September reminds me of returning to school and new beginnings.

I’ve always felt a charge of creative energy when the autumn comes. This year is no different, despite the challenges we all are facing. In some ways, September feels more like the start of a new year than New Year’s Day. And, in a way, I have a resolution to keep this September: to revise the first draft of my manuscript.

When I last checked in here, I was about to finish writing the first draft. We were getting to know the tadpoles and frogs in our pond. Well, I finished the story, sent it off to my lovely agent and then spent some time with Van, Ann and Pam Phibian, the big and small frogs that hang out in the pond. And things evolved. The frogs got bigger and so did my writing project. Both are to be expected!

One of the great things about having a very smart agent like mine is that they can see things that are working in your story and the things that should be better. As I expected, there were a lot of things that I need to work on. There were also some fundamental questions I had to answer, especially about my main character, Zach. My agent asked me some very intriguing questions about Zach and also about the other characters in the book. She also made some strong suggestions about ways to improve the story.

I took some time to think about my story from other angles. I also spent time just being by the pond, enjoying the flowers and insects, and trying not to overthink my story. Little by little, I realised that I had to restart my story from a new perspective that could be a lot more exciting for the reader. This means that many words will be chopped out of my first draft and I have to write many new ones. Sometimes rewriting and revising can seem a little overwhelming – but I have done this work before and I know it is worthwhile.

I’ve made a start on a new outline and new opening chapters. Once again, I sit down and write because there are no short cuts. There is a lot of work ahead and there are no guarantees that the manuscript will succeed. But I will give it all I’ve got because Zach and all the other characters in the story are shouting at me to write their story properly.

Happy autumn equinox to you all. Take care and may your creative projects thrive as we roll into the cool, dark months here in the Northern hemisphere.