And my New Project is...

Among the many writing tips I have been given over the years, my favourite is "Always be working on the next project."

I've found it to be great advice and have always acted on it. Books can take a year or more in editing and publication, so I've always been working on the sequel, or a new story, and have, on occasion, been taken slightly by surprise when a book I'd largely forgotten about hits the shelves. (These feeling of "What, that old thing?" must be even more marked for actors, who can find themselves travelling around giving interviews and generally promoting a movie they finished working on years ago.)

So I didn't sit around waiting to hear from agents about Emon and the Emperor, because I was too busy working on The Saved Saint. That meant that when the rejections started rolling in, my disappointment was tempered by my excitement for my new project. And now that The Saved Saint is being edited, rather than checking my email twenty times a day waiting for it to come back, I've started a new project.

Quite a lovely one, actually. Over the years I've written a few short stories either for competitions, or challenges for my writing group, or just for fun. So I'm polishing them and compiling them into a book which I will probably call "A Thousand Words" because my short stories are never longer than that. It's great fun, and although I'm finding that rather too many of my short stories are Twilight Fan Fiction and thus can't be used, part of the challenge is writing new ones too. There's a real sense of achievement in putting together a complete story in just a day or two.

But the real achievement is that I've moved on from mooching about over Emon or getting overexcited about  The Saved Saint. I'm distracting myself from the business side of writing by doing what I actually love most - writing.

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