Hello 2016! I’ve Been Waiting Ages for You

Can you believe it’s 2016? I certainly can’t. When I got my book deal (have I mentioned that…? #sarcasm) I was telling people, “It’s out in June. Like, next June. June 2016.” The reaction from civilians, i.e. those not involved in writing or publishing or book-making in any way, was always “What? What the hell takes so long?!” Then, come July 1 last, I was able to say, “The book is out in June.” Then I started saying “May” because the date got brought forward, and as of today I can finally say, “My book is coming out this year.” Time is flying forward at violent speeds.

photo 2-7

YEAR IN REVIEW ⇒ (prologue) The Surprising Thing About Rejection, or What I Learned in 2014 → (February) Scenes from the Rewrite → (April) How To Finish Your Damn Book

I’ll admit it: things got away from me a little bit this year. Up until May and then again since the end of September, I’ve been at college full-time. English Lit, you won’t be surprised to hear, involves a crapload of reading. This was something that, once upon a time, I was looking forward to. I imagined myself curled up on my couch, or comfortably ensconced somewhere among the stacks of the college library, or sitting cross-legged on the floor of the university’s designated bookshop, having some kind of delirious metaphysical experience with a classic title, one I just wouldn’t be able to believe I’d reached the age of thirty-something without ever reading before.

reenactment

YEAR IN REVIEW ⇒ (May) I’ve Been BURSTING To Tell You: I Got a Book Deal! → (June) Being On Submission Syndrome → Are Amazon Really Paying Their Authors Per Page Read? No. No They’re Not. [Pause] Well…

Leaving aside for a second the fact that I would never sit cross-legged in any kind of retail space, this has not yet happened. Not once, and we’re up to the start of the last century, set-texts-wise. I applied to do this degree in part because I realized, sometime in late 2013, that for the previous eighteen months I had only read new books. And I mean new – either released recently enough to still be in the “New” section of the bookshop, or not even out yet (that I’d got in proof form). I used to joke that Orwell’s 1984 was as far back as I went, and only because when he wrote it, he set it in the future.

YEAR IN REVIEW ⇒ (July) A Short Story About Scarpetta → (August) How Many Drafts Did You Do Of Your Book? [Freshly Pressed!] → Something Nice From Nice

But as of right now, I’m not sure I didn’t have the right idea the first time. Awful, I know, but it’s difficult to make any kind of connection with a novel when it’s 500 dense pages long and you have a week to read it, digest it, read around it and prepare some sort of intelligent response to present in class – times six modules – while all the while trying to write a first draft of The Dreaded Second Novel in five months when The Exciting First Novel had a couple of years to percolate – as well as eat and sleep and stuff.

And yet, I’ve already seen all of Making a Murderer.

I’ve seen half of it twice.

As a crime writer I could say it was for research, but I’d only be kidding myself. The truth is I made time to watch it, even though it didn’t advance my progress on any of the extremely pressing items on my To Do list. The truth is that there is plenty of time to do all the things we really want to do. The challenge is making sure that none of that time gets away from us, and that we want to do the right things, the things that will make a difference in the long run.

But how do we do that? To be honest, I don’t know. But in 2016, this is my game plan:

  1. Get one up on my procrastination problem
  2. Track and plan (related: buy stationery)
  3. Stop being busy, talking about being busy, reveling in my busyness, etc. Be calm.

proof

YEAR IN REVIEW ⇒ (September) Book 1/2: Full Steam Ahead → (October) What Could Happen If You Worked As Hard As You Possibly Could? → Where The Crying Happens → Book 1/2: Cover Reveal → (November) The Worried Writer → Book 1/2: Proof Copies //

January on this blog will be all about those three things. Speaking of this blog, my friendly WordPress end-of-year e-mail report thingy says I blogged a mere 17 times in 2015. That. Is. Shameful. For context I blogged 30 times in 2014, 81 times in 2013, 117 times in 2012 and a whopping – and rather unbelievable – 235 times in 2011. There was no annual report for 2010 but I do know that when I copied all the posts from that year into a Word document to make a bound copy of my year in blogging, it amounted to more than 100,000 words.

