It’s been quite a month.
September is always special to me, for many reasons. 2014 will go down as particularly memorable. So much has happened. I found the strength to end a relationship with a man, the first and only relationship I’ve had since my divorce from John back in 2005. What’s more, I ended it because it wasn’t giving me what I wanted. The old me would have clung on to the ashes, trying to fan them back to life like I did when my marriages failed.
I also had major problems with John’s family which, before, would have dragged me down. Instead, I was able to step away, saving myself a wagonload of stress.
My new counsellor has been such a boon. I’ve only seen her three times but so many things have already clicked into place, things that seem so simple now but which have caused me grief for most of my life. If I ever get round to finishing a novel, I’ll be dedicating it to her.
With so much emotional upheaval going on, I haven’t done much writing, just five new stories since the beginning of August, none of which I’m thrilled with. That might sound like a lot but when I was writing full time, I tried to write at least 8 new stories, every month. For the past four weeks, I’ve written no new stories at all. That was hard but I felt I needed to do it. I had things to work through, things I needed to get clear in my mind (plus I had a broken heart to contend with.)
I’m delighted to say that as a result of this break, I feel a whole lot stronger. I even managed to walk away from the pantomime group whereas before now, I wouldn’t have had the strength to do that.
The weird thing is that I’ve sold more stories this month (September) than I have for ages – seven in total and they’ve all gone to what I call good markets (i.e. ones that pay well). I also have three stories in the latest Fiction Feast which means a decent pay cheque in October.
How do I get sales when I’m not writing new stories? It can take a long time after a story first sees the light of day before it finds a home (that’s if it ever finds one). I’ve also been looking at stories I wrote ten years ago and seeing if, with my greater experience, I can improve them.
This morning, I sold a story to Fiction Feast that I first wrote way back in April 2003. Since then it’s been sent all over the place. Each time it was rejected, I had a chance to take another look at it. As a result, the version they bought today is very different from the original. I only bother to do this if I think a story has potential (quite a few of my old pieces are simply not good enough and are destined to stay on the scrap heap). Is there a story in your files that could be revitalised?
Other things I’ve done this month include starting ukulele lessons, going to a writing retreat at Weetwood Hall, joining Leeds Choral Society and, for the first time ever, asking a man out for a drink (he was attached so said no).
As people who follow my tweets will know, I often make plans that come to nothing. Well today I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (or whatever it’s called) so that I can take work on a novel. Whether I’ll stick to that plan (!), I don’t know, but I would like to at least try to write something longer, just for a change.