That First Rejection Letter

I got it!

Screenshot_2017-06-20_183514-1-1

And it hurt, it really did!

I didn’t realise how bad I would feel, even though it’s just one, but, now, I sit and think that it’s just another step in my journey.

What does make me feel better though, is a post on Cristian Mihai’s blog – about famous, best-selling authors who got rejected – that I found early on in my wordpress endeavor. I bookmarked it so that I could always go back to it. And it reminds you that authors like J.K. Rowling, Dr.Seuss, Hemingway, and H.G. Wells all got rejected numerous times before the worlds they created became the worlds many people grew up with.

The Wizarding World got rejected twelve times!

I think it’s also really important to remember that when your submitting, that agents are just human, and as Agatha Christie got 500 rejections (and we all know where she ended up), they can make mistakes or overlook something that may actually work.

And, if Agatha didn’t give up after 500, I don’t think anyone can justify giving up after 1!

There’s also a quote that I found this year, a quote that I make sure I have close to me when I write, just to remind myself of something really important!

‘Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self’ – Cyril Connoly

So, even if I get to 500, I want to remember that I’m writing these novels and stories to see how my characters end up (because I can plan the whole thing and it can go the complete other way), and to experience journeys in to new lands without needing to leave my house!

So, keep going,

Keep submitting,

And most of all,

Just keep writing…

Jade x

First Batch of Submissions Sent!

So, just a quick little update! And for me to document this momentous day!
Today, the 8th June 2017, I sent my first finished novel to some agents!

I thought I’d feel better, but the nerves are already bubbling inside of me, and although, I’m a pretty patient person, I think this wait may be one of the hardest of my life so far!

Now, I’ve told myself I’m not allowed to even look at my novel because I know, that despite the amount of times I’ve looked over it, I will find something wrong with it and just make myself feel bad!

So, to keep my mind from it, my aim for the rest of June is to try and put a dent in my TBR pyle!

And I’m also going to continue writing the second novel in my quadrilogy, and start planning out a new novel I’m hoping to complete for Nanowrimo! I’ve always tried, but never successfully completed one so hopefully 2017 is the year of success!

Although, if it’s not, I’ll take it on the chin and try even harder next year!

Just keep writing guys!

My Writing Journey So Far…

This piece is an insight in to some writing projects I did as a kid and my main WIP, which I am on the cusp of finishing.

I have been writing stories ever since I was small. It was a way for me to escape and create, and even though my childhood wasn’t terrible, I never really had many friends, so I guess, spent my days writing about all the adventures I wanted to go on.

My first big project, from what I can remember, was a series of short stories on ‘The Adventures of Taffy and Friends’. It was handwritten with ‘lovely’ illustrations by my younger self and based on my old German shepherd. I think it’s what cemented my way in to writing.

I also made some little picture books on the story of a saber-tooth cat and his family.

The next big project I would undertake, was a 52? page book about me living on a farm and showing horses. It was called Show Girl, and it was followed by another two books of a similar size. I’ve never ridden a horse before, so I have no idea where the idea came from.

20170417_144241-1

Just before I started writing this, we had just got internet for the first time, and I was fascinated by being able to google photos of anything and slot them in to my story. However, when I look back at it now, I cringe. I also remember my Nan falling asleep while reading it. I don’t know if it was just old lady syndrome, or if it was just really terrible.

It’s very obvious that I was a girl going in to teen-hood whilst writing this. Some of the scenes are so bad, and so unrealistic, I don’t know what I was thinking…

Since then, I’ve moved on to things I hope I will not be so scared about showing another human being. I’ve wrote some short stories, and wrote some first chapters for some novels, but my next big project would be something that I still work on to this day, even if my main WIP takes over most of the time. I think I started writing what I ended up calling ‘The Banished Series’ in late 2006/early 2007.

I remember that at the time, life was really hard and loads of stuff was happening. I wasn’t happy and I needed something to get my mind off of all the bad. So, I looked up at my bedroom ceiling and I asked for an idea. Low and behold, a dream came to me and I was able to turn it in to a novel. I wrote drafts of two books and outlined the third, and even though it’s not finished yet, it gave me that escape that I needed. It’s something I’ll go back to, but more because I want to know how the story goes than anything.

My present WIP, ‘Tales’, I’ve been working on for about six, maybe seven years now. It all started with an idea I got whilst playing Skyrim and my character was stood there, sucking up the soul of a dragon. I’ve always loved olden day games (Fable is my favourite), so I thought I’d give it a crack at writing a story based in medieval times, which over time has turned in to so much more. In the last few months alone, I’ve incorporated qualities from Celts, Saxons, Vikings and Romans.

13850-2-1367805524

Its unbelievable how much it’s changed over the last six years. It’s had a few name changes, a few people killed and brought back to life, a few people killed that I hadn’t intended to kill at all, and I’ve learnt so much about writing that I think it may be the first one that I could give to the world to read.

I know six years may seem like a long time, but as always, life get’s in the way. I had school, college, university, and grown-up stuff to do like going to work and worrying about bills, but it was also because I wasn’t in a rush to finish it. My life was a bit too all over the place and full of drama to be able to do anything with it if I did.

My WIP is a series that has been outlined in to approximately five books, with the first novel having been through seven drafts and the second being on it’s first. I’ve also got future scenes jotted down in my journal and on various pieces of paper here, there and everywhere.

I’ve went through many styles of writing, with the one now being the one I think I’ll stick too. I’m not an overly descriptive writer, I don’t think. I like to get to the point and not ramble (which I realise I have done a lot of here, but it isn’t a book, so it’s okay); but keep a bit of mystery in there as well. I like my characters to be just as confused as the reader.

The most important thing I’ve learnt, other than my style, is that I shouldn’t limit myself to my main WIP. If an idea strikes me for another novel or a short story, I’ll take time out to write it a bit, even if it’s just an outline so I can go back to it later. I find writing other things, whether it’s a piece inspired by a prompt, a blog post on your favourite thing or a baking recipe, it all helps you develop your style and gives you a break, meaning writers block doesn’t come as easily. I’ve found that having a writing journal handy works well for me, and even though I have a make-shift index page at the front, I just use sticky tabs to make the mess easier to navigate.

Maybe in the last year or so, writing took a step back. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it, but more because my life was so hectic, with work, university and family issues, that I needed time for other things. But now, I’m back in my rhythm again and I feel like I’m actually getting somewhere.

Although, at one point, I did almost give up because I lost about sixty pages worth of story because I didn’t press the save button. It happened a second time, but atleast I was only editing this time.

For me, I think my worst fear is it not being good enough. Which I think might stop a lot of authors in their tracks, but you never know, there might be someone out there waiting to read a book just like yours, and one smile is better than nothing.

I’m currently on the cusp of finishing my final draft of the first book, and now I finally have a grasp on how I want the series to flow and sound, I think the next few won’t take so long. It’s a been a very long learning curve, but I think I needed it.

Maybe in a couple months, I’ll be able to write a blog post saying that I’ve finally submitted my novel to a literary agent or publisher, and be able to tell you about all the trouble I had writing the synopsis and cover letters, because, I think, that’ll be harder than writing the book itself.

🙂