Thursday, 15 March 2012

Looking back over the journey to publication

Back on the 28th July 2009, I started this blog. I had no idea what I was doing, nor why I was doing it, but I felt like I should diarise - for myself - my progress into a new area. I came to the title, and chose Witchway, because it was the name of my parents' old boat, and then I had to come up with  a description.

A Writer's Journey to Publication. I worked on that for a long time. It seemed (it still does) hugely optimistic but I was trying to be positive. My aim at the time was to get one short story or a poem out there in print. On good days, I dared dream I would push a novel out there, but it feels like a pipe dream. Everywhere, in writers' magazines and journals, on the internet, on writing courses, we hear how impossible it is to get published. Not difficult, impossible. We are bombarded with negative messages, and yes, I do try to be positive, but it sinks in by osmosis.

One message I get from hearing novelists, especially new novelists at writing events, is that it does happen, it can happen. Providing the book is really, really good. I can't work on impossible but I can work on making my books really really good. Maybe they will never achieve that, or maybe the right person will just never see them, but I am a writer, and I continue to work towards publication, however unlikely that seems.

Today I have reorganised 74 chapters of my book, sketched out two new chapters, tidied up the beginning and written out a comprehensive list of edits, which I am working through. It may all be for nothing, but I am compelled to write anyway, so I may as well work on the first of those reallys. 


  1. That's a very good way to luck at the process. I was hugely naive and optimistic starting out ten years ago, and its been a roller-coaster since then. I know now that good things CAN happen, despite my hopes being raised and dashed and raised again many times (yes, my book deal's in Germany, but it's still a book-deal!) and it keeps me motivated to carry on.

    Mind you, I'd probably keep writing anyway, just because I love it!

    1. Hi Karen, I would be very happy with a book deal in Germany! Another step closer to seeing my book in a bookshop near me, and if I didn't get a UK deal I could always move to Germany... Like you, I would write anyway. It's a long process of getting better. If I compare what I was writing when I started out I can see a definite progression. Surely your next step must be a UK deal?

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