Phew, what a year it’s been! I’ve been so busy with everything that I didn’t have a chance to blog, and to be honest, I didn’t have anything exciting to report anyway. But now that we’re closing in on the end of the year, I figured it was time for an update.
As I said in my last post, I’ve been trying to move away from freelance editing and into a more stable career. At the start of the year, I interviewed for several positions but, ultimately, nothing came of it. Then the COVID mess came.
New Zealand went into lockdown early, which I’m immensely grateful for. It didn’t help my job search, but it did save a lot of lives. I wrote and edited every single day (more on that later) and made a lot of progress on my next novel. During that time, I also had a fairly severe jaw issue where I couldn’t open my mouth more than a centimetre or two. I had difficulty eating and my jaw ached, but it wasn’t considered a medical emergency, so I just had to deal with it until the lockdown ended. Thankfully, the issue is resolved now.
Around the time of the second lockdown, I had a COVID scare too. Luckily, my test came back negative, and it turned out I just had a heavy cold + a pulled chest muscle. After recovering from that, I decided to resume my job search in earnest. I’m currently training up to enter the security industry and will most likely have to move to a bigger city to find a job. But that’s okay. I’m determined to make it work.
Untitled Dryad Novel
When quarantine started, I was nine chapters into the second draft of this novel. As of now, I’m 25 chapters into the fifth draft. I’m not going to lie: writing this book has been downright torturous at times. The third draft was particularly excruciating—right up until I penned the final chapter, I was convinced the whole thing was garbage and I’d have to delete it and start from scratch. Fortunately, I pushed through that feeling, and guess what? It wasn’t garbage. It wasn’t perfect either, but it gave me a solid base to work from.
The story makes sense now. The plot is exciting. The world building is cool. The word count is under 100k… just. The characters are still a bit flat, but if I re-add the 10k words I cut out, they’ll be great. 110k isn’t the ideal length for YA Fantasy, but it’s not dump-it-in-the-trash-without-reading length either, so I’ll do what’s best for the story. Overall, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. Once this draft is done, I’ll start sending it to beta readers.
I’ve been writing a lot of short stories lately. In my writing folder, I’ve got 25+ drafts that I haven’t edited at all yet, five or so that are partially edited, one that I’m currently editing, and two that are newly out on submission. My main aim is to get published in the SFWA markets, so I’ve been working hard on improving my craft this year. I’ve learned a lot, and I think I’m closer to my goal than I was before. Time will tell!
Indie Book Review Project
Although it may not seem like it, I’ve made steady progress on my giant list of recommended books. I have a backlog of about six reviews that will (hopefully) go out over the next few weeks. Once those reviews are done, I will need to focus more on my own book for a few months to get it ready for beta readers. Then I’ll get stuck in to reading and reviewing the Kindle Unlimited books on my list.
Well, that’s all for this update. I hope you’ve all had a good year and that you’re healthy and safe. Let’s keep on keeping on, friends.