Ramblings of an Unpublished Writer

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have become aware by now that I’m currently working on my own novel. I know what you’re thinking, “Sigh. Another blogger who’s writing a book” and whilst yes, a lot of bloggers start writing books I think it’s great that so many people have aspirations to write. I’ve not mentioned it properly on my blog yet but I feel that now is the right time to do so and although I’m still in the early stages, I’m extremely excited about it.

I started writing this particular book over a year ago. I made a good start and was super enthusiastic about it but then I crashed a burned. I realised that writing wasn’t for me and that I should stick to what I know; reviewing other people’s books. That was until my best friend Lynsey James got her publishing deal when I realised that I probably could do this, if I set my mind to it. I could finish a manuscript and it didn’t matter how long it took me as long as I didn’t stop, I would get there eventually.

And whilst I’m still only 22 thousands words in, I haven’t stopped. I’ve wrote almost every day since my change of heart and I’m enjoying my work, my story and my characters more and more each day. They’re coming to life in my head and on my pages, I’m picturing who would “play” them, I’m thinking about them and have actual feelings towards them now which is something I never in a million years imagined I would feel.

Since I started book blogger just over two years ago, I’ve been so incredibly inspired by not only authors who I’ve had the pleasure of talking too, who’s writing journey’s I’ve followed and who’s books I’ve been lucky enough to read and review but other bloggers – some of which I’m now lucky enough to call my friends – who have started writing, continued writing and had a dream to write. Some that can now call that dream a reality.

I don’t think I quite realised how much work and time would go into it and although I don’t write nowhere near as much as some people do in a day, the whole process of getting into the right mind-set and writing, deleting, re-writing and reading is time-consuming. I’ve realised now that you have to be 100% committed. It’s not a “maybe I’ll do it if I feel like it” type job; if you want to finish writing a manuscript, you have to work for it and I’ve also realised now, with my new found love for my story, I am very much prepared to do that.

So, although I’m in the baby stages and don’t want to reveal too much in case I do wake up tomorrow and have a complete meltdown and decide to go into hiding and never write again for the rest of my life, I am prepared to talk more openly about it because I’m at the stage now where I’m confident enough to show people snippets of my work, collect feedback and work from it. My WIP, which currently has no name is a chick-lit book with a lot of humour (I like to think it’s humorous anyway because let’s face it, I’m hilarious *joking*) and has elements of love and friendship all worked around a whole lot of ridiculous situations.

I’m constantly finding inspiration in things I read and people I meet and I think that’s so important with writing, to continually be inspired. A few people who have inspired me are;

Of course my best friend and new author, Lynsey James on making her dream come true and for staying truly humble through the whole experience.

Carole Matthews, who I think a lot of writers look up to for being such a success and such a fantastic writer.

Cathy Bramley, who I only recently discovered but was blown away by her incredible talent to pull a reader in and not let go.

Joanna Bolouri, who’s ability to make you cry with laughter is one I will always aspire to.

and Samantha Tonge, who’s fantastically received “Game of Scones” was one of the best books I’ve read all year and the way she pulls you in to the story, the setting and the characters is something I could only dream of being able to do.

Of course there are so many more inspirational writers, I’d be here all day if I listed all of them but these are the ones that have stuck with me recently. So although my writing journey has only just begun, I’m incredibly excited about it and am so grateful to the people who have shown their support so far. I may start these, “Ramblings of an Unpublished Author” posts as a regular thing, where I can keep you updated and share my current inspirations. But in the meantime, keep calm and carry on writing.



Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.


  1. […] a series of posts called ‘Ramblings of and Unpublished Writer’ which you can find here and here which I really enjoyed writing. It helped me get my thoughts about how I was feeling about […]

  2. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a writer, it’s that the craft demands an extraordinary amount of patience. I started writing my novel in 2008. It took a year to finish the first draft and do re-writes. In early 2009 I went in search of an agent, a process that began with researching potential candidates, learning how to write query letters, and then sending off those queries. As luck would have it, I landed a great agent (Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency) through my first query (although I did send out six to different agents, each mailed a week apart).

