A writing fellowship and other updates.

Copy of Completing a structural edit2019 is teaching me a lesson about vulnerability. It is showing me again and again how much harder it is to stay open and vulnerable than it is to close off, shut down, not talk about it, but also how much more I can offer and be by fighting the urge to take the easier route.  Continue reading

What I learned from my first reading.

img_9097If writing a book is the natural state for a writer, getting up in front of an audience and reading from that book feels about as far from natural as I can imagine. There are plenty of writers who are natural orators, but unfortunately I don’t fall into that category. I’m to the left in the ‘so anxious I might cry and/or pass out’ category. Hello to all of the other nervous talkers in this category with me. Welcome. May I offer you some peppermint tea? Continue reading

Tearing down the walls (the structural edit).

Untitled Design-3

Three months on from receiving editorial notes and I’m out the other side of my first structural edit. I feel equally wrung out and exhilarated by how much better my manuscript is looking at this point. Here are some editing stats I collected along the way:

  • 60+ hours of editing
  • Manuscript is (only) 5,000 words longer. Ouch. Now sitting at a much healthier 55,000 words. I’ve fixed plot holes, pacing issues, formatting, thin secondary characters, and the ending
  • Soundtrack: Camp Cope, Sia, Thelma Plum, Missy Higgins (basically Australian/women/feelings)
  • Snack of choice while editing: Popcorn, chocolate
  • Coffee consumed: far too much
  • Most neglected part of my life: housework

The manuscript is now off to some sensitivity readers (I will do a post on this at a later stage) and once I’ve received their feedback and edited accordingly, I will send it back to Jane at Text Publishing. Hopefully I’ll have done enough for it to be ready for a line edit, but we’ll see. This is my first time and it’s a huge learning curve, so if it comes back for another structural edit, that’s OK too. I hardly feel qualified to give advice at this stage of the process, but I thought it might be worth sharing a few of the things I’ve learnt so far. Continue reading

Let the editing begin.

Finding the way back to writing-2I received the first round of notes from my editor at Text Publishing late last month. It’s the email I’ve been waiting on for months. It’s the green light after being at a red long enough to wonder if it was all a dream, or if someone somewhere had changed their mind. The notes are detailed, kind, and so spot on. My book is going to be infinitely better because of them, and because of my editor Jane Pearson. I feel like I should be in turmoil, but instead I’m thrilled. A little vulnerable, sure, but I can’t believe I can finally get going. Please Don’t Hug Me is going to be a real book! Continue reading

The one where I sign with a literary agent.

Finding the way back to writingThere is a lot out there about whether or not a debut writer needs a literary agent, or if signing with one is even something that can happen without a published book to your name. I can’t give a definitive answer about that, but I can say that signing with Danielle Binks and Jacinta Di Mase has been one of the best parts of my path to publication thus far. So I’d love to share a little bit about how that came to be and what it’s done for me. Continue reading

Motherhood and writing.

Untitled Design-2Some days here in this house is my whole world, and others I am itchy to be part of something outside these four encroaching walls. There’s a constant tug between this small person who is blossoming with every minute of nurturing and play, and a tiny voice inside my head reminding me ‘I’m a person with needs too’. I want to be and do everything with her, but I want to model what a woman following her goals looks like too. Continue reading