Aimee Horton

It’s been a while…

May
09

Two and a half years ago, my mum was diagnosed with cancer, and six months ago today she died. Since then, I’ve been dealing with all the things that come with grief. Some of it I expected, sadness, numbness, anger, confusion. But the bit I didn’t expect was clarity, or feeling like I’ve regained some control of my life.

In between the juggle of hospital appointments, family, and life, I wrote a book. Then I rewrote it, then I rewrote it a few more times then my agent sent it out to editors. I got a load of rejections, a maybe, rewrote it again, and another rejection. I took it hard, probably harder than I would have done if I hadn’t been so desperate to get a traditional book deal while my mum was still around to see it.

But once I got over it (pizza and booze and signing up to a half marathon that thankfully got cancelled – pizza and booze happened more than running), I actually began to see that the first submission via my agent was a positive experience. NO REALLY. I think it might have been what kept me going, gave me something else to focus on.

Because the book wasn’t right, I know that now. But what it was, was a brilliant learning curve. Not just learning how to deal with rejection, something that unfortunately all writers have to deal with, frequently – and I’ve since learnt from some amazing blogs, no matter what level of your career, but so many other things, and as a writer it was probably the best thing to happen to me.

Which takes me back to the blogging side of things. Blogging has changed since I started. I was never what you would call a proper blogger, I’m a story teller, and that’s a totally different set of skills. So I figure, the best thing to write about is what I know about, so I’m going to use this space to write about writing. About how I love it, good days, bad days, feeling brilliant, imposter syndrome, big word days and short word days. What happens after you’ve written ‘the end’ and all that other stuff.

So, that’s it. YAY!

My first blog post in about two years, and for the first time in a long time, I’m super excited to be writing stuff like this.

So if you have any questions, or have anything about writing you’d like me to write about, just get in touch. You can email or catch me over on Twitter/instagram or Facebook.

 

x

#LittleLoves – The first time in forever.

Jan
26

I’ve been intending to join in with Morgana’s #LittleLoves since the beginning of the new year, but here we are, at the last of the month and this is my first chance. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, lots of new responsibilities, meetings and of course rewrites and revisions. All I seem to do is tell you how I’m rewriting my stories, but it’s worth it, I promise!

Amanda Jennings - The Cliff House

I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a copy of Amanda Jenning’s latest novel The Cliff House which is out later this year. I have stalked followed Amanda since she was making final edits on her first novel Sworn Secret and not only  does she have an amazing way with words, but I also think she is one of the nicest people I’ve had the privilege to have met via Twitter. I’ve only just started but can already tell I’m going to be absorbed in it over the weekend.

 

Have you seen The Good Place yet? Shirtballs, how motherforking good is it? My only problem is that I HAVE TO WAIT FOR A NEW EPISODE EACH WEEK! Are you forking kidding me? If not, go check it out on Netflix.

It’s so nice to have a lighter box set to watch, especially after watching The Sinner (also on Netflix) I need something a little bit easier to watch before bed!

Headphones in, head down, I am trying VERY HARD not to get sucked into Netflix when I’m writing, because once I start, I struggle to stop binging. So this week I’ve been going back to the 90s and properly loving it.

Yummy Toad In The Hole

Last year I fell out of love with cooking, and it wasn’t until we moved into our new house (YES in case you missed it over on Instagram we moved!) that I was reminded of that feeling of peace cooking gives me at the end of a busy day. On Sunday football was cancelled and so I was very happy to potter in the kitchen making this bad boy which is the ultimate snowy day comfort food!

 

red lips and dangly earrings.

I’m a little behind on the laundry (A LOT) so have been digging to the bottom of my wardrobe (yes bottom, I need to sort that out it’s a mess now) and pulling out clothes I ususally put back because they’re out of my comfort zone. I’ve been sharing them over on my instagram stories if you’re interested.

 

 

I’m so excited to welcome some lovely writers back on my site next week for #WriteThinking. One of my favourite things about the writing community is how different we all are on everything from how we approach a new idea, to the writing process, to what to do with the finished piece, and #WriteThinking gives me a chance to have a nosy. It will be live next week and I can’t wait. In the meantime, please check out some of the older posts.

 

 

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

On The End not being The End.

Jan
23

#WriteThinking Writing a Draft

I used to get excited when people would ask me ‘how’s the book going?’

‘Good,’ I’d say. ‘I’m near the end of this draft!’ I’d reply. 

‘When’s it out? Where can I buy it?’ 

‘God knows, I still have edits etc. to go through, and then somebody has to like it and want to publish it.’

And then I get the sympathetic head tilt.

‘Oh, so you’re writing it, and you have no idea if you’re going to be published? That’s a bit risky isn’t it? Can’t you just tell them your idea then write it when you get a deal?’

‘No, so keep your fingers crossed.’  I’ll smile, my bubble deflating. Automatically my brain whirs and I start with the ‘what if nobody wants it?’ and ‘what if it’s actually shit?’ wittling.

I’m not the only one of course. I’m sure most, if not every, author starting out feels like this, and if they don’t they discover it along the way. Writing a book, especially when you’re trying desperately to transition into the more traditional side of things, isn’t just 80 thousand words of wonderfulness and a quick upload to Amazon and overnight success, getting it turned into a film and becoming a millionaire. Sadly for my ‘house in spain’ plans, it’s a lot slower going.

This is – I think – the fifth time I’ve written THE END for this story.

It was an idea I’d binned six years ago, but brought up with my agent. With her encouragement I wrote the first draft. One character for the first half, another for the second. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Except of course, it wasn’t, after some discussion we decided to alternate.

So I did massive restructure. Then some revisions, and and then more. Finally we sent it out for submission, and I started a new story I’d been gagging to write. Then we got some feedback, sadly it wasn’t the six-figure deal including a Netflix series and Claire Danes playing my lead, but it was something I could grab onto and think about. It will help me move my career forward, which I found rather exciting.

Plus, nobody came back with a “HAHAHHAHAHAHA WHAT A BIG PILE OF POO!” like I was dreading, which was, you know, nice.

So, I decided to give it a go, start a fifth draft, which turned out to be a total re-write, and today I wrote THE END for that rewrite, and the feeling of excited exhilaration that I used to feel has been replaced with pleasant relief.

I celebrated with a coffee and a malteser reindeer I’d been hiding on my desk for this moment, and now I’m continuing to celebrate by going all the way back to the beginning, and tweaking all over again.

So, even though The End is still a celebration in itself, it isn’t the actual end, it’s just one step closer.