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Week 50 capped off a fruitful 2013

2013 is coming to an end and so is the Nearly Writer’s Diary, at least in its current form. This last blog of the year has made me think about what has gone before, the highs and low along with the achievements. A highlight for me (and one I could never have predicted) was the reading of my poem ‘Kisses’ at the funeral of the people it was dedicated to, and the subsequent publication of it across Irish newspapers and radio. It was an insane experience, a bittersweet recognition that I still have not quite taken the time to comprehend. Another highlight has been getting that elusive e-mail from editors who have liked my work enough to publish it, or get back to me with helpful criticism. Rejections can be a blow, but it is something a writer needs to live with and learn from. All of them will serve to make you a better writer.

Something that opened my eyes this year was NaNoWriMo – the writing of 50,000 words in a month (which if you read this blog regularly are probably bored to tears of hearing about!) – but for me it made me realise that if you really put your mind to it and make the time, the words will come; good, bad and ugly. It is something I hope to take with me into 2014 and recall when I am struggling or just unmotivated. In addition, being given the opportunity to read other people’s work and having an input into what features in a great online publication is a privilege, and I thank Michael Naghten Shanks for trusting me enough to work with him on The Bohemyth.

I don’t know what 2014 holds and I kind of like it that way. My plan is to do a writing course (hopefully in young adult fiction), keep writing flash fiction and short stories when they come to me along with continuing to submit work. The main aim though is to start a novel; a visceral tug on your jugular kind of story that is yet to come, but I am going to do my damndest to find and finish with the aim of sending it out to agents and publishers by the end of the year (or earlier if possible). I believe I can do it now, in fact I know I can with two novel drafts under my belt. Now it’s just about finding that character and voice that crawls so deep into my soul I have to write it out.

Most of all I have loved writing this blog and thank everyone who took the time to read it, follow my musings and press that elusive like button from time to time. It’s been a pleasure.