Two things I’m genuinely allergic to are (1) honey and (2) change.
The first absolutely ruins my life because I can’t make November cakes from The Scorpio Races and am I even a real Stiefvater fan without having tried them??? Life is so sad. The second, however, is the truest cause for existential crisis because when it comes to writing –> how can you tell if you’ve changed for the better or just changed to be different?? HMMM??? Help.
But what’s a blog for if not to share and compare crises, right?!? And it’s actually kind of interesting to analyse how your habits in writing or reading or blogging change as the years go by and you turn into that old gnarly witch from the gingerbread house! I mean, that’s obviously where we’re all headed, right? I thought so!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
1. OBVIOUSLY (FINNNNNALLY!) MY WRITING IS AN ACTUAL CAREER.
Just in case you haven’t heard me hollering about it the other 178 times, I announced my debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes, is being published in June 2018 (Hachette / Orchard UK) so ISN’T THE SKY SO BEAUTIFUL TODAY. This is honestly my life dream of actually working towards writing being my career. This is still so freaking surreal I sometimes run and happily pet my dog and tell him how good this is and he gives me a sour look and leave the room because he hates me. BUT THAT’S OKAY! NOTHING DESTROYS THIS GOOD FEELING!
There’s a huge mental shift that happens when you go from “trying to be published” to “being published.” The biggest difference, for me, is knowing that I actually do write good stuff. I think we all suffer from self-inflicted artistry self doubt right?! So actually making it through the million hurdles to be traditionally published is an exceptional confidence boost. 10/10 recommend.
2. I’VE WRITTEN MORE THIS YEAR THAN ANY OTHER YEAR OF MY LIFE.
There’s two reasons for this and they are (1) I actually moved states and ergo left relatives and babysitting jobs behind so I decided to fill that loneliness with more writing, and (2) I am heckin’ competitive and Slytherin and just enjoy winning against myself.
THIS YEAR I WROTE:
- 7 completely new first drafts
- 3 completely rewritten (every single word) second drafts
- 11 outlines (averaged at 20K each)
- And I came up with a total of 1,195,000-words.
- Also I did edits and copy-edits for A Thousand Perfect Notes AS YOU DO.
- For the first time in like 5 years…I actually wrote some sequels!!
- One of these books I developed in 1 week, wrote the outline in 1 week, and then wrote the book in 4 days and I’m a little bit proud ok.
- And in the last 7 years, I have now officially written 29 books.
- (Also FUN FACT: A Thousand Perfect Notes is the 16th book I ever wrote.)
- (Go add it on Goodreads I’m exhausted omg.)
For some perspective, usually I write 2 books and edit 2 books per year.
I love writing!! There are so many stories to tell! I’M SO ENTHUSIASTIC I COULD SHOUT. WOW.
I feel like we writers are notorious for hating our own work. And trust me, I still do sometimes. Haha, let me tell you about my November NaNo novel…except no. No I will not speak of it.
But 2017 is the year I finally actually started writing 1st drafts I truly love. It’s actually ridiculously relieving to enjoy all the parts of the writing journey. I only set my own hair on fire 7 times instead of 700 which I think is a life improvement for sure.
I still occasionally want to murder something with a spork. Me, usually. My characters, more often.
4. I DO ADMIT I KILLED QUITE A FEW CHARACTERS THIS YEAR.
Still permanently confused that “kill your darlings” doesn’t actually mean kill your characters (apparently it’s about trimming unnecessary prose, pfft) but I prefer to, you know — kill my character darlings. And contrary to popular belief I dO NOT ALWAYS KILL MY CHARACTERS. I prefer to torture them.
Obviously killing all my characters + trying to write sequels = a lot of life problems. The “life problems” are there is no life left for the sequel. But that shouldn’t stop a writer who is keen on ghosts. I am keen on ghosts!
5. I’VE STARTED PUTTING A BIT OF UNIQUE FORMATTING AND POETRY INTO MY BOOKS.
I really really love doing this. Unique formatting is something I’ve always been obsessed with and so like, why can’t I do that?!? You will see a tiny bit in A Thousand Perfect Notes too.
But I honestly didn’t think this would ever happen. I never considered myself either poetic or into pretty writing, but I am?!
6. I WROTE 3 OF THESE BOOKS MOSTLY SITTING AT A DESK.
My mind boggles too, wow. It’s like I was a responsible adult for 3 minutes. I know it’s horribly frowned upon to write on your bed…but I’ve never had any problems with bones or wrists or backs or my brain rolling out my ears. But anyway.
My little sister left home and I stole all her furniture…well, her desk and bookshelf. And let me tell you this is the FIRST TIME I’VE EVER HAD A BEAUTIFUL DESK. #SecondYoungestOfSixChildrenProblems It’s still 2nd hand, but at least it was 2nd hand and not like 4th hand!! I’ve moved up in the world!!
I was so wildly enthused to sit at a desk and type that it’s actually pathetic.
