In 2016 I self-published a novel I had been working on for years. It was mainly so that I could finally count the book as ‘finished’, and commit publicly to this writing life. It is harder to be lazy when people you know and love think you spend all your time writing.
In 2017, I am going to try the traditional publishing route again. I spent the first days of the year reading publishing advice, writing advice, agent-seeking advice, and was filled with the intense need to make this part of my life. There is nothing else I want to do and so my options are limited. That might be a good thing.
I have never felt so close to publication, or so ready. I feel like all the work for the last nine years is finally paying off and I am this close! I have sent my new manuscript off for an assessment by an editor and I am terrified equally by the thought that it’s rubbish, and that it’s good. Our dreams are scuppered by fear of success as often as fear of failure, apparently, and I am trying desperately not to let that happen.
So, 2017, if in 351 days I still have no agent and no sign that anything is moving forward, I’m going to be very angry.
In the mean time, these are the potential novels I’m working on, because I’ve discovered that making things public is a good way of committing to them.
- Still Life (working title)
A young woman takes a year off after university to learn how to be the carefree, easy-going bohemian she has always thought she could be. Months of partying hard allow her to break out of her shell, but one disastrous and damaging night makes her reconsider the person she is becoming.
- Harriet Starling (working title/name of the main character because I haven’t thought of anything else)
A former sex-worker turned women’s right activist is caught off-guard by her daughter’s approaching adolescence, and struggles to teach her to deal with the common juxtaposition of sexual freedom and sexual violence.
- How to build a temple (working title)
Tabitha, a twelve year old girl whose friends have disowned her, helps her mother build a temple in their backyard to compensate for the fact that she can’t afford to travel to Thailand on a life-changing spiritual journey.