After more than five years of writing and revision I am ecstatic to say that I have finally completed my first novel Shallow Crossing. Of course it wasn’t five years of absolute toil – there were times when life seemed to get in the way and I didn’t get to write anywhere near as much as I’d have liked. And being my first novel this was a huge learning curve, trying to get the story out, then shape it, develop the characters, improve the structure, the arc of the story – and a million other details that I won’t bore you with here. This novel and this character – and this writer – needed that amount of time to incubate and grow before they were strong enough to stand up for themselves.

I’ll be posting a synopsis and some images based on the novel soon.

So what have I learnt from this whole experience? That writing is a discipline, one that you need to apply yourself to over and over again if you are to succeed. That the joy of completion is worth the hard slog of the journey. And that next time around I’m going to do it a whole lot differently- and quicker.

Now it’s time to start on my next novel. Well, not start exactly. I already have a 50,000 word draft written in November last year for Nano (National Novel Writing Month www.nanowrimo.org). I just need to read it and remind myself what actually happens.

I might be in for a surprise.