Celebrating the Little Wins in a Writer’s Life

It’s come to my attention that us writers have a tendency to gravitate toward negative thinking. Or at least, I certainly do. Perhaps it’s all those rejections, the lack of decent pay, the irregular hours or a combination of these factors that get us feeling a bit down on ourselves (and the world) from time to time, but lately I’ve realised how important it is not to let it consume us.

Despite the fact that life isn’t always dandy, there is much to celebrate – particularly as a writer. Instead of yet another post about the challenges (of which there are many) and the negatives (also quite a few) that come with being a professional wordsmith, I thought it was time to sit down and get my grateful on, for being able to do the thing I love most.

So! Here are a few awesome things that have happened to me lately, that have made me incredibly happy to be a writer in this wild and wonderful world…

Writer’s Edit Writers:

There’s so much going on over at Writer’s Edit lately, that I had to send a massive email to the team about updates and changes and the like. I wasn’t really expecting any replies, but I got this in my inbox:

Thank you for your incredible dedication. As a young writer, I have benefited and learnt so much from the little I have worked on with Writer’s Edit.”

A few days later, in reply to a different email I had sent, another writer was telling me of his recent success with a film script he’d written…

Just finalised the script of a film I wrote that was picked up and is being produced later in the year. It’s been a great experience. I do have to say thank you Helen, your feedback and criticisms to my earlier writing really helped strengthen my skill set and I’m very grateful. Wonderful to hear Kindling 2 is in the works. I have my copy of volume one proudly on my bookshelf.”

These beautiful people made all that hard work worth it with those few lines. It made me realise what an incredibly supportive team we’ve created, and it made me both proud of myself, and our writers for being exactly who they are.

Novel Pursuits:

The truth is, our industry is a terrifying one: uncertainty, rejection and all the rest have led to a lot of negative talk about writing and publishing, particularly when it comes to books. But over the past few months I’ve realised how lucky I’ve been with submitting Red Hands. Although there isn’t a book deal in the works just yet, I’ve received some incredible feedback from publishers and editors who weren’t obliged to provide it.

I’ve also started submitting my manuscript to literary agents abroad. What other industry allows you infinite chances at achieving your dream?

Kindling author success

Now, I know I mentioned this in my May recap, so I won’t go into major specifics here. What I will say however, is this: how inspiring is it, when people you know, succeed? Especially people whose journey you’ve been part of?

Over the last week, I’ve finished Kindling author Jenny Bravo’s debut novel These Are The Moments – a clever, honest and addictive look at young love. It left me moved, not just because it was such a well-written, sharp book – but also because I was so incredibly happy to see the author fulfil her dream.

Another example is the lovely Kate Liston-Mills whose book The Waterfowl Are Drunk is the next one on my list. Kate’s crisp prose first drew me in while I read her short story ‘Old Receipt’ in Kindling, and now I’ll be reading an entire collection of her short stories, published by Spineless Wonders.

What’s not to feel good about when you’re surrounded by talented women achieving their goals?

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Update: Since writing this blog post, Red Hands has received interest from a third publisher.

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