Life’s been pretty chaotic lately, for lots of reasons. Stressful on a lot of levels. It’s made me stop to really look at everything I’ve got going on – and you know what, it’s a lot! All good stuff, but I have a habit of putting myself through the ringer more than I should. So, this month’s blog post is a day in the life of a writer – this writer – just to give you guys an update on all the stuff I’m currently working on! I’ve not done this in a long while, so I’ll some genuinely exciting new bits of news for y’all…
Second Poetry Collection – In Development
Eeek! This is exciting! I’ve been in talks with my publisher since the start of the year about my next collection (this time a full length collection), and they’ve already read and approved the earliest draft! We agreed that we’d pick it up officially this autumn (now!) and start the ball rolling.
So, for the next couple of weeks I’m going to be honing the poems, finalising the order, and then I’ll click the old ‘send’ button once more. And then I’ll be meeting up with the publisher again and going along the same journey I wrote about on my post exploring what happens during the production of a chapbook.
I won’t release the title until it’s all done and dusted, but the collection explores many of the discoveries and inventions that humans encounter to try to solve the world’s problems. It’s a blend of history, realism, fantasy, and sci-fi. More to come soon…
My Novel – Out with Beta Readers
Arghghghghhh this bit’s stressful! But a day in the life of a writer does involve pretty much constant judgement (either from the writer themselves or from editors or readers) so I’d best suck it up.
A week ago I sent the third draft of my current novel to three beta readers, along with a beta reader questionnaire. I need these people to read it like they’d read any novel and let me know their thoughts on structure, character development, language, tone, plot, everything. It’s a scary moment because you want the beta readers to know this is an early draft but you don’t want to affect their reading by pointing them to the aspects you’re already concerned about. And like most novelists – one day I think the idea has promise and then the next day I hate it. So I have no idea if it’s truly any good!
The readers seem to be at least a few chapters in now, and I’ve had a few positive and negative comments, which is all good. Ultimately, I need to know what’s wrong so I can learn, so I can fix it. Writing a novel is a puzzle, and this feedback should contain the clues I need to help me solve it.
Next Novel – The Spark of an Idea
While my novel’s out with my trust beta readers, I’m drumming up an idea for a second novel! The idea came to me when I was in the bath, and since then I’ve been mildly mulling it over while doing my other projects. I have a strong protagonist and theme and way of recording the narrative, but the plot’s still going to take a while to work out. I’m going to try writing a clear outline this time and sticking to it. It might be a bit of an experiment – who knows.
My rough plan is that I might start this novel in 2019. I have enough to get on with right now as it is…
Commissions – An Otherworldly Poem
At the moment I only have one commission – and that’s for a poem for the Ouija Poetry Anthology edited by Grand Tarbard and Helen Ivory. It’s amazing to be a part of an anthology with so many well-loved names in it. It’s an honour! Everyone has been allocated a letter or number from the Ouija board, and I’ve been allotted number 6. So look out for one or two otherworldly poems from me featuring that in the title…
Writer in Residence 2019 – Watch this Space!
This one’s still a bit secret, but I’ll tease it. There’s a certain festival I’m extremely passionate about local to me in Newcastle Upon Tyne. They’ve recently been awarded Art’s Council funding to go huge in 2019, and I’m lined up to be the Writer in Residence to the festival. It’s going to involve writing about the shows and hopefully getting up to some creepy poetry antics too. Once it’s all official – I’ll reveal all! I’m currently dreaming up some collaboration projects to enrich the atmosphere of the festival. So many possibilities!
The Day Job – Content Strategy and Writing
As ever, this part of my writing life is busy busy busy. For those of you that don’t know, I make most of my pennies writing content of all shapes and sizes (interviewing influencers, editorials, infographics, press releases, brand and campaign messaging, and more – the list is endless) for a development organisation. I’m so thankful that I can write for a day job too – every sentence I write makes me a better author, a better poet, and a better storyteller.
And that’s about it – a day in the life of a writer. Me! Of course, every writer’s life is totally different, and even with me – today’s schedule is very different to tomorrow’s schedule, or my schedule in six months’ time. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
Until next time – speak soon. 🙂