Facing my false start…and getting ready for Penguin!

This week I’m going to book onto the writing course I’ve been prattling on about for ages at Penguin Random House, with the intention of starting in April. I’ve been excitedly going over the course material again, thinking about my recent, somewhat false start with Wendy’s House; I need to gain confidence that I can face starting again for the third time.

What was the problem with the new material? It was too similar to the opening of Latest Mistake. So, effectively all my hard work, my feverish late night writing sessions have gone to waste. Well, that’s not exactly true and I shouldn’t allow myself to be disheartened or disappointed, no one said being creative was easy! Plus, there may be material I can still use, and reigniting the passion for writing when late last year I was about to give it up for good cannot be a bad thing.

But, as I say, I haven’t faced the material again yet and need to as soon as possible. Not only to gain confidence that I’m not an unoriginal hack (as I sobbed to my husband when I realised how similar they were!) but to strategise, to set up processes and a plan on how I’m going to use this course to my full advantage. I need to review everything, from how I plan my creative time, to moulding characters and places, to staying motivated and to learn to be vulnerable, to accept constructive criticism from my tutors and my classmates.

Ultimately, I could decide to go with another project, another story, perhaps not Wendy’s House at all. Or, I could stick with Latest Mistake and use what I’ve already written on the course. Although this sounds appealing, I think moving away from what might be considered the easy option I best. I’m hoping this course will help me flex my creative muscles. I think ultimately if I can have a draft of a second novel complete by the end of the year, that would be fantastic.

I am also now very much so equipped to do so; my husband surprised me last week with a new Microsoft Surface Pro to replace a laptop I think I’ve probably had six years, which as you can imagine is massively on its way out. I was writing not that long ago on it and I couldn’t type and listen to music at the same time…! This surprise was wonderful. My husband wrote the below on the drawing pad, as it comes with a pen.


He said to me that he couldn’t write for me but that he hoped in some small way this gift showed he’d always be here to support me. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. No excuses now not to write regularly!


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