An Update is overdue!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had an awesome and relaxing holiday season. As I work in hospitality I only had three days off, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but because my roster lady is awesome, she gave me the next day off too ๐Ÿ˜€ I spent the first Christmas away from home since I was five or three. I was up in the Gong with my sister and her boyfriend. How was everyone else’s Christmases and New Years? Any writing related presents? I received a letter writing kit and I’m making it a resolution to write to people more ๐Ÿ™‚

On the editor/agent/publishing front:

I haven’t spoken to my editor, Natalie much at all since she gave me back my manuscript. Did I tell you all what she thought? I think I’ll revel in those words again for funzies ๐Ÿ˜› She really liked it, thinks it’s marketable and I should be proud of a good manuscript. Yay ๐Ÿ˜€ It has given me worlds of confidence to know someone professional actually thinks my work is worth something. Of course that is only one person’s opinion, but it’s definitely a start at world domination ๐Ÿ˜› just kidding, my main aim is to put something back on the shelf ๐Ÿ™‚ and making some pocket money would be good too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyhoo! After I received my MS back with notes, there were a few – I think two – plot points to adjust. Nothing major, but the whole experience is making me slow down and breathe. Although it is an aim to submit to an agent (or HarperCollins or Allen & Unwin open days) this year, possibly even before the financial year is over, I am going to stop myself from rushing.

Although I am over the moon to have received the feedback from Natalie, and it has definitely given me a kick up the bum (or a rocket up my ass as my boss would say ๐Ÿ˜› ), I could have waited. I had all these ideas myself on how to self edit my novel before giving it to someone. I guess I was so excited that someone professional wanted to read my novel. Especially since they loved my voice because of this blog!

However the lesson: take my time, go slower. After I’ve added these scenes, which I will finish in the next few days, I’m going to read it over again and see for myself what needs changing. After that I’m going to give it to my opinionated cousin and best friend, like I’d always planned.

I’ll then go from there ๐Ÿ™‚ How’s your WIP going? Any exciting news to profess or New Year’s resolutions?

On the writing front:

Hurray regular writing is happening! The trick? I’m not quite sure. On Thursday I started work at 9am, but was glad to get out of bed at 7am to write. I just started thinking about this scene with Luca at a grave and the words kept flowing in my brain I had to jump out of bed quick start and write them down. Also the two days before that I started work at 7am – my body was used to waking up that early. So used to it that I couldn’t sleep past 8am this morning on my day off. Not sure whether to be happy or sad about that ๐Ÿ˜›

I guess the trick is I’ve been making writing a priority. I have a goal for this year: submit to an agent, hopefully by the middle of the year. I know I can do that. Well I think I can. I need to read it and see, but if I judge by Natalie’s thoughts I should be ready once I add in those few scenes.

We’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh and I haven’t written much more of the outline of the sequel. Did I tell you all that? I want to be ready in case an agent/publisher likes the idea of a series and asks me about the rest. At least I’ll have an outline for the sequel.

I could be horribly wrong about them asking that by the way, I have no idea! But it’s also fun to write, I love watching my characters grow. Writing an outline feels like I’m planting the seeds.

A word on too many resolutions…

See that heading? That’s me ^^

I do yearly goals (well I have since 2012) and last years I did something like 3 out of 12. But I have a reason!

It’s only because I wrote ones that go along the lines of “do this weekly” and “do this daily”. Ones that are super hard to do, because obviously life gets in the way. Which can be in some ways an excuse. Oh I couldn’t write my 350 words because my mother asked me to watch a show today. Well if it’s in the daytime you could have done it after, and if it’s at night either make it up tomorrow or write beforehand, like seriously, 350 words takes 20 minutes.

My resolutions for this year looked something like this:

  • Read 50 pages a day
  • Work on my novel every day
  • Save X amount of money
  • Do the 30 day ab challenge

And possibly more things to fit into my day. However in the first week I quickly discovered whilst 30 pages a day is easy, 50 pages is harder. Especially when trying to do a full time job, write every day, and still have time to chill out/watch Friends. Also on weekends I go to my boyfriend’s house and I really don’t want to cart my laptop with me to write, and I might not always have time at his to read, read, read.

Also I gave up on the ab challenge because I’m lazy. I wish Cassey Ho from Blogilates would do a cardio 30 day challenge.

I’m still pole dancing though ๐Ÿ™‚ But like I said it’s hard to fit everything in every day.

I guess I’ll just learn through experience as to what I can take on. Or what I’m willing to take on.

You can understand I was super excited to have only one subject left of Tafe, then that’s off my shoulders ๐Ÿ˜€

Anything else to report:

It’s amazing how good I feel when I write regularly. I need to remember this. I really do. Instead of just being content with life, it fills me with elation and joy.

I’m getting close to catching up on AWC podcasts. They have taken a break over Christmas and I’m up 30. They have recorded about 40-45 I think. I’m getting there slowly!

Oh and before I forget. I want to say that I’m not sure if this is fruitless thinking, but I’d really like to take my WIP to the next level. I want to know what makes a book go from four stars to five. I guess it takes practice, and it may not happen with this first novel. I will always strive for excellence, as I want to give my manuscript the best polish I can, but it may take time. Any tips?

I made a gorgeous new desktop background!

writing backgroundI love it! What do you think?

I love to make inspirational things like this. It makes me want to open my laptop just to look at it, and whilst I’m here I might as well read the quote in the bottom right corner and open my WIP ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll have to start thinking up my own writing quotes and creating things like that by ME ๐Ÿ˜€

That’s all I have to update on that I can remember…oh wait one more thing:

On the blog front:

I FINALLY HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTONS!!! Check them out they are beautiful! Top right corner on the sidebar.

I’ve also added more reviews to my novel review page, enough so that I feel I need to put the letters under their own headings to find things easier.

I’m also going to get a signature for my posts. I’m not sure if you noticed but I’ll sign off on most posts with my name, but that’s kind of random. I’m getting a wonderful graphic drawer from Etsy to design one for me ๐Ÿ™‚


Speak to you all later!

In the mean time what have you been up to?


Jo Carter x ๐Ÿ˜€


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