Unlike the Christmases of previous years, I found myself writing most of the days of the holiday this year. That hadn’t been the plan. I was going to take a week off, kick back and enjoy the festivities to the full.
In mid-December I finished a manuscript, which I
had long struggled with. Finally satisfied with the ending, I bit the bullet
and sent it out to a few a readers, and then promptly forgot about it for a
while, or at least tried to! To distract myself, I decided to take a trip down
memory lane, and at the same time restore order to my study, by pulling out some
older manuscripts, some of which had not seen the light of day for a very, very
Inevitably, the process of restoring order to the
chaos of my working environment was hi-jacked as I dusted off the manuscripts and
gave them an airing. I decided to reread them. Then I rewrote one of the
manuscripts for a slightly younger audience, and, happily, the story, which
hadn’t been working for the 14 + readers, began to work much better.
Another manuscript, written for adults a few years
ago and then stuck in a drawer and forgotten about, was refined and polished
and sent out to some readers. The third manuscript, dragged out of the longest hibernation
was the first in an epic fantasy trilogy, (and by epic I mean humungously epic
– the first book should be divided in two at the very least) – was so much fun
I almost forgot it was Christmas!
In some ways it ways it was a very indulgent way
to spend Christmas; it was a holiday within a holiday. I don’t usually have any
time to make forays into the past in that way. The stories in the drawer usually
remain in the drawer. They cover several genres and age groups. They don’t
promote my current writing in any way. My brand
is: teen/young adult contemporary fiction, and, unless you are an established
writer, I’ve discovered that it is important to remain within that brand –
particularly where publishers are concerned. So I’m not sure I will do anything with those manuscripts in
the end. Time will tell.
Christmas has come and gone, the tree has lost its
lustre, and New Year’s Eve has come and gone too. I’ve realised I haven’t made
any New Year’s resolutions. I usually make several, most of which get broken
within days. I’ve now decided that making resolutions is not such a great thing
for me. It’s way too much pressure, unless, of course, the resolutions are
things like: to go out more, socialise more, read more, listen to music more, walk
more, and maybe write more...
Happy New Year!