I’ve pretty much neglected this website for about a year, so I thought it was time to give it a bit of attention. If you look back over my previous posts, you’ll see that last year was all about rejection, with my own story of having my first novel rejected featuring as well as a series of interviews with a number of authors about their own experiences of being turned down. The interviews were all I hoped they would be – not negative or bitter but inspiring and uplifting. And from the comments I received from people who read them, I know how helpful they were to all those struggling along the writing path. I’m sincerely grateful to the authors who agreed to be interviewed and who helped all of us feel a little less alone in our travels.
This year, I want to look forwards rather than backwards though. I want to focus on the work that is to come rather than the work that has gone before. So, I will try and write posts as often as I can about what I’m writing, what I’m reading, whatever I’m doing that helps to nourish me as a writer. For 2018, I’m hoping to continue working on a second novel – I have a first draft finished and I’m planning on starting the second draft soon. (I’m hugely grateful to The Society of Authors who awarded me an Authors’ Foundation grant a few months ago, which enabled me to spend a good chunk of time on it. Such support is invaluable – for financial reasons, yes, but for other reasons too… it is an encouraging nod from someone you don’t know but who sees a spark in you and wants to help turn it to flame.)
Aside from that, I want to write more short stories. I have ideas. I even have a title for a second collection. I am excited and a little surprised – I felt like I lost my short story mojo after Somewhere Else, or Even Here was published just over six years ago. Any ideas I had after the book came out felt flat, lifeless as dropped socks. I remember the writer David Rose telling me at the time – when I was fearful that I may never write another short story again – that the reservoir was empty, but that it would only be a matter of time before it filled again. I think you were right, David – thank you.
So, here’s to new beginnings, new projects, new ideas, new dreams. I wish you all the best in your creative endeavours, whatever they are. It’s important, necessary even, that we do them, especially in these strange times. I’d love to hear about your own hopes for the year if you’d like to share them in the comments. As Mary Oliver says in her poem ‘The Summer Day’: ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?’