    I didn’t sign with the ABLA until the fall of 2009 (after doing a complete overhaul of the book). After that Kelly and I started work on still more revamps of my novel. There were some hiccups along the way that lost some time, but eventually the book was deemed ready to submit to publishers and in the fall of 2013 it sold to Capstone’s YA imprint, Switch Press. In June of 2014 I began working with Alison Deering, an editor at Switch Press. There weren’t any major rewrites involved, but editors usually have a slew of projects they’re working on, so even minor changes to a novel can take a while to work their way through the system. However, after copy-editing and proofreading, by the end of the early part of 2015 the novel was pretty much good to go. I think that was when I finally began to feel I could actually relax a little. Just a little.

    One of the most exciting things was seeing the cover the design department at Switch Press did for the book. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought it perfect. I’ve seen some pretty awful covers on some great books (and vice versa), so I had awaited that stage in the project with some trepidation. But the cover fro BECOMING DARKNESS does a wonderful job of capturing the tone of the novel on so many levels, and you can read so much into it in all the little details. As an artist myself, I was genuinely pleased.

    In March I got to discuss some of the marketing planned for the book (which releases on the first of October). This brought me closer to the feeling that things were really happening and that I stood upon the precipice of realizing my dream. Shortly after that, the novel went into the ARC stage. It was one of the ARCs featured at Capstone’s booth at the BEA 2015, which was exciting for me (though I’d have been even more excited if I could have been there).

    Now I’m awaiting feedback. Like any writer, I’m anxious about reader response. It’s every reader’s right to love or hate a novel, and no book is ever going to satisfy everyone. But as a writer I can tell you that you do feel a bit of a sick feeling in your gut when you see a review that slags your book. You tell yourself that that’s the nature of the game, but it does hurt, nonetheless. And that’s where you learn another good lesson: That if you want to be a writer, you have to grow a thick skin.

    Of course, when you get those glowing reviews, those five out five star reviews, I can tell you that there is no feeling like it. You’re in heaven. Ecstatic. Because a reader enjoyed what you wrote and got what you were trying to achieve. It’s intoxicating, and it makes all those lonely hours of hammering away at a keyboard worth it. All those doubts and insecurities — those times when you wanted to quit because you were certain you were just writing crap — suddenly melt away. At least, they do until the next book (when you go through all that misery again).

    So I encourage you to keep plugging at it. Don’t let doubt hold you back. Be patient, disciplined, and above all else, be willing to listen to advice — from other writers, your agent (when you get one), your editor (once your book is sold), and from the people who have been there before you. You never stop learning, and in a way that’s part of the fun.

    I wish you all the best with your writing and hope to one day see your novel on the shelves of my local bookstore.

    With warmest and sincerest regards,

    Lindsay Brambles

    1. Wow, Linsday, thank you so much for this incredible comment. I’m so glad to hear you’ve finally reached where you wanted to be with your book – despite how long it took and you’re absolutely right, it does take a lot of patience. I’ve realised that already and I’ve only just started, haha! I’m really enjoying it and obviously have all the writing to agents and editors and publishers and edits and re-writes to come; all the fun stuff, then!

