Monday, 1 February 2010

Me! A blogger?

Blogging. Chain letters, right? That’s where I was at and yet a tidgy part of me understood the need to chronicle... I wrote diaries, hundreds of them, yes, really, my entire life described from age 13 to 23. Stand the books up and they’d have stretched the length of my beloved yellow bedroom.
Then one day I had a Forest Gump moment – I didn’t want to write a diary any more. And so I stopped. Just like that. But once a diary writer, always a diary writer and although age has made me more self conscious, more scared of inducing the nodding dog in front of the pc screen , I couldn’t help but remember the therapy involved, the satisfaction of knowing that when those words are committed to paper you get to relive the highs again. And of the inevitable lows? Well, they never seem so bad in black and white, do they?
So when my daughter had a stroke when she was just a baby, what did I do? Write it down. Just like when my boyfriend and first love (god I adored him) died falling from Ben Nevis, I got it all down on paper. It might sound macabre to some, but to diary writers, blog writers, I think you know where I’m coming from.

So here I am, aged 41 and a quarter and I’m back. I’ve written a novel, my second actually (the first is woeful but yes, a learning curve she says with a smile full of attempts at a positive attitude) and suddenly, I’m not enjoying it so much anymore. I loved every part of the story-getting: the research, the writing (the chucking it down on paper, ah yes, that bit is particularly good fun), the re-writing, the cutting, the editing, the proofing ...And then stop! Then comes the synopsis, the research into the minefield that is the world of agents and publishers, the covering letter, the biography, the, should I have my own website? (But who wants a website about an unpublished novel I hear you (and me) cry!), the how many hours should I spend on authonomy (the wannabe author’s website) before I notice that 3am bedtimes are not good for anyone?

And all of a sudden it’s a bit serious. I’d like this bit to be over. I’d like to get published so I can justify writing another novel, so I no longer have to call on the better nature of my long-suffering husband and instead be a proper writer with a proper job. It’s safe to say that I’m not so keen on this stage of my journey. So what do I do when things get a bit tough? I write it down. So here you have it. My journey through Agenthood and Submissionville and whether I’ll get through it without throwing my books out of the window (ask my mother).
I hope it won’t read too introspective and will try to recognise nauseating in-jokes. I hope it will provide company to those in the same place as me and amusement to those lucky souls who aren’t. Any anecdotes, titbits of information or assistance, most gratefully received. Happy reading! Jackie.

Glass Houses is a full length novel about one woman, a stupid mistake and its massive repercussions – not your light and fluffy read, perhaps, but I’d like to think it was strangely uplifting. The first half of Glass Houses is posted on My email address is there if you’d like to read the rest...


  1. A hello from a fellow newbie on Litopia :) (I'm Floot over there, too)

  2. Hi Floot, thanks so much for dropping by (and reminding me that I have a blog I'm supposed to update -will get there eventually) Are you a blogger? What do you think about Litopia? It seems very friendly but still haven't really sussed it out- when and how you read other people's writing, for example.

  3. I'm a sometimes blogger - my 'writing blog' such as it is is at

    Litopia does seems friendly, which is great, but like you I still feel I'm in the sussing-out stage - and I'm not certain how much of my lacking of success sussing things out is simply that what is available as a Noob is only a small part of what is available as a Grade or Full member.

    For the moment at least I'm going to stick with it and see what happens. Friendly people and interesting discussions, so it's no hardship, and I'll hope to figure things out a bit more as I go along!

  4. Wahey, will go over to your blog in a sec! That's pretty much what I was thinking about Litopia, constantly thinking I've missed a big chunk of the site and probably have, but it's because I'm not a proper member yet. I think that's a good thing really, as I've come over from which is a wonderful site for wannabe authors in many ways but there are no barriers to entry and you do get a fair few people playing the numbers games which means it often isn't the best books which get to the top, or rather, get the prized critique. At least this way there doesn't seem to be a short cut to getting to 'pitch'. Although of course, I may be being naive!
    Good luck with it all.
    Off to read your blog...

  5. It does seem like there are a good number of safeguards in place to avoid abuse.

    Never even occurred to me, on joining, that one might get the opportunity to pitch an idea to an agent. Far off dream at the moment but it's good to know the possibility exists. I think in the short term, a group of fellow writers who seem friendly, helpful and knowledgable is a good start :) and hopefully no shenanigans will be uncovered as time goes on but only good additions...


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