Saturday, December 06, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down - A Book With Biddy, the final chapter

It's the first Saturday of December, and that means it's our very last post in our Book With Biddy segment. Read on to see how Biddy has wound up her year of writing....

So close. So very very close. I am hoping by the time this blog goes up the book will be done! I thought about having a premature celebration but knowing me I won’t be finished and I’ll feel like a fraud. Instead how about I look back on this year and what I’ve learnt and then tell you my plans for 2009? Settle back, grab a coffee and think back to January this year.

In January I started the year all enthused, my partial had gone in. Surely it was only a matter of days before I was asked for my full?? Of course as the months went by there was no letter from M&B… much nail biting ensued but I was ploughing on with something else. See I had learned from my betters… don’t sit around waiting, get on with the next one.

And then came the glorious day in April when I got my response. They wanted to see the full… if I wouldn’t mind making some changes that they suggested. Of course I didn’t mind! It would be simple! I’ve looked back and seen that I was positive I’d have it done by June. And then it was July, definitely before the RWA conference. And then I realised that the changes were bigger than I had thought and my hero needed an overhaul. So I would definitely get it done by August! And then of course life kicked my behind and writing was the last thing on my mind. Every time I opened the file I would freeze. It was too much, too big a challenge. How could I rewrite the whole second half of the book??

Gradually bit by bit, I nibbled at the edges of it, a few words here, and a few words there. Sometimes I looked at it from the corner of my eye just so I didn’t spook myself. And a then the draft was done. It was different from the original draft; for one the hero had a new conflict and motivation (he also had a brother that was now alive!). It was different and it was better (well I think so) but there was no resting on my laurels. I had inadvertently signed up for the Golden Heart, well less inadvertently and more stupidly, and the deadline was 2nd December!

I’d love to tell you how I polished and revised and wrote a wonderful synopsis which made it to Houston in plenty of time but I can’t. Instead I spent last weekend frantically writing a synopsis and then Monday morning sending off a small tree by Fedex. Fedex overnight to the US with priority delivery ain’t cheap. But it has gone. And where does that leave me know? It leaves me wiser (and exhausted). It leaves me with this synopsis which is helping me polish the final manuscript to send in to M&B.

So what have I learnt? I have learnt that you have got to be in this for the long haul. You have got to pick yourself up and dusted yourself down and just keep going no matter what life throws at you. I’ve learnt that just because you have a voice and can write, it doesn’t automatically follow that you can write a book. Structure and plot is a whole other skill in itself. I’m battered and bruised but ultimately glad that I have spent this year learning my craft. There is no better lesson than getting your hands dirty and wrestling your own work into submission.

And in 2009 I’ll start it all again! I’ll take all the lessons learnt this year and apply them again. And if you read my blog next year and notice I’m not… you are cordially invited to kick my behind!

Thanks for coming on this journey with me and maybe one day we can all get the bubbly out and celebrate my next step forward on this journey.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and here’s to a fabulous and successful 2009!


The Pink Heart Society is pleased to say that Biddy will be remaining with us as a columnist throughout 2009 - our special author in the trenches, climbing that mountain to publication! Look for her very cool posts every month in 2009! We're glad you're hanging around, Biddy!


  1. Ahhh, Biddy, well best of luck with polishing up that ms and sending it off - and best of luck with the Golden Heart too. I bombed out on that one big time, but then my entry was crap!

    It sounds like you've learned a lot during this year, and that's the thing to remember. Even if this ms doesn't succeed, you'll have all those skills to pass on to the next one. And if it does, and you find yourself having to deliver your second book, you won't have to tear out nearly so much hair!

    Happy holidays to you too.

    Heidi x

  2. rule!

    What a long way you have come in a hectic year. Well done, woman.

  3. Heidi - I'm hoping that everything will be done and dusted by tomorrow! WOOO!! Thanks for all your support this year and here's to next year!

    B.H.Dark - why thank you kindly!

    Nell - thanks for the luck... who knows what will happen but it was good to take part.

  4. Best of luck, here's hoping that 2009 is all that you wish it to be.

  5. You can do eeet!

    That's the nice thing about success. Once you've done it once, you can do it again. :-)

  6. Debs - thank you!!

    Donna - I can do eeet! In fact I am DONE!! WOOO HOOO!!! That baby is printing out and going in the post tomorrow!!