I'm terrible at blogging. It's a known fact. Lately that fact has made me wonder whether I need to have a website. *grumbles*
As 2018 draws to a close I'm also left wondering where the heck the year went? I'm also in the process of taking stock of my successes, my failures, and the other things in my life that fall somewhere in the middle.
In terms of my successes, I was very pleased to received a Creative Funding Award from Aberdeen City Council in September. This allowed me to attend a last-minute writing retreat at Moniack Mhor in November, where I completed 10,000 + words of my new novel. Through the remainder of the month I managed to bring my total word count to just over 15,000. I've been struggling to fit writing time into my schedule, but with the added motivation of Nanowrimo, the week at Moniack, and finally clearing out my studio, I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit, and I'm keen to keep the momentum going.
I also applied to read at Granite Noir in 2019. This was NOT something I thought my writing would ever be suitable for, but it turns out my new novel is so dark it's noir and I was invited to read at the Local's in the Limelight event! If it hadn't been for the 100 rejections approach I would never have sent something in - past the deadline, I'll add. I'm really looking forward to it.
On the rejections front, I did not get accepted to a residency I'd applied for in Finland. I also did not get asked to interview for a teaching post at NUI Galway (though they sent me a really lovely letter in the mail to let me know). I've had a number of further rejections/non-responses from agents regarding my first novel, but I'm not feeling especially demoralised about it.
The more I've dug into the new novel, the more I've really come around to the idea that I'll have more luck with it than the first. It's more marketable. It's edgier. It's set in the UK. Six months ago I would have been devastated if you'd told me I'd have to write another novel before I had a publishing breakthrough. Now, I just see it all as one cohesive process. I needed to write that first book so that I could write this one. I feel far more established in my voice and in my sense of narrative.
I also, rather fortuitously, enquired about teaching opportunities at the College just when they were beginning to think they needed to find someone for the Creative Writing night course. So I'll be teaching that on Tuesday nights from the 15th of January. I'm really looking forward to meeting my students.
I also turned 30, and that was great, and when I think about it I have managed to do quite a lot this year and by the end of my 20s.
Can't wait to see what the next year brings!