Dear Friends, are you all ready to duck? The champagne corks are ready to pop! It’s time to celebrate! I have completed the first draft of my novel!  

It was with euphoria and numb shock that I wrote the last word on my first draft this week. Euphoria as I finally achieved my lifelong dream of completing a book. Numb as the hard work abruptly came to an end. I floundered from over-work and the loss of my main focus of the last twelve months.

Without all your help, support, advice and encouragement here on wordpress I know I would never have persevered and reached this point. You all kept me going in this isolated insular world of writing – your warm, kind words providing a real boost, your advice so welcome and positive and above all your friendship offering a spiritual lift. A heartfelt THANK YOU to you all.

What now?

20160205_125224First of all, my self-imposed deadline for this week was as a result of it being my mother’s  birthday this weekend. Always my biggest fan and strongest advocate of my writing, I wanted to present her with a printed version of my first manuscript as a special present. As a way of saying thank you – for always believing in me; for being there when I doubted myself.


This point was raised by fellow blogger a while back and I realised she was right – the cost can become prohibitive and may not always give the best quality. 

20160205_125233Inspired I remembered an advert in my son’s school magazine and on Friday I headed down to their printing department.  For a fraction of the cost at under £ 4 (under $6) they printed the manuscript double-sided and bound it as well. 

It was great feeling to hold the manuscript in my hands at the printers. Inside myself I was bopping around whilst in real life I shyly held the printed material. 

Recently I saw an interview with a successful writer and she said how many writers, including herself, had difficultly saying what she did for work as she felt a ‘fraud’. As my book was being put together I felt the same on its first outing to strangers. The printer only glanced at it but even so, my heart thumped heavily.  

This is only the beginning. I am under no illusions and am fully aware that the hard work starts now! Revisions, editing, scrutinising, re-writing.

20160205_125351First though I will set the manuscript aside for a week or two. Out of sight, in a drawer. This universally accepted procedure is a necessity and I understand why. My book and I need a break from each other. In ten days I’m off to Sweden for a short break so this suits well and upon my return I will start work on it; refreshed, re-energised.

In the meantime, I’m studying and reading in more detail than ever all about self-publishing v. traditional publishing methods. I will make my decision in due course.  As always I welcome your help and comments. 

Please join me in a toast. 

Cheers! Skål! Prost! ¡Salud!  Yamas!  Salud! 

Finally, I would like to end  this post with a quote from Stephen King, where he talks about writing.

‘I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.’

62 thoughts on “CORKS ARE FLYING!

    1. Bless you and so lovely that you were visiting my blog today. I’ve done about 95 posts so you must have been busy! I best get writing some more.😀 I always read your posts with great interest and humility – saying the names of those lost in your ‘Farewell Salute’ aloud in a vain (?) attempt to honour them.

      1. Blogging stuff today, editing has taken a little back seat… will be back to it soon, fresh and renewed. I’m thinking of perhaps releasing an ARC…. thinking is the word, lots still to do, my friend contacted me today about the cover with a possible fresh approach so hopefully perhaps that will start to take shape.

        1. Hmm…I’m intrigued. What do you mean by releasing an ARC? I think taking breaks from the editing is so important as rejuvenated you’ll approach it with fresh eyes. Exciting about the cover though…it’s happening! Been shifting my study around today – well, I’ve been directing and husband and son ‘slaving’ away!

          1. You can release an advanced reader’s copy, ARC, before the final release date to give book bloggers, etc a chance to review, etc.. that way if they find some holes, etc, perhaps I can fill them before I officially release two to three months later..

  1. This is a fantastic achievement, Annika! Cheers! What a wonderful birthday gift for your mother. She’ll be so proud of you. Have a relaxing and well deserved holiday in Sweden. 🙂
    I may be a bit late with this post because I was away and am just catching up but, in any case, it’s still a fabulous achievement. Celebrate and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Carol. 😃 We had a wonderful weekend celebrating both my first draft of ‘Island Girl’ and my mother’s birthday (oh,yes, she had tears of joy, especially when I also presented her with a printed version of my previous years blog as well! She called it a double whammy). My achievement is only slowly starting to sink in. Now starts the nitty-gritty work!

  2. Anonymous

    Congratulations on completing your first book Annika. I bet the champers tasted even better for that. Don’t take too long over the revisions as I can’t wait to read the book.


    1. Oh yes, Mike, the champagne and cocktails were very tasty indeed – intoxicating just to relax without my mind spinning! Okay, I’ll try not to do too many revisions – think it would drive me mad anyway!

    1. Diana, thank you so much. For your wonderful comment here today – I feel your warmth and joy all the way across the ocean. 😀Thank you also for all your support and kind words over the past year – always a joy to read and boost to push me onwards! Oh, I will definitely enjoy my next adventure – I’m getting quite good at that these days!

    1. Thank you so much and indeed they are – a gentle warmth resting in my soul after a hectic happy weekend of celebrations. Quiet moments of contented peace. It is lovely to read your comment.

    1. Thank you so much, Debby!😀 I am so happy I actually completed the first draft and today I finally feel I’ve landed back on planet earth after a weekend of happy celebrations. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Jacqui, so that’s the bright lights I saw in the sky! Thank you so much for the fireworks and the congratulations!!😀😀 I’m not sure I quite have a bucket list as such but a few dreams. Seeing the Grand Canyon is one of them and the other is to go to Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Centre) – the latter another childhood wish and one that might come true this summer as we are looking to go to Florida!!!!!! I think you’ll hear my squeals of delight all the way to yours in California.

