2013 Update


As you may have noticed, aside from cover reveals,  blog tour stops and bloghops, I’ve been pretty much missing in action since mid-November. 

Long story short, a lot of personal stuff has gone down; a combination family related events and overworking myself by taking on too much writing/ blogging wise, left me feeling overwhelmed. If you want more details, or to know how my Christmas and New Year was, please feel free to hop on over to my personal blog, The Life and Loves of ClareDugmore.

I’ve done some soul searching since then.  But with some help and guidance, I feel like things are back on track, and I’m positive 2013 is going to be great.

Now that I’m feeling like myself again, I’ll be around a lot more, and I’d like to take this chance to thank the people who nudged me while I was away. Karen, Kim, Christine and Jaybird, your messages checking up on me, reminding me you’re here and that you loved me, really helped me through some tough times. Thank you. <3

Everyone else who frequently reads and comments on this blog, thank you for your continued support too. I hope you’ll continue to join me in 2013 as I carry on my writing journey. And look out for a special blogoversary post on the 21st January. 
I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions – I find that kind of pressure sometimes sets you up for failure, plus why should you only make positive changes at the start of the year? Why not throughout the whole year? But I do have some goals I hope to achieve in 2013.

I want to get a story completed in its fullest – i.e drafted, critiqued, revised, edited etc. – and then get it out in the world, either as a self-published novel or querying agents and small presses.

Some may think this might be easy for me, as last year I spoke about making a lot of progress on both Sibylline Nights and Cupid. However, during my time off, I’ve realised a lot about myself as a writer, and areas I need to improve on.

I still love Sibylline Nights, and believe that one day it will be published. BUT, the draft I wrote last year, isn’t what I’d originally envisioned for the story – among other the focus and main antagonist were not as I intended. Hubby and I spent a lot of time over Christmas discussing ideas, and I have a whole new direction for the story and in the future I intend to do a complete rewrite. However, I’ve also come to realise, that as of right now, I’m not ready for a story so big, with three protagonists and a lot of world building to do. I need to learn a lot more about pacing and structure, before I’m ready to tackle Sibylline Nights again, and I want to give myself time to grow as a writer so it can be the best freaking book I’m capable of.

Cupid … I don’t know how I feel about. I love the first half, that’s been critiqued, but the second half that I began durning November NaNo felt flat, and flakey and full of filler. Thinking of starting it up again makes me feel sick. I don't know if I've run out of steam for it, or I've some how connected it to the stress I was under before Christmas, or what but it makes me anxious and blocks me. I think trying to complete the story for NaNo was actually a big mistake, as there wasn’t really 50k of the story left to tell, so I was forcing something that wasn't meant to come.

I’ve also come to think that NaNo is no longer a good thing for me. I need to focus on quality rather than quantity. Instead of writing 8000 words a day or whatever, if I can get 100 perfect words, that's better, so that what is in my head I can put down on paper. I’ve noticed from critiques, and discussing my work with my hubby that sometimes my descriptions are lacking, and I don’t fully explain to the reader everything I’ve got inside. I don’t know if that’s because I don’t plot strongly enough, or because I’m rushing to make a certain word count goal a day, but something isn’t right.

I’ve also found myself running out of steam with stories, and finding myself three-quarters of the way through, with no idea how to bring it to an end, and instead filling it with pointless fluff.

To that ends, I’m taking some time to brush up on writing skills, and am currently reading “Fiction Writing Fiction For Dummies” by Randy Ingermanson. I then intend to start a new project – which is a combination of ideas I’ve had swirling around in my head for a few months now – but to approach it more slowly, and plot it out using one of the methods from Ingermanson’s book, so that I have a clear end point and direction of where I’m going. Hopefully that will help eliminate needless fluff, and enable me to keep on track.

We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll keep you updated.

Some other writing goals I’d like to achieve is writing every day, be that blog posts, something towards a story, or just little practice exercises to improve on my weak points. I’d also like to write some short stories, and see about submitting them to anthologies. It’s something I wanted to do last year, and never got around to, so hopefully I can improve on that this year.

I don’t think I’ll be taking part in either Camp NaNo or November NaNo this year. While it is a shame, because I love the event, I think at this point for me it’s more than a hindrance than a help. I gained a lot doing it the first few times, and still think it’s a great experience, especially for people wanting something to give them a boost into getting a long dreamed about novel onto paper.

