Can you believe it’s the end of September already? Where did the last nine months go, seriously? Well, it’s been a mammoth month for me, with developments on both the book and the Writer’s Edit fronts. After the challenges of the last two months, I definitely needed to feel as though I was moving forward for a change. And move forward I did…

My Book:

Red Hands

It’s never going to cease to amaze me just how long this whole process takes. I finished writing the first draft of Red Hands in April, 2013 and yet here we are. September found me in very new territory -rejecting a publisher. Feel free to read that sentence again.

So firstly, don’t get too excited. It all happened incredibly fast, and it wasn’t exactly a big traditional publisher, but it was still something. I was sent a contract to look over and had a really lovely Skype conversation with one of the editors in the UK.

For a moment there, I really thought everything was golden. And by golden, I mean I finally had my golden ticket to published-novelist-land. But, it wasn’t quite right. I had lengthy conversations about the contract with good old Benjamin (poor guy put up with numerous frazzled phone calls on my part), and I talked it over with a number of other writer friends (I’m looking at you, Kyra).

At the end of the day, I decided not to pursue it. I’ve waited this long already haven’t I?

And there were more developments. A new publisher has come into the picture and asked for the full manuscript. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve been up and down and all over the place as I’ve been the last few months, you count this as a win.

And finally, one of the small presses who’ve been in the picture since the very beginning is still showing a lot of interest and support. The publisher there has sent my entire manuscript back bound, with full edits.

Just one more round, I’m telling myself.

New Book

I may have mentioned this last month, but lately, I’ve been reassessing the kind of author I want to be, and what kind of books I want to write.

I’ve seen a definite change in my reading patterns lately, and I’ve realised that I really need to embrace it, and start having fun again with my writing.

Which is what I’m doing at the moment. I’m in the planning stage of something new, and it’s exciting, it’s fun and more importantly, at this stage, it’s just for me. I’d forgotten what that feels like: pretty amazing.

Hopefully I can stick this out! Will keep you posted.

Editing Life:

Editing life has certainly been a challenge this month. I’ve had to balance all the craziness with Red Hands, the ideas for the new book, my part-time work for the AU review, freelance work for Yuppie Palace and UNSW plus everything going on with Writer’s Edit and Kindling Volume II. And you know what? I’ve probably missed a whole bunch of stuff out there too. It’s been a blur…

Writer’s Edit

This month has been a record month for Writer’s Edit. With more visitors coming to the site than ever before. However, mid-September, I was losing my focus. I had a rather difficult meeting that made it clear I wasn’t focusing on the most important elements of the site: the core metrics, and the growth hacking – the elements that will enable us to have a revenue stream.

After the meeting, something clicked in me, and I’ve been so incredibly driven towards those goals. I’ve cut way down on my email time and have really refined my routine to make the most of the time I do have.

I’ve started using a timer, leaving my emails until the end of the day and I sketch out what I’m going to write for a few minutes before I dive into writing it. These small changes make life so much easier.

Last week, I wrote over 10,000 words for Writer’s Edit in addition to all the general managing I do for the site. That was an incredible win for me, and made me all the more motivated to get our site to the next stage.

Kindling Volume II

Wow, what a whirlwind this has been. Since last month, we’ve ordered two proof rounds, and only a few days ago, ordered our first print run.

This book is absolutely glorious. Yes, yes, I’m biased I know but seriously, you should see this thing. Our designer, Alissa has outdone herself yet again. The cover is the perfect balance between paying homage to our first volume, and standing out as its own publication. And the words inside are deeply personal and inspirational.

While we wait for our first print run to arrive, we’re getting to work on organising our launch party. This is probably my favourite part of the production process. The craziness and stress of actually producing the book is out of the way now, and we get to be creative in terms of how we want to celebrate it.

What I’ve read:

  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

* * *

This long weekend, I’m heading up the coast to Old Bar. I actually haven’t been anywhere since my friend Emily-May and I went to Orange last December, so I think it’s definitely time for a little break. Let’s see how long I last before checking my emails… Anyway, lots to look forward to, and many exciting new things on the horizon.

Until next time,

– Helen

Note: Image Credit – Kinfolk City Guide Peter Miller Seattle 471