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.