      I’ve began to send snippets of my work to trusted author friends and I really value their feedback and opinion. Luckily, it’s mostly been good feedback so far, with the odd issue about format/grammar/tensing but that can all be worked on more thoroughly in the second draft. Right now, I’m just trying to finish it and most importantly, enjoy it 🙂 Comments like these really REALLY do help, so thank you! xx

  3. […] words. My goal was to reach 20 thousand by the end of May, which I did do! Yay! I also wrote a blog post about my writing experience so […]

  4. Best of luck, Jenny! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the results!

    1. Thank you very much! 😀

  5. […] Ramblings Of An Unpublished Writer […]

    1. Thank you for linking to my post!

  6. I think it’s amazing that you’re going strong with your goal and passion! I can completely relate because I am also working on my novel! However, I have decided to completely scrap what I have already written to start again! Frustrating… BUT I feel like I want to go into great depth and planning of the world, the characters and the plot of my novel.
    It’s so excited to see you pushing and constantly keeping up that commitment! xoxo

    1. Wow, Josie, I didn’t know you were working on a novel! I’m going to venture a guess that it’s Fantasy based? 🙂 I admire that you had the courage to scrap the whole thing and start again – as long as you’re happy with it now that’s all that matters! The very best of luck to you with it! And thank you so much 🙂 xx

  7. Well done on starting your book! I’ve got three works in progress at the moment (commitment problems) and definitly go from ‘this is the greatest thing I’ve ever written’ to ‘this is shit. I am shit’ on a regular basis. I think the important thing is that you enjoy the writing process. I can’t believe how quickly time goes when I’m writing!

    1. Wow, 3?! You’re super woman! I couldn’t keep my thoughts straight with 3, I can’t even read 3 books at the same time haha! And yes! I agree! I had this the other day, I said I’d write for 20 minutes until lunch, looked at the clock and it’s an hour later haha! I am very much enjoying it at the moment, it’s a lot of fun 🙂 xx

  8. It’s great that you are so excited by the journey you are on with your wip. My first book is out in October and I can clearly remember hitting the 20,000 word mark. You will do it, even if like me, you can’t fit in a big word count everyday. And you know we will all look forward to reading it. Good luck! X

    1. It’s great that you remember hitting your milestones! I’d like to think I will as I go along and I’m glad I’m not the only one that can’t manage a huge word count every day. My aim at the moment is to just write SOMETHING every day! And massive congratulations on your book, that’s fab! If you leave a link to it, I’ll check it out 🙂 xx

  9. I totally understand how you feel. I think every writer goes through a MY BOOK IS THE LIVING POO POISING THE HEALTH OF THE WORLD stage, so don’t think too much of it. Are there writer’s clubs were you live? I joined one and am also a part of a writer’s critique and it has helped my book SIGNIFICANTLY.

    I’m excited to read more about yours. =-)

    US Lifestyle Blog //

    PS. Thank you for your comment and follow on my site! I’m happy to know you!

    1. Hahaha I totally agree, sometimes I’ll read parts of mine back and be like, “Yep, this isn’t too bad” but other times I’m literally pulling my hair out like, “This is literally the worse thing anyone has ever written in the history of the world”. But I like to think a lot of people go through that haha! 😉 I’ve not looked into writing/critique groups in my area but that’s not a bad idea! Finally plucked up the courage to send it to a few trusty author friends who have given me some really invaluable feedback on it, which is great 🙂 And you’re very welcome! 😀 xx

  10. Good luck with your novel! 🙂 I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll actually try publishing, but I’m going to try to write more this summer (and hopefully carry on during the school year, but who knows)..

    1. Thank you very much! 🙂 Best of luck on your writing this summer too! Don’t think about publishing, just try and have fun with it! 🙂 xx

  11. That’s awesome Jenny! Good luck to writing your first novel. Speaking from experience, the first one is always the toughest (and you can probably guess why). But persevere and have fun with it, for it will all be worth it in the end.

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Oh God I have no doubts that it will be tough, I’m just trying to have the most fun with it and my characters as possible – I think that’s the main thing at the moment! If I’m not having fun with it, then what’s the point? 🙂 xx

      1. Exactly! Now go and twirl around in the fields of your imagination, “Sound of Music” style!

      2. *twirls until I fall over*

  12. I admire you for having a goal and sticking with it. I’ve had a few ideas for books but I’ve never had the motivation to develop them. Keep at it and when your ready to publish you’ll have loads of blogging friends to support you!

