What a difference a year makes. Last weekend I went to my second Festival of Writing in York. I spent the year in between working on what the book doctors told me last year, completing the Open University's Creative Writing module, and realising that my novel needed to have a dual narrative written in. So I'm writing it now and it's not too far from completion.
This time around at York I had my 1-1s with literary agents and the feedback I got was excellent and very encouraging. But what I learnt in the workshops, particularly Characterisation with Nelle Andrew and Plotting and Structure with Jeremy Sheldon, made me realise that I can, and must, make everything so much better. But rather than feeling daunted by this, I feel inspired and motivated to edit and edit again to make it the best that it can be. I can't wait to get started.
But wait I have had to. As a year has made a huge difference in my life in other ways too. This week I moved onto a canal narrow boat and have been busy realising that I have a lot to learn about that as well. But I'm taking each day as it comes and everything is starting to make more sense. So, Monday is when the writing and editing begins in earnest.
Luckily I have also started a new business venture that's all about creative writing and in the coming year I'll be running a series of writing retreats that also feature author-led workshops on different aspects of creative writing. So I'll be learning more and improving all the time. And my new life travelling the waterways of the UK means I'll be experiencing new places, people and sensations to inform my writing too. Things can only get better.
So by the time the next York rolls around, as it has a place on my calendar every year now, hopefully I'll have some really good novel news to announce. Watch this space for regular news about the novel's progress to final completion and submission stage; and life on the canal waves as it happens.