with rejection and to ensure that my work didn’t suffer, I had to change my mindset.
By the end of September, I had completed the second draft of my début novel. Edited it by the end of November and now it is out searching for an agent. It left the house fully equipped with highly polished battle armour and to take safety one step further, Peter Jackson kindly offered me Frodo’s protective vest.
Reflecting on my achievements this year has motivated me to continue into the new writing year with vigour and even more determined grit. I aim to write my second novel and will continue to send off my short stories in the hope that perseverance will eventually lead to publication. I wonder what lies beyond the next bend of my writing path?
I would be interested to know if you use a diary as a motivational writing tool?