January

January is my nemesis. It’s dark and dreary and haunts me, and it’s twice the length of any other month. Sometimes, it’s even longer than that!

A canine representation of my usual January despair. You can almost hear the huffing from here, can’t you?

But not this year. In a strange inversion of reality, being in lockdown (again) has speeded time up. It’s positively flown by in a flurry of activity.

At the end of last week, my developmental edits for Small Forgotten Moments were approved and sent on for the next stage. I love the way each task means I’m so much closer to holding the book in my hands!

We were well ahead of schedule for the deadline on those edits, so now I’m forcing myself to work on the blurb. Authors hate writing blurbs – these are the bit on the back of the book you read when you’re considering buying it. A couple of paragraphs about the story you love, and know completely and utterly, shouldn’t be too hard to write, surely?

Except, it’s just a couple of paragraphs about the story you love and… etc, etc. How can this complex story which took (in this case) 51,000 words to tell be consolidated into a tiny section on the back of a book? No matter how obvious and simple and concise the blurb is when you read it on the final product, that poor author has spent days pondering it, jotting notes, combining sentences, and scribbling out.

Wish me luck!

I also have a work-in-progress out with beta readers. These are other writers (in this case, four amazing writers) who will tear my work to shreds and focus on the worst parts of it in order to help me make it better. It sounds brutal to the uninitiated, but in my opinion it’s essential.

And then, on Saturday morning, I woke up with a book title, and a sentence (but not a first line or anything so simple; something probably from the middle) for a new book. It’s something I’ve had milling around my head for a while, based on a character from a short story I wrote a couple of years ago – the switch from head to page, even just a couple of notes, is a big step. It means it’ll definitely be the project I work on next. Or next, after next…

So, that’s my January – I’m going to go and have a lie down after all that! How was yours?

13 thoughts on “January

  1. Ugh – the dreaded blurb! I am so excited for your new book, and all the ones to come. Today I plan to write a query letter for a yoga magazine article , and that is also a dreaded variation of the “blurb” but it also requires “the hook!”

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  2. The back cover blurb is the hardest part of any book. But you can do it!
    Glad you had a first line and a title pop into your head for your next project!
    January is a month of beginnings and birthdays in my house so I usually have a long slog through February for my dreary month.

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  3. I can imagine the excitement of waking up with a book title. I love that you did.
    Congratulations on all the progress and best of luck with the writing blurb. Sleep on it, and you’ll be fine.

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    1. It’s a great feeling, Robyn, until you realise you don’t have a story yet 🤦‍♀️

      The blurb is coming along slowly – it has about 5 different versions now, so I’m either getting closer or much further away!

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  4. Hi Annalisa – love the images at the beginning … the dog-days of January! You are achieving … our minds work in mighty funny ways … hopefully as the light cometh things will ease … I can’t have a nemesis in January – oh well I suppose I could … consign one year to history, and start another as a birthday pops past. All the best – Hilary

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