So why haven’t I posted for a while? Because I’ve been writing. And learning. Avidly. Steeply.
And one of the things I’ve learned is that it’s too easy to get distracted from writing by…erm, writing (or blogging or Tweeting or working) and life and the internet and everything else that isn’t writing what you should be writing. So I’ve spent a few solid months not getting distracted and I’m pleased to report my debut novel, The Sawol Discovery, is ‘finished’.
Which only means it’s now been submitted to a small number of agents, some of whom I was lucky enough to meet in person at the Festival of Writing in York mid September and a few others who favourited my Twitter pitch on #PitMad. The agents I’ve met were all lovely, helpful, incredibly bright (actually, made-me-feel-a-bit-thick sort of bright) and generous people. They all care deeply about great writing and about finding great writers. They were also frighteningly honest about the prospects of getting traditionally published (you don’t want to know the odds, shocking).
I have also learned that ‘finished’ doesn’t really mean finished, it means as ready as you can make it before daring to submit a sample to the professionals, all of whom are inundated (and I mean INUNDATED) with submissions and who may take quite some time to respond (or not, because they can’t justify the time to respond to everyone).
If you are lucky enough to get noticed, if your work is good enough to be loved by an agent (who all look for something different), then there’s a chance you get to the next step, full submission (rather than the first chapter or two).
And then you wait again. And keep writing. And learning. Because that’s all you can do.
So today I started my second novel. And I’d thought I’d tell you that before I disappear again. Because I can’t get too distracted.
And because I’ve also learned that the number of Twitter followers you have, or blogs you’ve written, or Facebook likes you’ve got, makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the quality of your writing or an agent’s decision to love your work.
Unless your route to market is self publishing and your ‘social platform’ can help sales.
Which might matter to me one day.
But not today. Because #amwriting