writing update – and some thoughts about confidence

At present, I am still working through my edits for my upcoming debut novel, The Black Rook. Slowly but surely I’m getting there. The manuscript is around 460 pages, and I have just passed the page-100 mark.

I remember when I came to edit the novel at the beginning of Britain’s first lockdown in 2020. It was rather disheartening that every time I embarked on an edit run of the manuscript, I was working through a story of almost 500 pages. It took forever to complete each draft.

At the time of the first lockdown, however, this was a saving grace. The gargantuan task of finalising the manuscript was a good distraction from the chaotic situation that was ensuing outside the four walls of my apartment.

And so, the editing of The Black Rook continues. I’m confident that the quality of the prose is well polished, and I’m so excited for the novel to finally hit shelves. My biggest dream has always been to tell stories and to share them with a wide audience.

I always used to tell myself that if the only legacy I achieved was to inspire or help just one person, this would all have been worth it. Fiction has always been a great escape for me – a tremendous aid for my mental health – and so my number one ambition was always to provide a mental escape for my own base of readers. That is still the case, although my ambitions have grown tremendously since then.

Until I embarked on an MA in Creative Writing, I wasn’t entirely confident in my abilities as a writer. I lacked personal confidence in many other areas as well, and all of my insecurities formed to make one great anxious feeling of inadequacy. Subsequent positive feedback from tutors and fellow students on my course buffered me with fresh confidence. And with this growth in confidence, so too did my ambitions as a creative grow.

The Black Rook symbolise a great personal achievement for me. It makes me think of the unconfident – yet extremely passionate – writer I used to be, and the one I became.

I still suffer with bouts of feeling inadequate, but these moments come and go. I’m trying to teach myself to keep on going regardless – to ignore these moments of personal doubt and to keep on writing no matter what.

Aside from the editing of The Black Rook, I want 2022 to be the year that I expand on my creative portfolio. I aim to write more short stories and to submit these to magazines and websites. I may even publish more of these to this website.

I am still planning the eventual sequel to The Black Rook, as well as planning another standalone novel.

Like Pigs, the novel that I completed last year (on New Year’s Eve, to be precise) will hopefully find a publisher one day, too. I’m still on the lookout for a literary agent to represent me, and this is the novel that I am using to showcase myself as a writer.

I realise that this blog post has been a bit of a tangential mess. I guess that’s how my mind has been recently.

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