Halfway through 2016



Photo credit: Me

When you struggle with perfectionism and self-doubt, it can sometimes seem like your life is grinding to a halt and you are spending your days doing nothing. So, in an attempt to not beat myself up, here is a laundry list of what I’ve been up to in the past 6 months.



I had a successful annual review of my Ph.D. and I’m progressing with the writing.

I presented at 2 student-led conferences.

I submitted a distributed paper for a third.

I submitted an article to 2 different journals (it needs work.)

Volunteered for Childline.

Raised £200 for the NSPCC/Childline by running two half marathons


I travelled to Florence.

And Sussex.

And Edinburgh.

Reading (non-academic, because if I include that my head will explode):

  1. The Gastronimical Me, M.F.K. Fisher
  2. Leg to stand on, Oliver Sacks
  3. Bound Feet and Western Fress, Natasha Pang-Mei Chang
  4. On the Move, Oliver Sacks
  5. Rising Strong, Brene Brown
  6. M Train, Patti Smith
  7. Regarding the pain of others, Susan Sontag
  8. Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
  9. The Dandelion Years, Erica James
  10. Some personal opinions, Margaret Mead
  11. Slow Motion, Dani Shapiro
  12. Love, Undetectable, Andrew Sullivan
  13. New Suicide Squad, vol 1
  14. Why we write about ourselves, edited by Meredith Maran
  15. Art and Lies, Jeanette Winterson
  16. Why we write, edited by Meredith Maran
  17. The Complete Butcher’s Tales, Rikki Ducornet
  18. The Girl on the train, Paula Hawkins
  19. Polar Bears, Mark Haddon
  20. Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
  21. Deafness, an autobiography, David Whyte
  22. A little life, Hanya Yanagihara (reviewed for Bibliodaze, here)
  23. The Sadeian Woman, Angela Carter
  24. A Year of Marvellous Ways, Sarah Winman
  25. The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge
  26. Far From You, Tess Sharpe

Not nearly as exciting as my peak years on Goodreads, but not too bad either.


Ah, the big one. See, in terms of writing, I can’t say I can complain, even if my progress with the novel has reached glacial pace levels. Because after I read this article on why we ought to collect rejections, I went back and looked at how many I’ve amassed in the 8 months of queries I’ve done (plus all the contest entries and short story and article submissions.) The result was… unexpected:

Total submissions: 78

Rejections: 37

Non-response (silent rejections): 38

Acceptances: 3 (more on those soon-ish)

+ One very strong encouragement following a writer’s retreat with SCBWI

Add to that my newfound push for blogging, including the Lenten Stories, and a few pretty long fanfics, and I’m surprised my fingers haven’t fallen off from typing.

Add to that the fact that I’m about 2/3rds through version 3 (and rewrite number 8) and all the Lenten stories I’ve written, I’ve got to say, it’s been a good 8 months.



Photo credit: Me


Misc life stuff:

I resumed driving lessons.


I got my purple belt.

I ran the aforementioned half-marathons.

I finally furnished my room.

I resumed learning Italian.

I also resumed my drawing/painting.

I finally bit the bullet and made a plan with my doctor to help myself.

As we say in my support group, that’s a lot of NSVs all around. 

How’s 2016 been treating you?


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