Dear 2016, What do you mean 2017 is going to be worse?

Trending on Twitter earlier this week was a “Dear 2016” line (not actually a hashtag).  One of the saddest was someone asking 2016 not to take Carrie Fisher, which it then promptly did, along with her mother.  The general idea was that 2016 has been appalling and most hoped for a better new year.  One can only hope, although I thought the tweet I’ve used as my heading is more likely.

I’m going to keep my head down this year and just work and work and work.  All five my published novels will come in new editions, each on three different platforms.  I’ve done a lot of work on this already and it will be a great relief when it’s finished because it took up a great deal of 2016.  Endless reformatting, restructuring and corrections;  new blurbs, new front matter and new biog;  new fonts, new font size, new page number font……….the list is endless.  I had to draw up a giant chart to tick things off as I went and I still got confused.  I had a virtual nervous breakdown at the end of summer, compounded by the pressures of my Real World job as well as the godawful heatwaves that kept attacking my part of London, right up to the end of September.  I then had a physical breakdown before Christmas – quite literally working myself into the ground.  I had to force myself to put my charts away and not think about work over Christmas.  The mince pie diet has worked out very well.

Once the new editions are out, I will be publishing the fourth novel in the Fleet Quintet.  At last!  Definitely something to look forward to.

And then I’ve got two new novels to finish:  that Very Difficult one I finished in May and the Surprise One I wrote in less than three months.  By hand.  On scrap paper.  Without a plan.  Both are first drafts but the latter is much, much rougher as I didn’t go back once to inspect what I had written.  It’s easy to do daily edits on a computer but impossible when you’re writing by hand.  I was also put off by my own handwriting and am not entirely looking forward to typing it up.  And then I need to do the research.  And add bits.  Lots of bits.  And rewrite it…..but that’s the fun part.

If I get it done, I’ll get going on that Difficult Novel again.

And far off in the future, almost certainly not in 2017, I want to write more Exodus Sequence stories.

And one day get to write the fifth Fleet Quintet novel so that it is actually a quintet.

But these are big plans.

In the meantime, happy new year.  Take a break sometimes.  And nothing is that serious that you let it make you sick.




About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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2 Responses to Dear 2016, What do you mean 2017 is going to be worse?

  1. 2016 was a pretty rubbish year for me – three relatives died between May and October, plus family health crises – but I like your focus on writing. Let’s hope 2017 will be better in every way.

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