Life under a pandemic is hard. There’s no two ways to get around that fact. No matter your circumstances. Whether you’re locked down alone, with a partner, with grown children, young children, babies, elderly parents, lockdown in whatever form, is hard. And today we’re officially gradually coming out of it. People are being encouraged to return to work and can exercise more and travel to beauty spots to enjoy the outdoor space. But my point here, is, however you’re managing is good. No, you’re not muddling along, no you’re not just hanging on by the skin of your teeth, you are doing amazing. We have never been through anything remotely similar to this in our lifetime before. Unless of course you’re reading this and you’re a hundred, then you have been through something also life-altering but I’m not sure I have any readers of the blog of that age.
Why am I saying this?
Because, as the title of the blog post suggests, I have started to progress my writing life once again. It has taken a while. At first I was in a real funk. Couldn’t drag myself away from the news. From social media. I was soaking it all up like a sponge and it was not good for my mental health. But gradually I weaned myself off the necessity to have so much intake of news. I could keep abreast by only checking once or twice a day. In a morning when I woke and later in the evening. Leaving the rest of the day for me.
But, I also have a newborn baby living in lockdown with me and he takes up a lot of time. I’m supporting my daughter with caring for him. He doesn’t particularly sleep through the day. Not like my daughter who went straight back into her basket between feeds. I was lucky. I didn’t know I had her. Her brother on the other hand was a nightmare and screamed constantly for ten weeks. But, you’re not here to talk about babies!
The manuscript I was editing for my agent was completed and returned to her. It went from 77k words to 91k words. It was a really tough edit as well. I had to start from scratch. Copying each chapter from the start onto a new document one at a time, seeing if it was still relevant, adding to it, removing from it, and then seeing if the next chapter could be added or if I needed to write a new one and I built it back up gradually chapter by chapter.
I received my agents feedback on the edit last week and she is really pleased with it. She had a couple of tweaks – literally a couple of sentences that needed doing – and a synopsis for the second book in the series needed writing – which I’ve done – and I sent it all back at the end of last week. So, that’s off my desk again for now. Fingers crossed it’s nearly ready to go out on submission.
I’m now working on Hannah Robbins 7. And for those of you who read Hannah Robbins 6 – A Deeper Song – you might be interested to know Hannah is having a difficult time in this book. After events in A Deeper Song, she’s struggling. There’s a crime at the heart of the book, but we explore how Hannah deals with her ordeal in the last book. And if you haven’t read A Deeper Song yet, you can pick it up HERE.
I wrote the synopsis I said I’d write in the last My Writing Life post. It’s a little vague in some parts, but that’s how my plotting tends to go. I’m kind of a half and halfer. I plot most of it but there are gaps where I have to fill in as I go. I do tend to prefer a more fleshed out plot though. It means I can write faster if I know where I’m going.
I’m 26,000 words into it, so about a third of the way through. The book should be with you this summer. All going to plan. I’m managing to write every day again. Between 1-2,000 words. That’s a huge improvement on what I was doing at the start of the pandemic. In fact, I sat down this morning to write some more words and weirdly found myself here telling you about it instead. I really must get this mornings words done when I have finished writing this.
I am behind where I’d hoped to be when I planned out my year in January, but I certainly hadn’t banked on all this happening. I suppose it should have been in my mind at least a little as I’d been following the news abroad. But I didn’t expect it to be so brutal. I was policing when the Swine Flu hit and I think I imagined it would be similar to that. That it would cause some disruption but not the level it has.
It’s funny isn’t it? You can’t write a blog post about how your writing is going without mentioning the virus. It’s such a fabric of our lives right now. I do hope you are safe and taking all precautions. I hope you are managing to be kind to yourself no matter how much work you are getting done or are not getting done. You are getting through each day and that’s the important part. For me, writing is helping me get through these days now.
Do let me know in the comments how you’re doing. I love to hear from you.
Again, if you haven’t read A Deeper Song yet, and are interested in the events that are going to affect Hannah so deeply, you can download it HERE.
A Deeper Song
How do you fight someone you can’t see?
Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins finds herself on the most perilous case of her career when a young man darts in front of her car. He’s covered in someone else’s blood and has no memory of how he got there.
Digging up the man’s past puts Hannah on a collision course with a dangerous stranger who wants history to remain hidden and who will stop at nothing to keep his secret.
Hannah finds herself in the biggest fight of her life.
Is this finally a case too far?
Download A Deeper Song for a heart-stopping read where the stakes couldn’t be higher.
For fans of Peter James and Angela Marsons