12 months ago, after receiving the Literary Arts Individual Project grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, I started writing the novel “Suicide Hotel” set in Lethbridge, Alberta, in the year 2112, with the goal to finish it a year later. Now I was asked to write a final report, and I thought I share that with you, too:
“I set off to write and finish my novel “Suicide Hotel”, and I am glad to announce that I exactly achieved that. The current version I will hand over to willing test readers. Last steps will be me also re-reading my novel with a little distance of maybe four weeks and the final edit of a Canadian spelling version.
Despite another trying Covid year that saw me getting Covid-laid-off for a few months and kids often at home I managed to maintain my morning writing routines throughout the year, keeping my focus on the novel, a much welcomed anchor I could rely on every single day without existential financial worries, thanks to the Literary Individual Project Funding.
Having this kind of financial stability over the course of a year writing this complex novel only made it possible to finish it. There would have been no other way.
Interesting enough from my personal writing perspective I finished the first draft (which I only edit later) faster than expected, carried by the confidence boost and safety the grant gave me, but I took exactly that time longer to edit due to the futuristic complexity of the “Suicide Hotel” universe and all the details and implications I had to consider.
I also kept up with my blog posts (sic.) about the writing process on my homepage. As intended in word, audio and video and weekly to the beginning, but when I hit the editing stage I posted every two to four weeks, and still do, at least until August.
While I could step in and out of the “zone” during the writing process, being in the moment, in the scene that day, that morning, and reflect later of what had happened, the editing process demanded a different kind of concentration: once kicked in, it kept me largely mentally involved over long stretches, sometimes weeks, not even reading anything else.
It was a personal artistic year long journey I never had taken, and seeing the dimension of the final novel turning out longer than expected, I come to the conclusion that this novel simply would not exist without the Literary Individual Project Funding.
And thank You for following or finding me here! I will continue with my blog posts about the novel—monthly. I wait what my test readers have to say—or if they cut off communication with me... and I have to try to find an agent or a publishing house for “Suicide Hotel”.
As the artist Rick Raxlen told me once: Your projects are your sheep and you are the shepherd, you have to take care of them, forever.
And I will do so. So there is more to come here, on a monthly base (test reader feedback, search for an agent or publishing house etc.)