Anyway THAT ship sailed haha. (That crying puddle is me.) After we moved house in June, we went into a significantly smaller house and I lost my desk and am back to my bed. 3 out of 7 books with good posture at a desk is nice right?!
Also I am currently sitting on the floor writing this blog post.
I’m professional. Buy my book.
7. I ALSO STARTED WRITING 30K IN A DAY.
It used to be only 20,000-words per day was my record! NOW LOOK AT ME, SPEEDING THROUGH LIFE. I get asked a lot “how do you do that?!!?” and honestly it’s super boring but…practise.
Coinciding with writing 30K a day (hey I only keep this up for 5 days maximum!), I also started writing those wickedly long outlines…so I never get stuck!
8. MY HANDWRITING IS OFFICIALLY AT THE PLACE WHERE I CAN’T EVEN READ IT.
It’s always been bad but now it’s graduated to crayon scribbles. Graduated??? Declined?? What are words.
I could work on it but also…ugh. So I no longer take ANY notes by hand for my books. This has the bonus affect of me not finding sticky notes stuck to my socks that say “WHAT IF THE KILLER WAS UNDERGROUND” and me then going “What the heck” because I remember nothing about that “genius” revelation.
Also FUN FACT: Still slightly disappointed that I didn’t have to sign my book deal contract in blood.
9. I STARTED WRITING MORE #OWNVOICES THINGS AND DISCOVERED IT’S FRIKKIN’ HARD.
“Write what you know!” they say. “It’ll be great because you know what you’re talking about!”
Now just quickly, in case you didn’t know, the “ownvoices” hashtag is basically just a way to say you are writing about part of a minority that you personally belong to! I’ve mentioned my anxiety and autism briefly on the blog, but only recently did I decide to actively write about them. AND LET ME TELL YOU…WOW I WANT TO MOVE TO THE ARCTIC.
WHY WRITING #OWNVOICES IS HARD:
- It’s kind of personal?! And even if you’re not putting YOURSELF into the book, you are putting experiences and that is honestly really difficult to sum up.
- You often know SO MUCH about it (hey you live it!) that it’s hard to condense into a small squish of a book.
- Self doubt!! YAY. Are your experiences marred by something? Are you interpreting things right? Are you writing it badly?? There is an actual minefield of concerns about writing diversity, even when it’s your own.
- There is not enough ice cream in the world to help out holy heck I need a nap.
Also while we’re here: I don’t believe any minority author is required to write #ownvoices material. And I don’t think non-minority authors can’t write diversity. For me, personally, I wanted to try it but not everything I write will have autism or anxiety in it. Although 10/10 plan to write about an anxious sentient library someday.
10. MY BRAIN HAS BEEN ON OVERDRIVE AND SORT OF COMBUSTED AND, TRUTHFULLY, I HAVE SO MANY PROJECTS TO WRITE BUT I’M TIRED.
You’re probably rolling your eyes at this stage and shouting, “DIDN’T YOU JUST WRITE A MILLION WORDS THIS YEAR?!??!” I know! My problem is I have no off-switch! I am on speed 500 at all times. Taking holidays is stressful wow. Currently I’m caught in this weird cereal bowl of froot loops where I want to write all the things but I also need to chill out.
Anyway. Haha. Just shove that aside.
dash away in confused terror is as your general method of exiting my blog leave, I wanted to just quickly throw some aesthetics and some projects at you that I’d love to work on in 2018. I’m so excited. There are sparkles in my hair.
WRITING WISHLIST FOR 2018
(But seriously who KNOWS what I’ll write. Also: I write a lot “just for fun” to improve myself! So who knows where these projects will go or if they’ll just stay in a drawer.)
THE MISERY RULES
Peter Pan x Alice In Wonderland retelling where a boy falls through a pond where his brother drowned to an alternate world where he has to play a game of who can survive the most pain without dying to get free. I write nice stuff. — Pinterest
THE SKIN LIBRARY
Basically a sentient and anxious library!!! I REALLY LOVE THIS IDEA. Fantasy world where the people take after different species of birds which is hilarious because I hate birds but here we are. — Pinterest
My Davy Jones retelling about a boy thief who steals the spell to get a wish from Davy Jones but ends up IN SO MUCH TROUBLE WOW. — Pinterest
HE IS NOT MADE OF PAPER
A boy nearly dies but when he comes home he finds his (ex) best friend wrote a book about him which got kind of famous and…she killed him off at the end. Ahhh. Good times and good friends. — Pinterest
So overall? Mostly GOOD changes for me this year with my writing.
And am I tired? WELL. Just a little. And yet I’m absolutely desperate to start writing next year (IT’S OK I’LL HOLD OFF) and even more excited because 2018 is going to be a massive year for me. My debut comes out in June and hopefully I’ll be able to spill all the proverbial beans on what my 2019 novel will be (I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT) really soon.
In the mean time, I keep writing. Nonsense and fun things and serious projects — because everything you write makes you better and gives you so many more excuses to eat chocolate.