    1. Aw, thank you so much for the lovely comment! I’ve had SO MANY ideas over the past 2 years for books, all of which have been completely stupid/ridiculous/unrealistic but I think once you get to the idea that was “meant to be” per say, it sticks. Like this one did with me 🙂 xo

  13. Good for you Jenny! I have no inclination to write a book but I’m full of, and very grateful to those who do!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m also extremely grateful to anyone and everyone who’s ever written a book and got one published! xo

  14. Go Jenny! Never give up just because you feel you’re not good enough. Even big authors feel that way – and you can always ALWAYS improve! Glad to see you working on it again. 🙂

    1. It’s always reassuring to know that even big big big authors have down days – obviously it’s not nice but not everyone can be 100% positive about their work 24/7 can they? 🙂 It’s true, you can always improve, as long as you have words on a page you can ALWAYS improve them! 🙂 xo

      1. Exactly! And you can’t improve on NO words on a page except to write words. 😉

      2. EXACTLY! And even if they’re rubbish words… They’re still an improvement from the no words 😛

  15. People often say to me that I should write a book as I read so much. But I think that because I read so much I’d find it difficult to come up with an original idea! So I’ll just stick to reading and reviewing unless inspiration strikes. Good luck with your writing!

    1. That makes total sense! Just because you love reading doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be an author! But I think if you DO want to write, reading other people’s work is a very vital part of the process. I completely understand though, about the ideas thing – it is hard to come up with ideas! A few elements of mine will over-lap with a lot of others but each writer has their own tone which is what makes each book unique 🙂 Thank you! And good luck to you if you ever do decide to pick up the pen! xx

  16. The feeling you’ll get when you ink that final full stop is tremendous, so push on. But, personally speaking, I find it better not to rewrite until I’ve reached the end of a first draft. Once you’ve got a skeleton for the whole thing it gets easier. You can get hung up on rewriting the beginning for ever. From the look of your posts here, you’ll be able to write something to be proud of.

    1. Ah when I mentioned ‘re-writing’ I didn’t mean the whole thing, just odd sentences here and there that you write, decide you don’t like so you delete them and re-write them (usually only to find you still don’t like them so end up deleting them again… But that’s just me! Haha!) on a whole, I will definitely do what you do and wait until the end to go back and re-write from the beginning 🙂 And thank you so much 🙂 I really appreciate the comment! xx

      1. If ever you hit a brick wall you can indulge yourself with some experimentation designing a cover (which, if I’m honest almost gave me as much plesure as the writing!)

      2. I will admit… I have had daydreams over what the cover might look like, even in these early stages haha!

  17. Best of luck with your book Jenny! I have tried to write a novel myself in the past but gave up when I got stuck with the plot, but this post has inspired me to maybe give it another go.

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I really hope you do decide to give it another go! I’m SO glad I did 🙂 xx

  18. Keep going, Jenny, it’s frustratingly hard, but the way you feel when it’s finished, is worth every moment of doubt!

    1. Oh god, I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like typing those, “The End” words! xx

  19. As a fellow unpublished writer I can relate to everything you say in this post. It’s so exciting when you get to the stage when you start to really care about your characters and they start to get on having conversations and making decisions without you having to force them into it.

    Do make updates a regular thing, especially if you think it will encourage you to keep going!

    Good luck and happy writing! 🙂

    1. I completely agree! The feeling like I was “forcing it” at the beginning was partly what made me stop so I’m really glad I continued and pushed past that bit! I’m definitely thinking about making it a regular thing, I really enjoyed writing this post and I think it’d be good to document my experience. We’ll see! 🙂 Thank you very much, you too! xx

  20. Great post Jenny, I have felt very similar about my own work! Keep at it, I look forward to one day reading your books 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you lovely Paris! 🙂 I’m glad you’ve had some of the same thoughts/feelings; it’s great huh? Looking forward to reading yours too, one day! xx

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