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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Dissertation Blues

Today I uploaded my dissertation for binding. Next week I hand in the bound copies and then my MA in Creative Writing (University of Chichester) is all over ... well, until I get the final mark mid-March. I've been working on the dissertation for almost six months and like any goal it seems a bit of an anti-climax now it's done. There will be a few celebrations once I've actually submitted -  a workshop group session down the pub is definitely on the horizon - but the reality is I now have to reassess my writing goals for 2016.

One project clamouring for attention is my completed novel. I suspended submitting this while I focused on the dissertation. To date it's gone out to a handful of agents and one publisher. I've had several requests for the full manuscript but despite some very positive comments on my writing, these didn't lead to any offers.  Later this week my writing chum, Wendy, is coming round. We plan to bunker down in the writing war-room (my lounge) and work on Operation Agent. The objective is to sort: cover letter and the 'dreaded synopsis' and determine where to find and how to approach literary agents. No teacakes will be involved, but I have bought the biscuits (posh chocolate ones) and will stock up on coffee. Knowing both of us this is likely to evolve into some sort of contest, but it all helps!

Otherwise this is what I plan to do in December ...
  • READ, READ, READ, anything that I want!
  • Visit the tame teenager in Bath before he breaks up for Xmas holidays. Bath holds a wonderful Xmas Fair and has a terrific bookshop 'Mr B's Emporium', so lots to look forward to. (Just before Xmas my son turns 20 so he'll no longer be a teenager. Not sure I'm ready for that!)
  • Bake and cook as much as I can from Mary Berry's Christmas Collection - have borrowed this from local library and I can't wait to try some of the recipes.
  • Empty my brain of all things MA related so it's receptive to anything new.
  • Recharge brain with lots of walking / running / swimming and junk TV. (Don't know why but it has to be junk TV to get my cells firing, perhaps because I mentally switch off when watching and start to float off into ideas. My favourite junk at the moment is Psychic Detectives on TruTV - please don't judge me.)
  • Blitz agents with my wonderful novel.
  • READ, READ, READ.
You can see from the photo that LitPig has a stack of books ready. He does have good taste, doesn't he? Oh heck, sorry I have to go and wrestle those chocolates off him straight away...

56 comments:

  1. Tracy, you have the three things a successful writer needs - dedication, a capacity for hard work, and talent. One day I will hold your first novel in my hands, and be thoroughly pleased for you. I wish you a successful planning session with your friend Wendy, and hope that D for December also means the start of Dreams come true.

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    Replies
    1. Bless you, Veronica, for such lovely words. That means a lot.

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  2. Sounds like you deserve a rest and reading and junk tv sounds wonderful. Good luck with finding an agent. And have fun in Bath.

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  3. Dear Tracy, what wonderful plans for December. I could happily do all of those myself and am certain you will have a perfectly wonderful time. (I really enjoyed reading The Good Son recently.)

    Huge congratulations on completing your dissertation and your MA - what an absolutely brilliant achievement. I'm so thrilled for you.

    I echo all that Veronica has so beautifully said. I have a space on my book shelves for your novel and I know it will be filled. You have received some really encouraging feedback by having the agents request the full ms, not to mention their positive comments about it. It is just a matter of time.
    Have a lovely, productive session with Wendy. It will lead to great things soon. xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joanna, for such lovely and supportive words. I appreciate your faith in my writing :)

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  4. Operation Agent is underway... I have macs, deer stalkers and magnifying glasses.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent, Wendy. Now I just need to retrieve the night-vision goggles (contemporary Sherlock gear) from LitPig...

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  5. Wow, well done. Enjoy your December - it sounds like a brilliant plan. As for that novel, my shelves have space too even if I need to buy another bookcase.

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  6. Well done on getting it finished.

    Excellent goals. If you need help assessing the baking just let me know.

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    Replies
    1. You did know 'assessing' is a synonym for 'scoffing everything in sight'?

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    2. You haven't tasted my baking, Patsy, so you may regret the offer ...

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  7. Well done on finishing the dissertation, definitely worth celebrating. I can't think of a better way to spend a month than reading to excess. (Not that I think there ever can be an excess.) good luck with Op Agent. Don't eat the ms.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beatrice. Agree - you can never OD on reading! Will definitely try not to eat the ms - though have felt like it some days ...

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  8. Fantastic achievement getting your dissertation away. Your December plans sound excellent and I'm sure you and Wendy between you will come up with a good plan for your novel submissions!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. I'm hoping Wendy has a cunning plan - she usually does :)

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  9. Well done on getting the dissertation despatched. I completely agree with you about the curative power of junk TV. 'Casualty', anyone?

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    1. Thank you, Julia. Good to know you love junk TV too :)

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  11. I understand how finishing your dissertation could be 'a bit of an anti-climax', but I should think it's also a huge relief, isn't it? Well done! Hope you enjoy a lovely, relaxing December, then it will be all systems go when the agent offers start coming in. :)

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    1. It's a good relief, Linda. The anti-climax was a bit like all the excitement leading up to Xmas and then ... oh it's all over ... sort of feeling :)

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    1. Thank you, Nicolasa. Lovely to hear you enjoy the blog :)

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