Friday, 11 December 2009

Coming Home, More Shopping & Pukka Pads

I'm so excited, the happy wanderer - aka J - returns tonight from his first term at uni and I can't wait to see him. He hasn't been home for 12 weeks and although I'm used to my two travelling without me with their father, the longest I haven't seen him until now was five weeks and that was bad enough. So, his bed is made up, favourite food being prepared and I'm about to go shopping (well, after I've walked his grumpiness on the beach) and fill up the fridge and cupboards with all the things he loves to eat.

Yesterday I fought through the hoards of Christmas shoppers to WHSmith and bought a new Pukka Pad, which means that I'm about to start my next book. Now, I know that it's all well and good writing these damn novels - this will be #6 - but surely the point of writing books is to submit them in an attempt at getting published. I have promised myself that I will do this, but when do you know if your work is good enough to submit? It's scary stuff. I think for Christmas I should be asking Santa to bring me a hefty dose of self-confidence.

25 comments:

Queenie said...

Debs, I've found critiques (both from well-informed friends who I trust to tell it like it is, and from professionals who know what they're doing), and mentoring, very helpful in answering that question, myself.

Have a great time with your son!

JJ Beattie said...

Yes, what Queenie said. But also, I suspect I will always be full of doubts. I'm just made that way. *Sigh.*

Shirley Wells said...

I *always* think I've written a pile of tosh and I go into hiding when I send it off to my editor. In my view, self-confidence only comes when an editor says she likes it and then readers say they like it.

There's only one solution, Debs. Send stuff out! :o)

Enjoy spoiling your son rotten!

Anna said...

I used to buy those very same notebooks from WH Smith!!

As for submissions, critique groups are great. Last year I entered a contest and did fairly well, which gave me a boost.

Enjoy that boy's homecoming! We collect my eldest next weekend, and I can't wait!

ChrisH said...

If they've been through the NWS, you're probably ahead of the game. If you want a professional appraisal, I'd recommend Hilary Johnson and the best book to check your t/s is still, for me, Maass's 'Writng the Breakout Novel Workboo' - then it's a case of being brave and sending it on its way. Good luck!

Enjoy tonight.

Flowerpot said...

I agree with Chris about all that - but Cornerstones are extremely good as well. Expensive, but you get a longer and more detailed report than HJ and they have a lot of contacts with agents. And having ad a huge confidence crisis, I could do with some for Xmas as well!

Debs said...

queenie - I've had such conflicting opinions it all seems a little confusing, so I think I'll go with what I like best.

jj - it's horrible being such a worrier, though to meet me you'd never think I'd ever had a concern in my head.

shirley - I know you're right, I must just get on with it and stop being such a wuss.

anna - thanks. Enjoy next weekend with your daughter, it's so exciting having them back again.

chrish - the problem is the same (slight differences) ms has been sent through NWS twice, first time said 'nearly there', second made me feel ms was dire, so a little confused. Shall just do what I think and go for it (she says...).

flowerpot - thanks, I'll look into Cornerstones and have a think about it. Hope you get your confidence this Christmas too.

L-Plate Author said...

OOh Debs, can I ask Santa for some self confidence too please? I'm on book four now...

Get it out there girl, you'll get there! You are one of the 'Percy Veras'! x

Jan Jones said...

I always think my stuff if ready to submit when I feel ill at the sight of it.

Just do it.

xx

Debs said...

l-plate - I love that. Here's to confidence.

jan - I will do it. Soon.

Melissa Marsh said...

Have a lovely time with your son!

Suzanne Jones said...

I agree with everyone who advised you to send it, Debs. Your blog posts are always so readable and enjoyable, I'm sure your novels are the same.

XX

SpiralSkies said...

I read an interview by a very well respected author (tho can't remember which one!) who said something like:

'If you think it's brilliant, it probably isn't...'

I will definitely be taking Queenie's route of trusted readers when I finish this next novel.

(Pukka Pads are the best, aren't they?)

DJ Kirkby said...

I don't know the answer to that question. Sometimes I think mine is good enough and other times I don't. I am so impressed that you are starting a new book, where do you find the time? I am wallowing in essay land at the moment (it's due on Jan 21st) and I can't write until it is done. I can't. I really can't. Happy for you that J is on his way home. It will make for a perfect family Christmas. x

Jayne said...

oooh get them sent out Debs!!! I'm sure they are fabulous and I hope the homecoming was fabulous! :)

Debs said...

melissa - thanks I will.

suzanne - thank you, that's such a lovely thing to say.

spiralskies - I have two trusted readers who both loved this book, so maybe it isn't so ghastly.

dj - best of luck with your essay. It's lovely having J home again.

jayne - I will do, I'm being a drip. It was great to collect him from the airport, so wonderful.

Kaye Manro said...

Oh yes, Debs-- you need to start submitting those books! You write so much you gotta be ready. Good luck with it in the new year-- get a cp if you don't already have one-- or another writer as a reader.

Have fun with family coming home!

HelenMHunt said...

I've only written one novel so far, but I've got a real mental block about ever thinking I can get it sent out.

Hopefully we'll all get some self-confidence for Christmas.

Debs said...

kaye - thanks, I'm working on my synopsis (again) and am determined to submit at least one of these books this week.

helen - you write so beautifully, I'm sure you'd be fine with your book. Here's looking forward to that confidence winging its way to us.

Lane said...

Novel 6!

I'm going to ask Santa to bring me a smidgen of Deb's productivity for next year:-)

Faye said...

Enjoy the time with your son Debs. Hope his social calendar doesn't get too jammed with uni buddies who are also home for the holiday break.

How do you use those cool notebooks? Initial plotting and planning before you assume the position in front of the laptop? Any way you look at it, a great notebook is the start of a great friendship. The spiral need to be skinny so the notebook lies flat, the paper needs to be good quality so there's no bleed through when you write with colored pens. I'm getting excited. . .:-)

Debs said...

lane - I need to be more productive when it comes to short stories, I'm hopeless at them.

faye - it's great having him back and thankfully most of his other uni friends haven't returned home yet, so I'm seeing a bit of him, when he gets up that is.

Love notebooks. I write character descriptions, plot and various thoughts about what I think will be in the book, then it generally evolves into something entirely different.

Phillipa said...

Jan - I love your suggestion!

Debs, at the risk of sounding negative, I just don't know how you judge which crits are helpful or not because even when you *are* published, you will get such wildly varying opinions from readers and from professionals (such as eds and agents) that your head will spin.

That's not helpful, but that's the way it's seemed to me!

The only opinion that will matter will be that of ed who buys it... and by then you might have had 15 from eds who didn't like it enough to buy it.

i think there is no answer but to keep writing and trying.

Debs said...

phillipa - thanks, I'm editing my synopsis right now and am going to start submitting before starting anything else.

Carol said...

Hope you and J have a lovely time catching up....and I am most jealous that he is finished and I still have a week to go!!

C x