It’s June! (Gasps in horror) I can’t believe we are halfway through 2020. Where did the time go? The last three months have been a blur, thanks to Covid-19.
Here in the UK, we are starting to ease out of lockdown, but these last three months have been challenging. Thankfully, my friends and family are still well, so I’m grateful for that. But I’ve missed going to my writing group meetings, going shopping and treating myself to something nice (a book), eating at a restaurant, watching films at the cinema or eating a southern fried chicken baguette from Greggs. Yum!
Since becoming ill last year (March 2019) I’ve been on my own kind of lockdown, but that hasn’t made dealing with this lockdown any easier. During the lockdown, my neuropathic pain decided to increase, so now my leg hurts even when I sit down. And the only way to ease the pain is to have my leg up on a chair or my bed and a frozen water bottle next to it. So thanks to the pain increase, I can’t even walk around my garden and blow bubbles (it’s relaxing. You should try it). So, I’ve been trapped inside for a month now, I think. As I said, it’s all a blur. And I’ve not been beyond my home for three months. Wow, how am I not crazy? Or maybe I am, and I just don’t know it.
Anyway virus and pain aside, did I meet my writing goals? Well, you would think so with all the time I had available to me, but no, I didn’t meet all of my goals.
I haven’t completed the fourth draft of my novel, and I haven’t finished planning my second novel. Now, I have worked on my projects, but everything is taking me so long to do because I’m easily overwhelmed and distracted.
But I didn’t completely fail, and I have managed to do the following:
- I’ve edited eight chapters of my novel.
- In May I submitted three pieces to competitions: two poems (one haiku and one limerick) and one flash fiction. These were the first pieces I submitted this year. And the first time I’ve ever submitted poems to a competition.
- I have added three new stories to my website: ‘May I Take Your Order’, ‘I Can Be Beautiful Too’ and ‘She Torments Her’.
- I’ve nearly blogged weekly — I have missed some weeks, but on the whole, my posts are added weekly.
- I’ve written a poem a month.
- I’ve listened to at least four podcasts a month — I often share these on my social media pages.
- I’ve also read one screenplay, one short story and four poems a month.
- So, as you can see, I did manage to reach some of my goals.
Surprisingly, I’ve also started looking into writing for children — this was the distraction I couldn’t resist. This wasn’t part of my 2020 goals, but one of my writing group assignments was to write a story for children, and that’s when the idea for my supernatural mystery series for children started to grow.
Writing for children is more complicated than I first realised, so I decided to look into writing for this age group before I start writing. First, I found some free writing courses. From my research, I found that my series is for Middle-Grade readers, so I created a list of middle-grade books I plan to read — I made sure to include recently published books to the list.
I’ve created a pen name because I don’t think it would be appropriate to write under Nicole J. Simms, which is what I use to write my adult fiction. It took me a long time to choose a name, but with the help of my pal (The Other Nic), I finally found one — I will reveal the name in a future post. I know; I’m such a tease.
As a children’s writer, I will still write horror and fantasy stories, but I’m not sure about writing crime. I also want to write for the Teens and Young Adult categories. But for now, I will focus on writing middle-grade stories.
Okay, let’s get back to the novel I’m editing. I have recently started to have doubts as to whether I want this novel to be my debut. Now, I know the chance of this novel being my debut is very slim, especially as this is only the second novel I have written. But there is a small chance that it could be accepted. However, I’m not sure if I would be happy with that. Hmm, I have a lot to consider, but in the meantime, I will continue editing the book.
So, what are my plans for June? First, I must finish the fourth draft of my novel, so I can have a break and start editing the stories in my flash fiction collection. I also want to finish planning my next novel, so I can take part in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. And I want to continue working on my plans for my middle-grade series.
This month, however, I will not submit to any competitions. Well, unless I’m tempted again.
So, yeah, I have a lot to do. Well, at least it stops me from being bored.
How’s your writing going? Are you also suffering from cabin fever? Let me know in the comments below
Stay safe and keep writing, folks!
You can also join my Facebook groups: Setting Self-Doubt on Fire Squad, which is for writers; and The Nicole J. Simms Squad, which is for readers who enjoy my stories and want a sneak peek into what I’m working on before anyone else.
Also, I’ve also created a Nicole J Simms YouTube channel. On my channel, I will be sharing videos of my performances, trips, writing group adventures and my stories.