When I wrote the first draft of Knife back in 1993 I had no idea if it would ever amount to anything. I only knew that I loved the characters, and that the kernel of the story was sound and strong even if I wasn't quite sure how to get to it yet. Over the years of submissions and rejections and revisions that followed, I never lost the conviction that there was something in that manuscript, and that I shouldn't give up on it. And ultimately, my faith in Knife and Paul's story was justified -- not only did it see print this year, but it's become a UK bestseller. I could never have foreseen that, and I am tremendously grateful to my publishers and my readers for making it happen.
Another reason I feel kindly about 2009 is that at the end of the year, I finally completed a working draft of another book I feel passionately about, Touching Indigo. It took me nearly three years of research and writing, during which I foolishly unmade my own creative process and had to cobble it back together again. But in the end I was proud of what I'd done, and so was my agent, and we both look forward to seeing what 2010 brings for the manuscript.
As for 2010, my current resolutions are as follows:
1. Follow a regular, disciplined schedule for no less than 30 days (I already have this plotted out on a chart, a PDF of which now serves as my desktop so I can't ignore it)
2. Get a complete draft of my current WIP done by April.
The second is dependent on the achievement of the first, I believe -- I'm going to have to hold myself very firmly to a routine if I'm going to get the time I need to write, and still spend the necessary time on family and other commitments.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Finally, in the spirit of writing and resolutions, I'd like to share with you this great video from YA author Jackson Pearce, in which myself and a slew of other authors were happy to participate. The advice is simple, but sound, and I hope it encourages those of my friends who are trying to write and publish their work in the coming year.
Happy New Year, everyone!