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Being here for starters. It’s been a month since I wrote a word. Not because I have nothing to say, more that I have too much. As I count down the months until my third novel, Wild Spinning Girls is published, I could write reams about how exciting the process is. But the authors amongst you know – while we wait, we write.

Most days then, I clock on for Book 4. (And, for a brief time, I showed up for the fifth one too. Until I ordered myself to get back to doing what I do best: one thing at a time.)  

Showing up are the two words that make up my daily writing mantra. Unless we put in the graft at the typeface, the road to publication is likely to be strewn with rocks. (Full disclosure: makes no difference – it will be littered with them. Boulders, bedrock & concrete slabs the size of dragons; Very Big Brick Walls & even bits of the earth’s crust.)

So you may as well show up. This is my current, favourite ‘Showing Up’ image. Words birds obviously, a nice frock & a beak.)

Image: Sarah Young

Like many writers, published & unpublished, I put in my ‘Time Before’ – years when the rejections piled up & I convinced myself I was comforted by the generic phrase: ‘You write well/interestingly/can’t quite place you on our list/we’ve just signed something similar.’ Or words to that effect. They’re all code for ‘No.’

It’s over seven years since I first pitched my debut, Ghostbird, to the woman who was to become my mentor. Back then, Janet Thomas was still an editor at Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press. She was the first in a galaxy of women destined to show up & have a huge impact on my life.

Initially, it was the Honno Sisterhood who embraced me & made me feel part of the best gang ever. Post-publication, many of them have become dear friends.

Some of the Honno sisterhood: from L round the table, my editor/publisher Caroline Oakley, Juliet Greenwood, me, Judith Barrow, Alison Leyland, Janet Thomas, Thorne Moore, Hilary Shepherd & Jan Newton

And then, in real life & virtually, out in the wider world a myriad brilliant, fabulous authors & bloggers have shown up. The kindest, most supportive human beings it’s my privilege to know. As I look forward to being published again, I count my blessings.

If I counted them – the kind, generous fabulous lovelies – I’d be here all day.