Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Endings - and beginning again

Well, finally, I've finished the first draft of the new novel. Although it's always a relief to write that last paragraph, (especially if you're pleased with the ending!), this time I feel slightly apprehensive. Is it any good? Well, we always ask ourselves that, don't we - but my confidence has taken a bit of a knock, and this book is so different from my others that I'm finding it hard to judge, hard to know how much editing I need to do before taking that scary step of sending it off 'out there'. It's a bit like submitting my first novel, all over again - but this time I feel more wary of getting carried away with excitement. Times are harder. Rejection is all around us. Will anyone be interested in my new idea ... and even if they are, will they be willing to take a chance on me this time around?

Of course, there's only one way to find out, as we all know: edit, improve, submit. I'll feel better once I've taken the plunge and sent it out for the first time. Onwards and upwards!

Meanwhile, to bolster the flagging ego, I've had THREE short stories accepted by the same magazine within a week! (Thank you, lovely PF!). Two of these had been under consideration for quite a long while and I now have very few short stories 'out there' as I've been concentrating on the novel. So I'm looking forward to getting back to the shorts again soon, for a change. I've also heard from Jill at The Weekly News that the (only) story I've had accepted by them was actually published in the 1 January issue! She's had computer problems and some of us didn't receive notifications, but she's promised to send a copy. I hope I do receive one - I'd hate to miss seeing the first story I've sold them!

And I gave a successful talk yesterday to another U3A group, in Harlow - a lovely, large, receptive audience. I work hard at preparing my talks, and try to make them interesting and fun as well as informative, but I realised yesterday that I don't even get nervous about them any more - which is quite amazing, as I'd never have imagined myself giving talks at all, years ago, and certainly wouldn't say it was something that comes naturally to me! Like most writers, I prefer putting words down on paper than speaking them! But it just goes to show - as we get older, we can get used to anything! Yes: even the rejections!