The good, the bad and the ugly

I’m not a fan of Westerns at all, but I love that film. You can hear the music right now, cant you? You have an earworm don’t you?

You’re so welcome…

Actually, the title of this post is a little off. There’s no bad (sorry to disappoint if you’re a fan of high drama), nor is there any ugly, unless you count my anxiety going off the scale at various points in the last couple of weeks for no reason whatsoever.

Good – my editor had wonderfully positive comments following her review of Anti-Virus. No major plot holes were revealed, no ‘eh, it’s OK, I suppose’ (a lukewarm response would have been worse than a ‘this is absolutely awful’ to be honest), nothing requires major reworking. Hallelujah!

Double Good – the book cover design is done! I had such a brilliant experience, loved working with the designer and he just ‘got it’. This, my friends gave me such a boost. The book is starting to feel really real, not just real. I think of Anti-Virus and I picture the cover – how cool is that?!

Double Plus Good – I’ve taken the vast majority of the pain of the formatting side of things out of my hands and will be paying Someone Who Knows Things to do this for both ebook and paperback formats. You know, I could learn, but quite honestly, I don’t want to and also don’t want to devote the time to it, not right now (if ever, to be even more honest). I know I’m lucky to be able to do this and am very grateful, definitely.

So, things are moving on. I’m in the final stages of the final edit before handing over to the Someone Who Knows Things. And then I can find something else to worry about, like, I don’t know, what will my ARC readers think?

Until next time…

What to do when you’re not writing

Worry about not writing.

Dream up impossible-to-achieve-self-imposed deadlines for publishing your novel.

Catastrophise how you will feel when you read your editor’s comments once they return your manuscript.

Indulge in self-flagellation as if you are an adherent to the Catholic doctrine of mortification of the flesh, for all and any reason whatsoever, but mostly because you didn’t write X, Y or Z into your plot and it’s too late now.

ALTERNATIVELY…

You can enjoy the fact that you have some time to yourself where you don’t have to focus on the (let’s face it) hard work of publishing a novel (why do we do this, why?!) and either totally kick back and put your feet up (I don’t have that gene, sorry!), or turn your gaze to something else that you enjoy creating.

Oh, you’re asking me what I’ve been doing? No, no, that’s not how this works… that’s for me to know and for you to just guess about.

(Ahem… I may have been going down the dark road. And then I may have thrown myself into other creative pursuits and created self-imposed obligations out of them too).

But that’s just between us, okay?


Picking up where I left off… ish

If you’ve ever dug around in my e-home here on Freya Writes, you’ll have noticed that there have been periods where I wrote a lot of poetry and flash fiction and generally took part in a fair few challenges that you can find in various places online.

I enjoyed them a great deal, but they ended up being the route towards what younger people than me like to call ‘burnout’. Dear reader, in some ways I’m a capitalist’s dream. Give me a thing to aim for, and I’ll turn it into an obligation for myself. And I’ll run myself ragged over it. And my inner critic will not hesitate to give me a hard time about ‘failure’. My inner headspace can be a truly unpleasant world to inhabit sometimes.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that whilst I have been sorely tempted to take up some of these writing challenges again on a regular basis, I’ve resisted. Far, far better to dip in every now and again, have lower views on my blog/website than have my endorphins spiked with higher viewings but create obligations and burdens where there are none. I don’t need that in my life.

What I am doing though is something else that I also used to do, and had some success with. Entering writing competitions. For me, that is fun, gets the brain juices flowing (mmmm, brain juices, yummy!), has a potential reward at the end (publication, maybe even a small financial gift or a free critique, etc) and best of all, my mind perceives this endeavour as not being an obligation, a must do or else the world will end. It’s a win win, even if I don’t win.

I subscribe to Mslexia, the UK quarterly magazine committed to helping women writers progress and succeed. They have their own competitions as well as advertising other competitions or invitations to submit from around the world. I also subscribe to Woven Tale Press, an online literary and fine art magazine. It is also a ‘hub for writing and visual arts, bringing together notable artists and writers seeking to share their work more broadly with communities actively in quest of unique voices and compelling perspectives’. I’ve submitted a poem to Mslexia over the past few days, and I have ideas for a couple of competitions I’d like to enter, as well as some work I’m thinking of submitting to Woven Tale Press to see if they will include it in a future issue.

This is good. For me, this is progress. Perhaps 2020 will have been the year that I not only had time to learn some things about myself, but was also intelligent enough to take action on them.

Take care of yourselves. It’s been a rough old ride.