Positivity and Encouragement
I have been writing, and being published, for many years now but imposter syndrome and lack of faith in my own work is still often an issue. It is especially apparent when I’m half way through writing a novel or novella, and I believe many writers have this problem when they reach the ‘saggy middle’, which is mildly reassuring!
I’ve just finished redrafting a full-length novel that’s been on the go for far too many years, partly because I was never quite sure if I should write it. It’s a bit different to my other novels as it’s women’s fiction set in 1999, heavily focused on relationships of all kinds with a mature female protagonist, and not romantic or mystery fiction like some of my other books. So, last year, I challenged myself to finish it at last, or delete it from my computer! The threat worked and I finally wrote the end.
So far so good, but it has languished on my computer all this year, unread again and unloved…until now. I decided to start reading it from the very beginning, all the way through since it had been written in bits over the years. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it, even though it was my own book and I read it through twice. It’s partly because the characters are the most important aspect of any novel for me, both as a writer and reader, and I wanted to remind myself how they all ended up.
Whether or not a publisher might be interested in this novel remains to be seen, but it will eventually see the light of day in one form or another, hopefully during the coming year. One important thing kept me persevering: encouragement. Not only from lovely friends, but from readers of my other novels who took the time to comment on books they had read and enjoyed.
One review came through Facebook for my new Halloween novella, The Veil Between, from an Australian reader who is also a writer:
“This was a wonderful read for October and Halloween, but it could equally be enjoyed at any time of the year. Filled with fabulous characters, mystery, and a great storyline, I thoroughly enjoyed The Veil Between: A Maryanne Halloween Mystery. I highly recommend it. 5 Stars from me.”
The other comment came to me via a writing friend’s newsletter about another of my novellas: “I have just finished reading "Venetian Interlude" and can thoroughly recommend it. I initially liked the title, because I love Venice. The author obviously knows the city intimately, or has certainly done some really in-depth research, because she captures it very well. The story carried me along with it too.”
Sometimes, this is all the encouragement an author needs to keep writing, trusting that readers will enjoy the stories, whether in short form or as novels. So my heartfelt thanks to every single person who has ever enjoyed my work – you are very much appreciated.
Then, just this morning, I was delighted to discover that my Christmas short story, The Angel’s Gift, is published in The People’s Friend Annual 2024! Definitely more encouragement.
In case you are in need of some calmness at this time of year, or a writer needing inspiration, check out the two Free options from wonderful non-fiction writer, Beth Kempton.
The Calm Christmas Podcast has already started and you can catch the first two episodes any time, while the following podcasts will be broadcast each weekend. I love these heartwarming interludes away from all the busyness.
Beth is again offering her fantastic online Winter Writing Retreat for free this year. I’ve done it a couple of times before (it’s different each time) and find it so inspiring in the quiet time between Christmas and New Year. You just have to sign up for it on Beth’s website – it will take you through a checkout but you don’t pay anything.
Hope you find some calmness in the lead-up to the festive season.