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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Brazening It Out

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and that all you hope for this year will happen.

I don't make any special resolutions at this time of year, but that might be because I seem to make them every day. It's like a fast-flowing river of good intentions. The trouble is, the current sometimes rushes along while I'm gripping to a tree on the bank, listening to the roar of the water.
I've tried to avoid the despair that can result from my own plans leaving me stranded, with a greater degree of success in recent months.
I'm taking one project at a time and letting it reach a good point before turning to others. I'm learning to listen to my own stories and wait for them to be really finished before submitting them. I'm thinking about them hard before I let them go and have developed a warier eye for errors or dull sentences or lack of actual story. I've been reading more than ever and analysing sentences to find out why they are there and how they work. Mostly, I've been working out how to improve. And most important of all, I've remembered that it's all about loving the words.
My novel is with an agent now, after reaching the top ten of an independent publisher's competition. I was so relieved someone liked it and offered encouragement that I thought I'd give it a try.
Writing the covering letter and synopsis was harder than fiction, but in the end, I decided to just keep it brief and honest. Submitting it felt toe-curling, like dreams where everyone in the butcher's shop turns to look at you and you realise you're just wearing a vest. I felt exposed and silly, imagining that first chapter being glanced at with derision or, worse, boredom. But I should probably consign my over-excited imagination to writing, rather then manipulating real-life to suit the flagging ego.
And actually, I don't think we feel that much embarrassment in our dreams. There's a lot more brazening it out.

16 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the agent. It's a massive step. Hope you are thinking of actors to play your characters in the blockbuster film of your book!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lindsay. A blockbuster film is a wonderful thought! x

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  2. Good luck with the agent, Joanna. And I agree. Writing synopses is the pits!

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    1. Thank you, Frances. The synopsis had me tearing my hair out in a way that never happened during the writing of the book!

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  3. I hope things go well with the agent and that he or she loves it.

    I've made a few goals, but I'm also trying to remind myself that each day is a new start. If I mess up one day (which I will, probably many times over), I can start over again in the morning.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. You're absolutely right about every day being a fresh start. I try to worry less at the end of a day that hasn't gone according to plan and tell myself instead that tomorrow is going to be fantastic. I can start in the morning with an optimistic feeling then, rather than brooding on what went wrong or didn't get done.

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  4. Happy New Year Joanna! That's fantastic news about getting top 10 in the competition with your novel, well done - and good luck with the agent! I like your idea of having a 'fast flowing river of good intentions'. I hope great things happen for you in 2013:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Vikki. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and staying hopeful. In the meantime, I'm writing every day and planning to start a novella soon. And I shall have to stick to that now I've said it! x

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  5. Wishing you a very happy, healthy and successful 2013, Joanna! I'm delighted to hear about your novel and that you've submitted it to an agent - wishing you great things there. I've always loved your short stories and I can't wait to read your novel when it's published.

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    1. Thank you very much, Rosemary, for all your lovely, kind comments. I do hope the novel will find an agent who likes it. I certainly had great fun writing it. It was a fantastic experience and I can't wait to write the next one! x

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  6. Well done on reaching the Top Ten! That alone is a wonderful achievement. I am quite sure it will be published, as we all know what talents you have. Maybe 2013 will be the year!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne, so much for your lovely words. I was thrilled about reaching the Top Ten and I did think that, even if nothing else happened, I would be hugely pleased with that. It was so unexpected and I was bowled over. Let's hope we all have the best writing year ever in 2013! x

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  7. Well done on the top ten and best of luck with the agent - not to mention great news on finishing the novel!!
    Have a great 2013.

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    1. Many thanks, Bernadette. It was a relief to finish the novel, but I quite miss it too, which makes me think I should start another soon! It's just that writing that first word is daunting! Have a brilliant 2013 and good luck with all your projects. Let us know how it's going. x

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  8. Happy New Year, Joanna!
    Well done on taking the step to send off your novel, that's brilliant. You've finished a novel and got it to a stage ready for reading, that's an accomplishment in itself! It's already been in the top ten! I wish you every success with it and all your endevours in 2013
    x

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  9. Oh, thank you so much, penandpaints. You're very kind. I must admit it's exciting to have a novel 'out there'! I'm not at all sure that anything will come of it, but it's a lot of fun daydreaming! x

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