It’s been many months since I updated anyone on the progress I’ve been making with the novel and, I’m glad to say, it’s been going rather well.
I’m still working on the first draft – I’m at 70,000 words as of this morning – but am fast approaching the third act. I’m trying to keep my mind off the fact that when I do finally get to type ‘THE END” it will only be a temporary hiatus before I start on edit number one. But hey, you gotta eat the elephant one bite at a time right?
I’d love to be able to say I’ve cultivated a daily writing practice and there there haven’t been days (sometimes several) where I’ve mentally flogged myself for choosing another episode (or five) of Brooklyn Nine Nine instead of pinning myself to the keyboard. It’s been difficult but a few things have really helped.
First, I took a writing class in January and met some great people who are also working on novels of their own. This has probably been the single most productive thing that’s happened. Workshopping with others who have the same interests and who go through similar struggles has been invaluable to my motivation – I cannot thank these human beings enough for their support.
Second, I’ve attended a couple of public readings and book launches, which is great because you get to admire the writerly peeps who’ve really made a go of it and watch them in their natural habitat (the bookshop mostly!)
Finally, (and I cannot fully express how excited I feel about this one) in April I won a place on the “Date With an Agent” event run by the International Literature Festival Dublin. The prize is an opportunity to meet with a top London agent in Dublin at the end of May and pitch my work. The meeting is part of an all day conference on Getting Published and I am so excited to be attending. This has been a massive boost to my confidence and has encouraged me to keep at it.
The festival has a great line up this year with writers such as Lionel Shriver and Naomi Klein contributing and I’m so happy to get to be a part of it.
With all this motivation, I’m hoping to finish the first draft in a couple of months time. Fingers crossed.