Writing news – Poem published & novel progressing

Hello! How’s everyone been doing in Covid times?

We’re coming out of lockdown here in Australia and, because I’m not in a big city, things were relatively mild here. I didn’t enjoy homeschooling but I’ve never really taken to the Hausfrau stuff anyway. (I’m sure I’m not alone in that!) I feel lucky that we got off so lightly. But it has been a testing time.

Anyway, to happier news.

This week INVICTUS was published, an online mag dedicated to works produced during lockdown. They were kind enough to include one of my poems (and my recording of it) so please take a look / listen / read here: https://invictus-spark.org/claire-doble-virus/

I’m also racing to the finish line for the first draft of my novel. Wow, this has been a long time coming! It has happened via a six-month Write Your Novel course at the Australian Writers Centre. I don’t know if I would have got there without it (well, I did write a rough draft of this same book in 2016-17). The course has been great because I’ve learnt so much. Possibly the biggest shift has been in my expectations.

When I completed the rough draft of this work back in 2016, I had no idea what to do with it. It started well, I liked the world I created and the characters. But it went badly off-tangent around the three-quarter mark and therefore I thought it was a ‘failed’ attempt at a novel. Yeah, I’m not exactly easy on myself! I’ve spent a bit of time processing that recently. If I’m honest, I felt some real grief and sadness that I didn’t fully appreciate what I’d achieved back then. I thought because it was only 80% ‘there’ that it was not good enough and I discounted the whole thing. Wow. Perfectionism is a bitch.

Now, through this course, I’ve realised that’s pretty normal. Very few people are going to write a 100% killer first-draft. That’s the whole point of a first draft! So I’m back. Slow process. But I feel way more equipped now to see this through. Unfortunately for you though, this is all academic as you won’t get to see or read anything for a while!

But I like to do these semi-regular updates. It helps me to keep track of what I’m doing. For now, I’m feeling pretty good, like I’m on the right path with it all. (Even if still miles to go before I sleep.)

So yeah… watch this space!

 

PS: Totally forgot to say it’s a year since I left Switzerland! That was the other reason to write this!

18 comments

  1. Congratulations! Always happy to see a fellow writer published. And that’s great work with your novel as well.

    For me, the second draft is always my true first draft, because my initial run will always be filled with plot holes, character inconsistencies, and tons of to-dos that I’d pick up along the way.

    Keep slogging, and looking forward to your finished novel.

  2. You’re a star Claire, good on you for sticking at it, for enduring the ups and downs and learning your craft.Go you good thing.

  3. Congratulations on the poem! And it’s great that you got to read it too. It’s very good. I’m really happy for you that you’re making progress on your novel. Sound like you found the right course. Enjoy crossing the finishing line!

  4. WHOA Congratulations Claire – for everything you are achieving and not just in your professional life. I cannot believe it’s already been a year since you left Cheeseland!

  5. So nice to hear your update. And yay on getting through basically a second first draft. Can‘t believe it was so long ago when we were talking about this novel and so glad you‘ve taken the next step on it. I was also taking a novel-writing course, and it was going really well for a while, but under lockdown, working nearly full time and homeschooling, I ended up stopping. Hope to pick it up again at some point, but seems to be too much at the moment as I want to focus my energies elsewhere.

    Congrats on the poem, too. Another Zurich writer shared the link already and I was so pleased to see your name and a few other familiar ones!

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