Tales & images from life as me…

The write time – facing forwards


Turns out I’m a butterfly writer and am working a dystopian fiction novel – who knew?! It seems there is a term for everything in this industry, and why not? We are supposedly wordsmiths so I guess it makes sense.

Butterfly writers leap from project to project, and style to style, always having to filter ideas because there are just too many of them! I never realized it was a ‘condition’ but now I’ve been diagnosed I’m developing coping mechanisms! One of these is to set monthly targets.

This month I am going to:

  • Maintain positive relationships with editors from Destination, Travel News, Salt n Pepper and What’s Happening.
  • Approach a minimum of 5 new UK-based magazines (I’m going for the big guns now!) with viable pitches for features
  • Write another chunk of the book
  • Blog every week
  • Enter more writing competitions

Since I last wrote an update I have been on a serious rollercoaster of success and disaster, confidence and absolute despair at my total hopelessness as a writer. I never expected this journey to grill me the way it has, but the more I integrate myself into the world of writers the more I seem to hear this as a common story. Thank goodness that writers, by nature, share, is all I can say! – otherwise I might well think I was losing the plot (sorry, writer joke!) entirely.

So, in support of my mission to keep facing forwards, I won’t bore you with the low times. I’m sticking with the positive theme of last week’s ‘Good Stuff’ for this blog so let me start with the really great news: Over the past few weeks I’ve been part of an online writers’ community for people attempting to write novels. As part of the site there is an ongoing assessment of your work – in a nutshell writers can ‘publish’ the first 7,000 words of their novel and then you review other people’s work, giving them marks and feedback. For every review you do you get a point, for every point you get a review from another writer. The marks are collated and the books are ranked. There are hundreds of writers on the site, all competing to get into the top ten – once you get there you get a review by a really big publishing house (and of course you just might get noticed). Anyway, skipping to the important bit… I posted chapters from my second book ‘Creating 2054’ (which it seems is not actually sci-fi with a twist but actually slots neatly into a genre all of its own – dystopian fiction). At the time of writing I’M RANKED NUMBER 11!’ Sorry for SHOUTING I’m just so excited! Keeping fingers crossed for a few more good reviews and a leap into the top ten for later this month of course!

I’ve had my fair share of tough reviews and struggled to pick up ad continue but the lesson for this month is definitely that criticism makes you better. The negative words would follow me about for days, seared into the back of my eyeballs, but they forced to me to sort out the weaknesses and to find solutions and actually inspired a few major changes to the original format of the book (which I’m only half way through but it’s definitely getting there now!). And some of the positive ones have really touched me and served to keep me going.

At the end of this month I will finally get to here about the Bats Blood poetry competition, which a lot of you have supported me in (thank you!) so I’ll keep you posted on that. I’m also awaiting news from a couple of short story writing comps.

In the past few weeks I’ve written pieces about the Street Children’s World Cup; a writer called David Read who grew up with the Maasai and has had an amazing life (he’s 90 now and not quite as together as he was so it was quite a mission but great fun); a piece on the Mara Triangle; on Stonetown in Zanzibar; on the Western Corridor of the Serengeti; and on how to handle criticism! It’s all good and random – I’m keeping in Mwanza style! I think I can safely say I’ve escaped the old routine of school!

More TIA Tales next week.

In the mean time, a huge thank you to everyone who is supporting by reading this blog, by checking in to Melissa Kay on Facebook, following on Twitter, reading my articles or just generally listening to me! Here’s to the top ten and poems on wine bottles. Thanks guys.

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One response

  1. michael

    ”…The negative words would follow me about for days, seared into the back of my eyeballs, but they forced to me to sort out the weaknesses and to find solutions and actually inspired a few major changes to the original format of the book (which I’m only half way through but it’s definitely getting there now!). And some of the positive ones have really touched me and served to keep me going…”

    Welcome to the brutal jungle of ‘youwriteon’, Melissa! Am so glad you survived. Later…

    May 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm

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