At the beginning of the year, I was speaking to my partner and my mum about keeping track of achievements. Besides the yearly wrap up for Writer’s Edit, I don’t really acknowledge how many goals I achieve or what I’ve done during the year. I decided that at the end of every month, I’d take a moment to reflect on how far I’ve come in the last thirty days or so. Thus, the ‘Monthly Recap’ is born.

My Book:

  • Throughout January I reworked my novel Red Hands, taking feedback on board from two publishers I spoke with in 2014.
  • Red Hands went from 62,000 words to over 72,000.
  • I sent Red Hands to Ben and Emily, two Masters of Publishing friends for feedback. They were incredibly insightful with their suggestions, and the manuscript has improved ten-fold under their guidance.
  • For the first time, I let my partner Dave read my work (jury’s still out on that one!).
  • I reworked my synopsis and my author bio for submission alongside the manuscript.
  • Next week I’ll be submitting to the publishers I spoke with last year, and after that to some of the big fish like PRH and PanMacmillan.

Editing Life:

To be frank, I felt a little flat after the mayhem of November/December 2014. It was a big year for Writer’s Edit with the release of Kindling and its launch party. However, the first two months of 2015 have seen me continue to manage Writer’s Edit, and bring in some wonderful new writers. Our brilliant writer and editor Kyra Bandte continues to wow me with her passion and energy for our publication. Having her support has seen me through more times of doubt than she knows.

Throughout January and February I freelanced for men’s fashion e-commerce newbie ‘Yuppie Palace‘. It was different to the copywriting I’ve done before, but it was super fun to target a new audience, and squeeze in some cheesy, bloke-focused jokes.

The biggest news in this department is that I was offered the position of Managing Editor at the AU review – a music, arts and culture publication, (yes, I accepted!). It’s early days but I’m loving their chilled-out attitude and their respect for the creative industries.

What I’ve read:

  •  On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  • The Dangerous Bride – Lee Kofman
  • The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
  • High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
  • Us – Davis Nicholls
  • Rift (unpublished manuscript) – Benjamin Stevenson
  • Still Alice – Lisa Genova

That’s about it for Jan and Feb – they’ve flown by.

Until next time,

– Helen.

Note: Featured Image Credit: Ariele Alasko for Kinfolk.