Do you see a pattern? That’s a trajectory I need to reverse – that I want to reverse. Consider me already brainstorming ways to do that, but if you have any suggestions for topics, features, etc. do let me know in the comments below. (Sorry, but I don’t mean guest posts. I mean things I can write.)

BOOK12newlogoAlso, you may have noticed that things are looking decidedly blue around here. Sadly, RIP Catherine’s Pink-Soaked Blog. Pastels and polka-dots don’t really say “crime/thriller writer” and that’s what my website needs to start saying now. Blood splatter and an author photo which comes with an overtly threatening expression aren’t my thing, so the blue is a compromise. Book One/Two also has a new blue logo and I have been having fun buying blue things for my Instagram props box.

A reminder: if you have a copyright notice on your blog, update it now.

So, we have a brand new year. What are you planning to do with it?

26 thoughts on “Hello 2016! I’ve Been Waiting Ages for You

  1. Tiegan says:

    Wow! Another book I’ll put on my list to look out for.

    I’m planning to actually FINISH something this year… I start things and never finish them, which continues to frustrate me. I hope one day I will feel the same excitement you did when you got your book deal. I drool at the concept. It’s something I’ve longed for for a long time, but I’ve never put the work in to actually achieve.

    Can’t wait for your book 🙂 Have a good year!
    xo

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    Mind you, the fact that you’ve blogged less and you’ve completed a book may be linked… Perhaps we can all learn from that: if you want to get work done, focus on the writing! Still, I’m always glad to read one of your blog posts (and look forward to your book as well).

  3. Gouchis Girl says:

    Congrats! That book sounds, and looks, amazing! When is the book give away drawing? 😉 My new year? There are so many plans I don’t think I could list them all. First off I would love to DOUBLE or TRIPLE my blog followers. Any suggestions would be appreciated. 🙂 Aside from that there are projects going on everywhere. Congrats again!

  4. The Sandwich Years by Alana Kirk says:

    Looking forward to reading more blogs!! Can’t wait to read your book – and yes, how exciting to say I have a book out this year!! Suddenly realised all the things I kept saying I’ll do ‘next’ year are now ‘this year’…. eek! Well done you..

  5. Carol J Forrester says:

    Congratulations on your book deal.
    I think the blue works really well, it looks professional and neat. Good luck with the English Lit degree. Have you read anything by Oscar Wilde yet?

  6. velociraptor256 says:

    I enjoyed your previous books very much and I’m definitely looking forward to this coming one!

    I’ve got quite a few resolutions this year, including things like reading a certain number of books, re-reading the Harry Potter series (then blogging about it) and travelling somewhere new: writing-wise, I want to finish drafts of the second and third stories in a trilogy I’m planning, and enter more short story competitions.

  7. Rachel says:

    I told myself to stop being to busy as well. Work hard, but know when to take breaks. Happy New Year! Sounds like 2016 will be a great one for you!

  8. Marese Hickey says:

    Hi Catherine, well done on all you’ve achieved so far. Re tackling the procrastination, maybe an energy technique called EFT or TAT might float your boat, if you didn’t think it was too mad! Definitely works. Happy New Year.

  9. Kelly Buell says:

    Congrats on the book deal Catherine. I just released my first children’s book the other day and looking back at my blogging habits were falling behind in the process since I was self-publishing. I hope both of us find the time we’d like to have to invest in our blogs this year and hopefully inspiration for blog posts find you along the way. Happy New Year.

  10. arjun_shivaram says:

    Hey,
    my congratulations first 🙂 and Happy New Year!
    I just wrapped up my debut novel. Do you have any advice for me?
    Like how to get it published… or ways to approach a prospective publisher?
    Anything that would help me see the next stage of my book?
    Thank you 🙂

  11. scott hunter books says:

    I was planning to sneak into the vaults of the Inland Revenue, all Guy Fawkes-like, and blow them up because I owe them *Way* too much money and I’m STILL a struggling author. See you in the torture chamber …

  12. Lacy Chekowski says:

    Congratulations on the book deal! I am writing my first book now, so it’s fun to see the excitement of someone else getting their first book deal! Blogging about obstacles and advice on getting a book deal would certainly keep readers coming (myself included)!

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