Just over a year ago I started this blog. It was born of a desire to start to activate my brain in a new ways after a few (very happy) years of small child total immersion therapy. Plus a dawning awareness that I seemed more interested in children's books than was entirely reasonable and a desire to channel that interest constructively.
I'll admit I was green. My time online had been exclusively devoted to playing heated games of Scrabble and looking at pictures of the cakes, extensions (house and hair) and children of people I last saw 20 years ago. I didn't tweet. I had very little awareness of the extraordinary community of 'kidlit' bloggers that were already out there. Hell, I'd never even heard the term 'kidlit' (I don't think I'm ever going to bring myself to write the word without inverted commas mind).
I didn't realise that people hate Blogger or that the background I found so brilliantly suitable would be found on every third book blog I looked at (If it's good enough for Michael Rosen...) I didn't know what a meme was. I had no idea about stats, servers, spam or search optimisation.
I still don't really. Doesn't matter. The last year has provided plenty of riches; really many more than I anticipated. Mostly new friends; real friends whether met in the real or not...and books; so many more books to read, covet, and camp outside bookshops waiting impatiently for the publication date of.
Also- gratifyingly- even MORE photos of cake, children and baby animals in incongruous situations. Hurray!
But regular readers may notice that after a furious initial period of blog posts, my posting rate began to slow in the second half of last year. This is probably a common theme to a lot of blogs but I'm going to come clean about the reason for mine: I started to try and write my own children's book.
Heavens I feel like such a walking cliche. Because you see I KNOW how hard it is to write a good children's book. I KNOW just how many stay-at-home mothers of school age children in my situation merrily think they'll have a pop at it. And I KNOW that the publishing industry is not exactly in a state of rude health at present; desperately waving huge cheques at debut authors to try and lure them off the streets and into their printing presses...
Nevertheless. I am outing myself as one of the great morass of wannabes.
Anyway. I wrote a book (not a picture book they're FAR too hard)- an early/middle gradey one. And first I thought it was marvelous and I was a Total Genius and about 48 hours later I thought it was dreadful and I was a Complete Idiot and about 48 hours after that I didn't know what I thought any more. I sent it to a dear friend who told me it was a bit of both (but in a more constructive way) and I tinkered with it superficially and then I sent it to Cornerstones literary consultancy (grandiose me) who have also told me that it is a bit of both (but in a very constructive way). And this is all normal I think.
And and and. I think I can see the good bits and take them and start again properly to make a good story. With a plot and everything this time. So this is what I'm going to try and do in 2013: Write a book that children might want to read. And that means less blogging temporarily; although definitely not no blogging.
But still plenty of looking at photos of cake and animals; both of which feature heavily in my book and therefore now count as Honest Research.
I promise never to tweet with the hashtag 'amwriting' when I am self evidently tweeting and not writing.
Right. confession over. normal service resumed. and when I start blogging again regularly having realised that I can't write a book at all- you'll all be kind and Never Speak of this Again won't you?