A review of my 2016

In terms of general news, 2016 has been a difficult year. We’ve lost some big names in the world of showbiz – for me, those that hurt the most were Alan Rickman and Victoria Wood – and had some big political changes with the Brexit vote and Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States. I’m not going to comment on either of those as this blog isn’t a place for politics.

But for me, as a writer, 2016 has been a good year. I don’t normally do a ‘review of the year’ as I usually don’t have much to report, but this time it’s different.

So here’s the highlights:

  1. I finished my first novel – those who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve been wrestling with Book One for the whole of 2016, editing and editing and editing trying to get the book right. In fact, the editing process has taken probably the last 18 months, but as this is the year when I finished, I’m going to celebrate now. I’ll admit I leapt to my feet and tried to do a victory lap around my rather small office, in celebration. Submitting the novel or self-publishing are in this little guy’s future, but for now I merely celebrate the fact that I finished.
  2. I started to edit my second novel – yes, I actually have a second full length novel and now have to begin the editing process all over again. However, the time that I’ve spent on Book One means I’ve learned a lot and Book Two’s process will be easier (I hope). I was surprised to find that I still like the story and I think it still holds together. It needs a lot of work but thanks to a few tricks picked up from the Roz Morris book I referred to in my ‘Top books of the year’ post, I’m already spotting the key issues and have a plan to work on them.
  3. I made it to Harrogate Crime Festival – I’ve been promising myself for years that I would make it to Harrogate, just to see what it’s like. I spent a lot of time walking around with my mouth open like a country mouse in the city playing spot the celebrity. I also attended just about every talk that was going thanks to my weekend pass. It meant that I left exhausted, but full of happiness at what I’d managed to see. Oh, and I queued for an hour each to get books signed by Jeffrey Deaver and Tess Gerritsen.
  4. I met lots of Twitter friends offline – Harrogate helped a lot with this because everyone who’s anyone goes to Harrogate, so I’m told. So I got to put a lot of faces to names and make some new friends and connections. This is fantastic. I even plucked up courage and spoke to some well-known writers, which is unusual to me as a shy girl/introvert.

So, as you can see, a very successful year. I didn’t realise how successful until I looked back over the year.

I’ll be setting a few goals for next year over the next couple of weeks, but it’s unlikely that I’ll blog about that. I’ll be trying to be much more realistic and strategic in my goals for 2017 but I’m always nervous about putting them out there. I’ll tell you when I’ve achieved them, but until then I’ll keep you in the dark.

All that’s left to say is Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2017 is a great year for everyone.

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