New Year, New Beginnings

J. L. Harland   •   January 12th, 2019

As we move from one year to the next it’s inevitable that we take stock of what’s happened and what we want to happen in the future. We all have dreams but how do we make those dreams a reality? What dreams do you have? Expectations? Have you made your new year resolutions?

The word ‘resolution’ seems a harsh word full of determination, fighting against the odds which, of course, is what writers do a lot of the time. As academics we had targets to reach – publications, deadlines, courses to write, comments, reports and so on. Words and more words all written under a certain duress. Without external deadlines some people flounder but others set their own deadlines and forge ahead. What do you do?

For 2019 we have decided that we are going to think of aspirations rather than resolutions. We’d like to have our co-authored novel published but it isn’t going to stop us from continuing our sequel. Our character, the feisty Elin Fiorelli, is going to find a new direction in her life. Secrets and surprises await her – and us.

We started to write this story in 2018. The intention was to have first draft by Christmas but we were waylaid. In the first instance the characters took over and we found the story veering, not only from the plot, but from Elin herself. New characters were overpowering her and we couldn’t let that happen so, a third of the way through, we realised that, fun though it was, we had lost focus. Back to the planning board.

The other big problem we encountered was health. We all tend to take health for granted until something goes wrong and things did go wrong – a lot. We both had health issues which slowed things down. A frustration but nothing to be done for it except rest and recuperate. The silver lining was more time to read, research, think and plan. After all, writing starts in the head and a good distillation helps before the commitment of words on screen or paper.

To sum up, our hopes for 2019, as well as publication, are to keep on writing, talking and supporting each other. There’s nothing like a writing buddy to help you maintain a focus and to keep your spirits up when the words are a jumble.

Keep writing!