An Update

Things have been a bit… mental lately.

You may have noticed, I’ve not been updating my regular posts, or even doing anything beyond a couple of reviews for the past few weeks. Normal service will be resuming – I’ve spent an hour already today catching up on reviews, writing posts and sorting things out. I’ve been reading a lot, so plenty of content coming up, but for the past couple of weeks I haven’t had the brain power to actually sit and write.

So, I thought I’d start by sharing a few updates about what’s going on in my life right now, reading, writing and in general.

1. Reading

Lately review requests coming straight from the publishers have been picking up a bit. Previously, I’d been accepting anything that came my way, but lately I’ve had so many things, I don’t stand a chance of getting through them all and getting through my back catalogue. I still get a little buzz of excitement whenever anyone offers me a book to review, but I must stop accepting everything and start being a little more discerning. Otherwise I’m going to end up biting off more than I can chew, a la NetGalley. There are just so many great books out there – it’s so hard! Hopefully I’ll have more time for reading soon though. (see 3. Life in General)

2. Writing

I’m still moving forwards on my plan to self-publish. Feedback from Betas has been overwhelmingly positive, and once I have a few things sorted out, I’m going to make a real go of it. I’ve also been working on something with Carole Heidi. We’ve both of us struggled to keep up with our writing ambitions, and have decided to join forces to keep ourselves motivated, and we have some collaborative things in the works that we’re both very excited about (mostly because it involves regular get togethers and bottles of wine…)

3. Life in General

I made a really difficult decision about a month ago to leave my job. I’d been struggling with it for a while, and knew that it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I was just going to stick it out until something better came along, but the nature of the job meant that I had so little energy to look for other things, and the only periods when I would have energy were at the points in the year when my notice period would be several months. It was a really hard decision to make, especially as the Boyfriend is hoping to change jobs as well. Money will be tight, but I really think it was the best decision for my health and happiness in the long run.

So, exciting times ahead as I start looking for something new. I have an idea on what I want to do, but it’s a really difficult field to get in to, so I’m not getting my hopes up too high – it’s probably a five year plan – but I’ve had a bit of success already. I was invited to an assessment centre, and should hear back about my results tomorrow or tuesday. I have my fingers so crossed for good news, but even if I pass this stage, there are another three to get through!

The one upshot of all this uncertainty and hard work is that I will no longer be working as insanely hard as I have been for the last four years. My job may have come with benefits of a good portion of time off, but it was hard earned when I was working. That intensiveness just wasn’t doing my writing any good, and I’m looking forwards to having free time more consistently to focus my efforts, even if I won’t have long stretches of time off any more. As things are already dialling back at work as I prepare to leave and pass over my duties to others, I’ve been taking advantage of my newly reclaimed lunch hour (honestly, I haven’t had one of those for four years, I’m not even joking) to get some reading done. I’m particularly enjoying FINALLY getting through the YTF shortlist. Some really good books this year – I think Butter by Erin Lange is going to be hard to beat, though.

So, exciting, if a bit terrifying, times ahead. I’m not enjoying the uncertainty at all, and would love to have a concrete plan ahead of me. But for the time being, I’m just going along with the ride and keeping my eye out for opportunities. Things could be completely different for me in six months. And scary as that is, it’s definitely something I’m looking forwards to now.

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