A writer’s year by Sarah Nicholson
December is a time for looking back and although I’ve written a few Christmas letters in my time reminiscing about what we have been up to as a family I have never looked back at what I have achieved as a writer in the past 12 months.
To be honest I tend to play down many of my writing
exploits, but with my memoir about to be published in the New Year it’s time
for a change, a time to be bold and update my writing CV.
In January I discovered a new
opportunity writing for Paddler Press magazine.
My piece based on Silence was accepted on January 6th and the magazine arrived all the way from Canada on the 28th.
According to my diary I was also very busy writing lots of 100-word
stories for my memoir.
At the beginning of February I
wrote a 100 flash for the Retreat West monthly microfiction competition.
By the end of the month, I was crowned the winner and I took home the People’s Prize as voted for by the readers.
March was a month where life took on a new direction. I did a writing workshop with the wonderful Ruth Leigh. She spoke about the variety of ways to be published, traditional or self publishing. Then she told us of a new venture she was involved in - Resolute Books a collective of authors with the aim of helping each other produce the best quality books "for the joy of reading”.
A zoom chat took place between me, Ruth and another founding member Claire and suddenly I was part of something exciting.
In April I finally finished
my first full draft of memoir, well at least I finished the 100, 100-word
stories that I had challenged myself to write, and they form the basis of my
memoir in flash.
On a personal note, from re-reading my diary, it was a month
where I struggled with lack of sleep. Perhaps writing so much personal stuff
from the heart had taken its toll.
The official Resolute Books launch happened in May and I was delighted to be a fully paid-up member, invited
to partake of the delights of a sunny day in Dorset. You can re-read my blog
post about it here…
After her talk we took a stroll together along the prom. Stephanie and I had met many years ago at a writing workshop she ran about turning a blog into a memoir. I got in touch with her to help me get my own writing into some kind of shape ready for publication.
Amazingly she remembered me from all those years before and we spent a very enjoyable time together.
Another festival in July – Primadonna. I spent three days soaking in the words of
already published authors.
Re-reading my diary tells me I had already considered my own
book launch and delayed it until January – I am so glad I made that decision
when I did, it took a lot of stress away.
In late June or early July, I sent my memoir to be professionally copy edited. I never expected the edits back so soon but by early August they dropped into my inbox.
It was easy to accept
the correction of spelling and grammar mistakes but I found it difficult going
through some of the other suggestions as my writing is so personal. With much
procrastination I put the bulk of them off, it was the summer after all and my
book launch had been pushed back to 2024 – phew!
In the beginning of September
it was the British Christian Writers Conference in Cambridge. A bit of car trouble almost stopped me getting there but I was meant to go and
it gave me a chance to catch up with many of the Resolute authors. It was also
great for networking and next year I too will have a book on the book stall!
In October I entered the Flash Foreword Competition as part of the Foreward Festival There were ten winning stories performed by professional actors in various location in Bury St Edmunds and my story was in the mix. I shared the story with you last month
October was also when I thought I had finally completed my
But they needed more tweaking and one damp afternoon in November I finally banished the imposter syndrome for
long enough to get my manuscript ready to hand over for formatting.
Which brings us nicely to December and there is much to look forward to. Getting a proof copy of my memoir is going to be very exciting but before that happens, I have another book launch to attend.
The Suffolk Writers Group on Facebook have put together a poetry
book entitled A Tapestry of Poetry and I submitted two poems to the collection.
I’m really looking forward to catching up with my fellow poets, some of whom I have
met and others who I only know from online.
It should be a wonderful way to round off my writing year.
Looking back, it’s been quite a busy one and with the
publication of my memoir, next year could be even more exciting – so watch this
space and if it isn’t too early to say it – Merry Christmas to one and all!
P.S. there are lots of links in this blog if you want to click and find out more about the various things I've been involved in.