    1. Oh, you can definitely have a signed copy! ♥️ As for when…hhmmmm…I’ll keep you posted but it might take a while. Your heart better slow down and be patient! Many thanks for your warm kind words – I’m blushing! xx

    1. Absolutely, I think joy has to be first and foremost. Some books feel a bit forced and uncared for and I wonder then if the writer perhaps didn’t really love writing it? Thank you so much for commenting.

      1. I suspect there are times when an author faces situations where he or she feels they have to force an idea to get their writing going. It’s no doubt frustrating when that happens. And it was my pleasure to comment. ‘o)

    1. Thank you, Sarah and it is a feat I wasn’t sure I’d complete at times, I must admit. Feels brilliant though, although still taking it in! 😀 Last week was manic finishing up and sorting paging etc, printing so I didn’t get a chance to reply to your email but will definitely this week.

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie!😀 It does feel great although I feel slightly shell-shocked. Yes, the break in Sweden will be great for me – quiet peaceful nature and probably lots of digging in the snow! Thank you for your comment.

  3. I’m hearing that cork pop, oh yes I am! So happy for you dear Annika, many, many congratulations! It’s an amazing feeling isn’t it? I took a weekend break down to Devon with hubby when I finished my first draft, I couldn’t get it through my head what I had actually achieved after so many years of dreaming about that one moment, so I know just how you feel. Enjoy it for every second’s worth 🙂 Yes, the hard work will begin with editing, but each day will bring you closer to your goal of publication, which is what I keep telling myself! Have a wonderful celebration with your mum and family, you deserve it! Cheers to you… ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Sherri! ❤️ What a lovely idea to take a break in Devon when you finished your first draft – just great to get away for a couple of days. We’re enjoying a brilliant time away as it coincided with my mother’s birthday and so far celebrated in style with cocktails (notice the ‘s’!) last night and then a fancy dinner. All so special.😀 It feels like a massive achievement and the numbness is receding – I wonder if it was the feeling of the leaving the closeness to my character who have become such a part of me? Silly, eh? Hmm…yes…editing…I’ll put that thought in a filing cabinet in my brain until I return from Sweden. I think a short story beckons. Back to the celebrations – wishing you a lovely Sunday. xx

      1. Ahh…how wonderful for you, so very special, and thrilled you are enjoying every minute of it and your mother’s birthday too! Perfect timing 🙂 And not silly at all, it’s all part of the writing process that compells us. Yes, put those editing thoughts away for now, definintely, and a short story sounds like a great idea. I find writing flash fiction a wonderful ‘distraction’ from my memoir 🙂 A lovely Sunday thank you, and now I will sign off and spend proper time with hubby and daughter. Making a roast! See you soon, happy safe travels Annika… ❤ xx

  4. Mirja

    Congratulations!! Splendiferous news Annika. I am so happy for you.
    It must have felt so great to hold it in your hands – bound and all . Cheers to the school.

    I did the same as JC this morning, opened a bottle to see the cork fly. was 10.30 here…..:))
    Made a Bucks Fizz to avoid getting too tipsy in the morning.

    Have a wonderful break, you deserve it. Bet the fingers will be itching though. lol.

    1. Mirja, Bucks Fizz in the morning sounds like the perfect start to the day! 😀I don’t know that the orange juice helps much to dilute it though – it always make me a bit dizzy! Thank you so much for your kind words and it is great to hold the ms in my hands – it’s surprisingly heavy and the school did a super job for me – they’re charging far too little! As for itchy fingers – my creative juices are eager to try my hand at a short story for a change…we’ll see, after this celebratory weekend. Cheers…❤️

  5. Congratulations! I will definitely open a bottle and celebrate even though it’s only 7:30 in the morning here. Enjoy your time off, you deserve it… JC

    1. JC, I bet you did open that champagne!😀 Brilliant. Did you finish the bottle?? Thank you so much and I’m already enjoying the time off, celebrating away. Had an unusual cocktail yesterday, served in a jam jar and resembling a swamp (lots of mint!!) but oh so tasty.

    1. Ah, thank you Jill! 😀 For your belief in me and for being there the whole time, cheering me along! My mother was tear-eyed with her present and loved that it was bound and so easy to read instead of a sheaf of loose papers.

  6. Congratulations, Annika! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of finishing your first novel draft. Then to see it printed so nicely and bound, another wave of satisfaction and pride! And yes, set it aside until you return from vacation. Let the story rest, enjoy your travels, then you’ll be able to see the story with fresh eyes when you return. Great job!

    1. Julie, it is an amazing feeling and so far I can’t really take it in – although holding the mansucript in my hands made it so much more real. I like that, letting the story rest – sounds so peaceful. I am slightly worried that I will become ‘fed up’ if it after many revisions – I’ve read many who feel that but will try to keep my eyes and feelings for it ‘fresh’.

  7. Peter R

    Well done, Annika. Lots of people say that they could write a book, but I wonder what proportion actually do it? Keep up the good work, it will be worth it in the end, I’m sure.

    Love your “mini-Sweden” pictures. Go and enjoy the real thing.

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