5 Year Writing Goal: July update
I’m taking part in Misha and Beth’s Five Year Project and my five-year goal is to write a novel and get it published.
I have been looking for an agent for my historical novel, The Reluctant Scribe. But, after four standard rejection emails, with no requests for the whole manuscript, my search has ground to a halt.
A way forward?
Thank you for everybody’s suggestions and advice last month. I’m now convinced I need to revamp the opening of the novel.
A standard piece of advice to new authors is: cut out the first few chapters and begin the story later on, perhaps in a section with more action. I think this is what I need to do. It means I have to rethink the timeline and shift around some of the events. Also, I’ve decided to introduce the main villain at an earlier stage.
All this will take some time and effort and, I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t started the work yet. It’s not because I’m lazy. No! I’ve been busy.
I’ve been writing…
- In June, I self published a little walking booklet, based on an assignment piece I wrote during my Birkbeck course: Soggy Socks. This was an experiment, to see how easy the process of self-publishing could be, using Amazon’s CreateSpace. It was very easy!
- In July, I produced a digital version of Soggy Socks, which was more difficult than I thought. After a while, I realised the best thing to do is NOT to convert the paper version, as Amazon suggests, but to start from scratch with the Word Document. It will be much easier next time. This is the digital version, with colour photographs: Soggy Socks e-book
- Currently I’m working on a booklet about blisters with the provisional title of Bursting Blisters. (A better – and more descriptive title – might be: ‘How to Treat Blisters: a handbook for walkers.’
I’ve been walking…
- 114 miles this month.
- 677 miles this year.
- And have passed the 2,000 mile mark in my hiking trek around the coast of the UK (2,014 miles, to be exact!)
I’ve been blogging…
With 11 posts on my coastalwalker.co.uk blog this month.
And a guest post for a Cornish holiday site (yet to be published).
Plus I put up a little gallery of Carmarthen graffiti on Ruthless Ramblings.
I’ve been interviewed…
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by the journalist, William Eichler. The topic was blogging. The article was subsequently published in the July edition of Stamford Living magazine.
I will forgive him for spelling my name incorrectly. Livingstone, not Livingston.
You can read the July issue here. Or jump directly to the article about blogging, on page 61.
BUT: none of this frenetic activity has brought me nearer to my 5 year goal, which is to have a novel published. I hope I can report on better progress next month.
7 thoughts on “Stuck in the mud: July”
Don’t underestimate the value of knowing what you need to change. That’s already a big step forward. Best of luck with August!
Hi, Ruth. Sounds like you’ve been productive and four isn’t that many agents to try before giving up. I’d try at least six more before you make changes. The soggy socks look fab as well, I’ll check that out. Prefer the second title as well. would appeal more to readers I think. Keep trying with the agents and publishers. You need to try at least twelve before you change your work I think.
At least you have a plan which is a step in the right direction.
Congratulations on your writing. I hope the new opening works out. Way to go on the walking! There’s a lot of world to see by foot.
Thank you all for your comments above. Beginning to rework the beginning… sigh, I hate rewriting!
You’ve been very busy, and like everyone’s said, having a plan is progress. Plus your self publishing experience is invaluable. You have a lot to be proud of!
Thanks Angeline. I’ve been rewriting the first chapter and am surprised how easy I found it. Hope your writing is going well.