The A-Z challenge I’m still up in the air about. I greatly enjoyed last year’s challenge, and think it’s a fab way of meeting new people. But as of yet, I’ve got nothing in mind, and I also doing want to put too much pressure on myself. I guess we’ll see closer to the time.

And that’s everything! Now that I’m feeling more like my old self again, I hope to be around more often, and able to participate in tours and hops. If anyone has got anything coming up, please point me in the direction of it. I also hope the get around to all of your blogs, and catch up on the news I’ve missed whilst I was away; I’ve seen a few announcements here and there, but please let me know if anything major has happened in your life – I’d love to hear all about it!

Happy 2013 everyone, I hope the coming year is an excellent one for you.



  1. Happy New Year!

    That's kind of a lot to digest at once lol! And you pretty much know my thoughts on all of this after chatting last night! :D I think slowing down is a good thing, and I hope changing tactics gets you where you want to be. <3

    1. Thank you! <3

      LOL isn't this what I always do - vanish for a while, and spew everything out?!

      Thanks for the encouragement, always appreciated honey. <3

  2. I did NaNo for the first time this year, and although I won I'm pretty much left with 50,000 words of notes to be turned into a novel - whereas other people are polishing and submitting theirs. So, although I'm glad I did it once, I probably won't be again.

    Stepping back from a project you're not completely in synch with is probably the best thing to do - you'll get back to it when you're ready!

    1. I think it's an experience every writer should try at least once, but I think for some people NaNo isn't a good long term strategy.

      I very much agree. I have a few projects now I've put to one side, but hopefully in the future, as I grow as a writer, I can revisit them.

  3. You've had a lot going on so take it easy. I think you are right not to set yourself too many goals for now but go with the flow and enjoy swimming and feeding the ducks etc. Best wishes for the year ahead.

    1. Thank you, best wishes for the year ahead for you too.

  4. MMM I'm posting this again because my comments didn't appear.
    I'm so glad to read from you Claire. Soemtimes life ets in our way to make us stop and rethink everything. I'm glad to see you're back on track and I look forward to read more of you.
    If you need me to read soemthing o just someone to encourage your writing, you know were to find me!
    Happy new year!

    1. I think it didn't appear because I have comment screening on, meaning I have to approve a comment first. I actually got two of the same comment from you, but I only approved this one.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, Anabel. Yes, sometimes life is like that, and it was good to step away. It's even better to be back though.

      Happy new year to you too.

  5. Stepping back is sometimes the best thing to do. I've banged my head several times over projects, but giving it some space and time helped a lot more. Take a deep breath and ease into it easy. :)

    1. Thanks Christine. Some time away has really helped me refocus, and now I'm ready to go again with new direction. :D

  6. Happy New Year and welcome back! It's good you got some soul searching done, and you're starting the new year with renewed passion to hone your craft. Admitting our weaknesses isn't always easy! I look forward to hearing more about your progress.

    1. Thank you Nick. Happy New Year to you, too!
      Thanks; you're right, admitting your weaknesses isn't easy, but I think those who can become better writers.

  7. Claaaare!! So happy to have you back. You have obviously been doing a whole lot of soul searching while you were gone. Here's hoping you can jump back in and get to work on your projects with a new perspective and passion for writing.

    Knowing when to step back and take a break is HUGE. And extremely hard for any mother. I know I struggle with that issue for sure. If I push myself too hard, I can wind up in bed (for weeks) sometimes. So not worth it, but I still find myself struggling with slowing down and taking breaks.

    PS- NaNo scares the shiz out of me. I KNOW it's not my thing. No doubt I would crap out half-way through-for sure.

    1. JAAAAAAAAY! So please to be back! :D Well so far the soul searching has worked, and my new approach is too, so far so good. :D

      I always thought I was pretty good at knowing when to step back, and I'm often telling my Hubby to do the same. I really didn't see this one coming, and the drama sorta hit me out of the blue. But with some nudging I realized I needed a break.

      It's not for everyone, though I do recommend trying it at least once, you might surprise yourself. ;)


Thank you for taking the time to read this entry, and comment. I really appreciate it.