author, creative writing, writers, writing

My writing journey – where I am right now

I don’t often write posts that focus entirely on my writing journey. I do try to keep the posts in line with things I’m learning as I’m learning them, but I try to keep the focus broad and relatable. This week though, I’ve been reflecting a lot, and I thought I’d share the honest truths right here.

My first novel has been shelved (for now)
I started writing my first thriller novel, The City Breathes With Us, in 2015. I then went through a bit of a turbulent time and ended up not writing for a year. Eventually, I finished the novel (and editing) in 2018. It was my first full length novel, and the first one I submitted to agents. After a couple of full requests, things dried up. It taught me a huge deal about rejection, about criticism, and about taking on helpful advice. I’ve shelved it for now, deciding it’s not the right novel at this time. But I still hope it will re-surface one day.

My second novel is still in for submission
Vanishing Act remains my favourite book to write. I finished the first draft in only two months, which included winning NaNoWriMo for the first (and only!) time. It only took a further 7/8 months to edit it, which included the help of some wonderful beta readers who also helped me with book one. It has had some really positive feedback, and so it’s still in submission. Whatever happens, I’ll always have a soft spot for this book.

My third novel has tried and tested me (and continues to do so)
I started writing this book just under a year ago, and there is still a long way to go. If We’d Been Friends is my third thriller, and it’s set in my favourite city (Edinburgh). This novel has seen me hit writing slumps, a lack of motivation and a general lack of faith. I struggled to connect with it for ages, and it was the most stubborn fast draft I’ve ever had to force out. It continues to challenge me, though I now understand my characters much better. I still believe this story has huge potential, but it certainly isn’t spilling from me as easily as book 2. I won’t give up on it, but I am going to take a few months writing break away from it before my next round of edits.

My fourth novel is in the very early plotting and planning stages
I’ve had the idea for this novel for a year, but it’s still very much in the early planning stages. The major difference for me, is that this one won’t be a thriller. I’m not sure what it is yet. Domestic drama? The all confusing genre that is ‘literary’? I’m not sure. It is also going to be the book that hits closest to home for me, and will include a huge deal of personal emotions. I’m excited to give it a go, and it’s going to be my NaNoWriMo project this year. Once I’ve finished the first draft, I’ll leave it to the side while I go back to novel 3. Hopefully, this break will allow me to see it with fresh eyes when I return to it.

I hope this post has highlighted the highs and lows of writing, from rejection, to pride, to stubborn drafts. Where are you at in your writing journey? Share your lows and highs in the comments below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

Find me on Twitter and Instagram.

11 thoughts on “My writing journey – where I am right now”

  1. I wish you luck with all your projects – and that you’ll find your readers.
    For me.. I want to believe I’m near one of the high points, with my debut scheduled to be self-published as Kindle ebook on 23rd – but I know it’ll bring its own set of challenges, such as preparing the paperback, working on the sequels, and letting the world know about my books. It’s a journey that doesn’t just end.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Loved reading the updates on your books, Meelie. I count myself lucky to have read your very readable first two books, and I’m positive they’ll find a home on bookshelves one day 😊. Good luck with NaNo!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re attitude to your journey is admirable. I love that even though you’ve shelved your first (brilliant) novel, you’re still hopeful it will be published.
    I think taking a break from your current WIP to write a new one is a great idea. Best of luck for NaNo. 💜💜

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m currently editing chapter eighty seven of my novel Alias Jeannie Delaney. It’s the life story of a devastating pants wearing cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and bisexual. My fabulous soulmate husband is my mentor and critic. It’s been a huge undertaking for years, even through thirty years of depression, but I’m finally making my slow but sure way through it. It’s around a hundred and thirty chapters and divided into six parts.

    It all began many years ago when I was a secondary school girl and began daydreaming a heroine, the heroine that I wanted to read about. My husband loved the idea and encouraged me – ‘For God’s sake write the damn story!’ So I did – and I’ve typed ‘The End’ many times! It’s very much a beginning, muddle and end.

    So I wrote it through young parenthood and depression, and it’s been my baby forever, and something I’ve just had to do. Six years ago I began my recovery from depression and decided that it was time to get the novel out there, so now I’m steaming my way through it. Husband reckons that the subject matter is very much of today.

    I’m subscribed to umpteen novel writing blogs and the same on Facebook, and all the advice is extremely helpful and it’s good to know that others are going through similar stories.

    Jo Clutton
    Artist * writer * explorer of Life & The Globe * wild west, steampunk & ghost nut * renaissance soul * mental health advocate & lifestyle blogger
    Creating My Odyssey
    (My blog records the rebuilding of my creativity and life since my recovery from depression and anxiety, although put on hold throughout Covid 19).

    Liked by 2 people

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