2017: My Writing Year
2017 has been a writing year unlike any other for me. Mostly because I didn’t do very much writing! As a mum to two boys, aged two and three as I write this, life does not present many opportunities for writing. It hasn’t been an entirely fallow year however…
In February I found out that my flash fiction, Everything After Now, had won the Flash 500 competition. This is probably my favourite out of all the stories I’ve written and I was so delighted other people liked it too.
In March I switched from my old blog to this one. One of my first posts was about how I had finally finished my second novel - three years and two babies after starting - and realised that it is no good at all. It was a tough post to write but it was cathartic also. I won’t recap it here, but it basically made me give myself permission to relax about writing. My conclusion was, “I’m so grateful to have been able to publish my first novel in my twenties. To have it sell well, reach high into the Kindle charts and be shortlisted for a literary prize was amazing. Everything else doesn’t have to come straight away. Now I realise that, I feel excited about writing. And isn’t that the most important thing?”
So I spent a few months pottering. I wrote a short story and a piece of flash fiction that might never see the light of day. I then didn’t write at all for a whole month, until I was itching to get back to it!
In summer, I took all the ideas that had been swirling round my head about what to do with my novel-in-progress and began - slowly, tentatively - to write again. Time will tell if it is going anywhere…
I was lucky enough to be asked to write two pieces of non-fiction this year. In September I wrote this article for the Science and Faith blog about how paleoanthropologists choose a name for new species of extinct human they discover and what it all means for the Christian idea of man being made in the image of God. In October I also wrote my testimony for Biologos of how I came to find faith while pursuing my love of science at university.
I submitted a piece of flash fiction as an “audition” to be included in a Lent book being published next year. I was accepted and was asked to write the Maundy Thursday entry. I wrote a short story from the point of view of a “minor” disciple in the moments after Judas leaves the scene of the Last Supper. I’m looking forward to being published again!
In autumn I wrote the first few chapters of my novel and then, in a burst of productivity, I ended the year writing a flash story from scratch and editing another flash from earlier in the year. I have entered both pieces into competitions and am waiting to see if they are any good!
Overall, I am satisfied with this year. I feel as if my writing is still developing despite the slowness of it. The Art of Letting Go was chosen for a couple of daily deals on Kindle and has sold pretty well. I am looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for my writing - whether that’s a handful of flash fiction, a complete novel draft or nothing but fun!
Happy New Year to you all!