- Peta Hawker
Holidays, or work? (And my first publication.)
I recently spent ten days in Victoria visiting family and friends. The weather was a classic display of southern ups and downs - from icy nights and drizzling rain to blue sky and sunshine.
Away from the constraints of my day-to-day job, I was able to relax in a way I probably haven't since the beginning of 2020. And although I lacked the general structure of my usual days, I was still able to spend a good chunk of time editing my novel and publishing the novella The Seeds of Sorrow (if you haven't read it yet, go subscribe and get your free copy!).
I was fortunate enough to spend a week with my best friend and her new daughter in the stunning Yarra Valley. The loveliest part is that my friend gave me the space (physical and mental) to continue working on my writing. In fact, she actively encouraged me to keep editing, despite her own challenges of managing a three-month-old while preparing to go back to work.
We all need cheerleaders like that in our life, especially when it comes to the solitary task of writing. I'm blessed to have a group of friends and family who are encouraging, supportive and good at gently pushing me.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about working while on holiday, but in truth, I loved it. There was less (self-induced) pressure to keep up a particular pace of editing which allowed me to work in flow.
And to top it off, I published The Seeds of Sorrow. As my first ever digitally self-published work, this is a huge achievement. I learned so much in the process, and I was surprised at how simple the whole thing was. Writing a book is a mammoth feat, but working with my editor and designer was a breeze, and using programs like Vellum, BookFunnel and email marketing made the final production seamless.
Completing this part of my plan has given me the confidence I need to pursue self-publishing. More than confidence, it's made me excited to get my first novel out into the world on my own.