Saturday, 31 December 2011
Happy New Year
Is it really New Year's Eve already? Blimey.
If someone said to me what did I do in 2011, my automatic reaction would be to mumble that I hadn't accomplished much but I've had a stupidly busy year and achieved quite a lot really....
January 2011After meeting Jean Fullerton in Milton Keynes Library in September 2010 and being told about the Romantic Novelist's Association I decided to join despite not knowing quite what to expect. An ex colleague had once mentioned the RNA to me but told me it was impossible to get into so I was delighted to get myself onto the New Writer's Scheme. The only problem was.... I hadn't really written anything to submit - yet!
February 2011After making a conscious decision that 2011 was going to be the year I started to take this whole writing malarky seriously, I attended the Get Writing Conference.
It was a wonderful eye opener to the industry and gave me the inspiration I needed to submit something off to the NWS.
I'd finally started writing something by this point, it was a lot of ideas and I had no belief in any of it. But the words were there.
I'd also decided that in order to give myself time to write, I had to be selfish and spend my free time working towards my goals. I'd spent every weekend in 2010 working with young people for a fantastic charity and I'd already cut down on some of the work but it was still taking up a lot of time, especially when each hour working with the young person was followed up with more hours of paperwork.
It was really sad to say goodbye to a wonderful little girl I had been working with for such a long time, especially when I knew she wouldn't understand my reasons but for me it was something I had to do.
May 2011Wine. Shoes. Cocktails. Writing. Romance.
Of course, you guessed it. May was the month of the RNA Summer Party. What a giggle and even eight months on, I'm still feeling soooo bad for sending my Cosmpolitan cocktail flying over Janet Bridgen! Sorry Jan! xx
July 2011I'd entered a small competition online and was delighted that my writing had been recognised and came 4th place! Hurrah!
I also walked 10 miles at midnight for a local charity... you can read about it here.
So the month had arrived. I had to submit my work to the NWS. But before, I had to take a quick holiday to Kos, Greece (naturally!).
After my holiday I had to make a few edits to my work before sending off my partial submission to the New Writer Scheme. I didn't feel confident about my work at all and wanted more than anything to send it off with a big post it attached that said 'SORRY!'.
September 2011The moment I saw the package come flying through the letter box (thanks, eager post man), I knew my MS review had arrived.
It was such a helpful report. I'd never had anyone look at my work before and I didn't know what to expect but it gave me guidance and direction that I really needed. Most importantly it told me to keep going. So I did.
October 2011The month of The Festival of Romance. It was such a good event and if there is one event I make in 2012, I hope it will be this one.
I was delighted to be on the judging panel for the awards at The Festival of Romance, it was a long process with difficult decisions to make but it meant I got to read some fantastic books and it was a really interesting experience.
The festival itself was so helpful, the workshops and discussions I sat in nudged my brain in the right direction and when I got home I was full of ideas and aware of areas of my work I needed to make changes to.
Again, as with most of these writing events, I met some wonderful people and laughed non stop!
It was also my birthday in October 2011, and my very generous parents treated me to a suprise trip to Belgium!!
November 2011November was probably my best month for writing because I completed NaNoWriMo and wrote 50,000 words towards the rewrite of my novel. It was a massive achievement for me and has put me back on track with my writing. I'm excited about my novel again, writing at such a fast pace has given it depth and more twists than I thought possible.
There was also the wonderful RNA Winter Party in November. A fantastic event and a great chance to catch up with all my writer buddies!
And December.... what has happened this month?
I've accepted a really exciting offer of a new job to start in January 2012. I'm really excited about it and looking forward to what I know is going to be quite a big challenge.
I'm preparing to move house next year too so December has been full of painting and decorating! With these two big changes, it seemed only right to book a holiday too, so I will be off to Cuba in May 2012 - yay!
But most importantly, out of everything that's happened this month, I have rejoined the RNA NWS. I look forward to sending off my novel which I have a lot more confidence in this time as I can see how far it's come since my last submission.
So what does 2012 have in store for me besides a new job, a new house and a very exciting holiday? Well... it is going to involve a lot of hard work towards my writing. I am going to finish this novel and send it off to the NWS with the confidence that it is the best I could have done.
2011 has been such an incredible year because I have gained so much knowledge which I have been able to apply to my writing. I've also been given so much support and encouragement from writers and friends in the RNA and outside of the RNA, whenever I have felt like giving it up you guys make sure I don't feel like that for long.
So it has been a good year and I have done a lot, so God help the next person who asks me what I did with my year!!
I hope you have a wonderful 2012 and that all your dreams come true!
Lots of Love