Seeya Later 2019!

It’s easy to look back at the year and feel like we’ve achieved nothing. Sometimes it’s easier to start looking ahead because the future is so much shinier and flashier than the past. But I find it really handy to look back and find where I had some wins, where I had some losses and times when it felt like a little of both.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
  • I started a new short novel, worked hard on it, wrote tens of thousands of words on it and then was able to admit to myself that it was thoroughly boring and I needed to turf it. This was okay…..just. it meant what came next was ‘The Making of Molly Gardner’, a novel I much more prefer with characters I actually like and I was proud of myself for making a really hard decision that ended up being the right thing for me, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.
  • I submitted Awaiting Annie Jones to a publisher at the start of the year and got a positive response! It turned out six months later they loved the book but couldn’t see it on their list which was a bummer but still…. I got a positive response! This did stir me on for much of the year so even though it didn’t pan out it really did have a good result for me.
  • I tried my hand at a fairly ambitious novel with three different points of view in it. Titled ‘Killing Heidi Sinclair’, I have tinkered with this book all through the year. It still needs a lot more work and I wonder if this one will be my passion project that I will keep coming back to. It is a bit heavier than what I usually write and when it’s ready I want to make sure it lands in exactly the right spot.
  • I submitted ‘Awaiting Annie Jones’ to a mix of ten publishing houses and agents and entered it in two competitions. No result yet for the competitions but my rejection list is starting to look quite impressive. I think as authors there is a certain badge of honour as to how far you will hustle your book and I feel like I am getting there. I have a big long list of more places to submit to next year and I feel my process for this is getting more efficient each time.
  • I entered ‘Killing Heidi Sinclair’ in The Richell and The Banjo award this year with no luck. But it did tell me that this book is nowhere near ready.
  • I started attending the South Australian Romance Authors writing group. I feel like this group is going to be a game changer for my career. The amount of information generously shared in this group is extraordinary and I’m so grateful to have it.
  • I also joined the Romance Writers of Australia and became the host of the online critique matchmakers. I have loved this role. It has not been without its difficulties as we iron out small tech problems but I do love meeting everyone and love that perhaps I’m helping people find their writing critique partners.
  • I did a lot, and I mean a lot, of reading about self-publishing. Sometimes to the point that I was doing more research than I was writing. There is just so much information out there though! Self-publishing is something I’m really excited about for next year.
  • I started recording the process of how I write a novel. I plan on self-publishing ‘The Making of Molly Gardner’ next year and it has been interesting to note how I write, edit, rest and get feedback for a novel. I think this type of admin work will pay off for next year and hopefully make my processes a bit more efficient.
  • I did up my subscription page on my website. This is something that needs a lot more work in 2020 through.
  • I submitted a post on my working day to my hero Nicole Avery at Planning with Kids. I was stoked when she published it on her website.

But it wasn’t all work and I did also see lots of live music, saw the brilliant Book of Mormon, I went to a few book launches, discovered No Lights No Lycra, went camping at Arbury Park, Yorke Peninsula and Flinders Ranges, had a couple of weekends away in the city and Moonta, bought a Thermomix, ran a 10km fun run and even came second in an ice cream eating contest!

I hope 2019 was a happy and successful year for everyone.

Can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

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