Thursday 6 February 2020

Writing Progress: January 2020

This a summary of the highs and lows of my writing this month.

New Title

You may have seen in other posts that I have renamed Jewel of the Sea as Ocean Heart. In my pursuit of self publishing I am getting my book professionally edited and I want the new improved version to be easily identifiable.

Not only that but I have also renamed book 2, Diamond in the Sky as Sky Heart. The name for the whole series will be Soul Heart.

Keep your eye out for my upcoming post on ‘Creating a Catchy Novel Title’.  Follow to get notified.

My Domain

My first achievement for 2020 was purchasing my domain. That’s right, as of 1 January 2020, you will now see my site is!

My current theme is no longer supported so I need to look at updating that in the upcoming months.


I hadn’t factored in getting ill but it has really knocked my schedule back. Luckily, this happened before Ocean Heart was back from the Developmental Editor so there is no urgency there. It has impacted my progress towards finishing Sky Heart.

Then my husband caught the lurgy. I am allowing him to rest and picking up the slack. This has impacted my free time to work on my projects.

Mighty Network

I have been exploring creating a Mighty Network. It is a social site for creatives.  I’m currently a member of a Mighty Network by Willow Editing.  I have been Beta Testing a self-editing course by Elzevera of Willow Editing.

I am considering the network as a potential way to share extra bits with my readers. I am also exploring it as a space to share writing resources as many of my followers are fellow writers.

Click here for my ambassador link and create a Mighty Creator profile. Then you can join Mighty Networks that interest you and see what I am on about.  Let me know what you think.

NB:  The link above is an ‘ambassador’ link for sharing the network but I don’t know what ambassadors get for doing it.

Developmental Feedback

I received my manuscript back from my editor on Mon 13th Jan. At first, I was scared to open it but what Avery McDougall had written was really encouraging and constructive.

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Last Monday, I picked up my draft manuscript from the printer so I can edit off screen… This should have been the start of a dedicated week of editing but fear got the better of me. 💛 My novel is a whole ream of paper! The developmental feedback report is 18 pages and thats not including the comments throughout the manuscript. The task is mammoth! The task is intimidating! 😱 And, I really struggle with editing. And, there’s no guarantee my efforts will pay off. And, and, and… 😡 Once I realised I was self sabotaging myself I got proactive. I broke the task into ‘chapters’ and rewarded myself with chocolate for each chapter I complete. Chocolate is very motivational. 😂 has offered to support me with any questions about her feedback. I’m also in @willowediting Mighty Network and friends with @claeriekeditor . I am very blessed and doing this. 💛 #motivationmonday #morningmotivation #getediting #editing #editor #developmentaleditor #developmentalediting #jewelofthesea #debutnovel #oceanheart #mermaidstory #yafiction #mermaidfiction #writersmotivation #manuscript

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Printing my MS

I wanted to print it so I can write on my MS where to edit and what to do. Highlight things I want to improve, like telling when I should be showing.

Printing the 18 page report was easy but I had to work out how to print the Google Doc with comments. Then I had to find a local printer to print it for me as it was around 360 pages long.

The guy at Felix Press Limited was really helpful and it was ready to collect in just a few hours!


Since printing my Manuscript to edit I have been procrastinating. At first, I made excuses but after a few days I was cross with myself for not making progress and asked myself “why?”

Yes, I was tired from lack of sleep, the kids and work. But the crux was that seeing my printed MS felt very real. Editing was another step towards publishing and what if it still isn’t good enough. What if my novel is never going to be good enough?

I think a lot of writers have this fear. Self publishing you are alone with your fears and you don’t have the seal of approval from an agent or publisher encouraging you along.

I gave myself a little prep talk. If I am going to do this, I need to be strong and remember why I am doing this. I made this choice because I would rather do it than forever wonder “what if?”

Read Through

My first task in the editing process is to read my manuscript and I’ve finally beaten the fear and started this.

I am making notes as I go and already have ideas on how to improve. It is very tempting to edit as I go but I want to get a feel of how it reads first. Then, I will use my editors feedback and my new ideas to take my novel forward.

Storyseller Academy by Paperback Kingdom

I can’t believe my luck. I’m a huge fan of Pagan Malcolm. Her advice is always sound and backed up by her recent personal experience. I try my best to attend her lives, or watch the catch ups in her Facebook group.

During the last weekend in January she did a giveaway for someone to win a place on her course and I won. The course is perfect for me.

I won a place on Storyseller Academy. This is a course packed with content on launching your novel. I can’t wait to start it & tell you more about it.


I probably shouldn’t admit this but towards the end of the month I have become increasingly distracted and distressed by events in Wuhan.  Some clips I have seen have made me cry.  Maybe it is my overactive imagination but I can’t help but feel the situation is far worse than we are being lead to believe. 

Sadly, I don’t feel the virus is under control.  I am thankful for the NHS in the UK but I worry for the countries that are not as fortunate.  I worry for the vulnerable and hope I am overreacting .  I must stop checking for updates but I fear by Valentines Day there will be a global pandemic.

I hope you enjoyed this update on how my January went and what I have been doing towards my writing goals.  My plan is to post an update each month.   I have no idea if this is useful to anyone or if you can relate to my struggles.  Please let me know in the comments how your January went and keep writing.

For February, I hope to update my website as the current theme is no longer supported.  I want to finish my editing so I can get to the next step in my publishing plan and I will stop checking #WuFlu updates as it is not productive.  What would be more productive would be to read the information on the self-study course I won, Storyteller Academy.  

If you enjoyed this, check out:

Why I chosen to self publish

A decade of writing

How to make sure you don’t miss out

My big plans for 2020

To discover more ways to connect, click my link tree.


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