Holy smoking coffins — I have good news!

“No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world,” Dead Poets Society

People, beautiful people! So it’s 2am here in London, and I’m writing this post now while I’m super hyped, knowing that by the time I’ve finally wound down to sleep and woken up tomorrow morning, I will be able to come back to my desk and edit this into a sane piece of writing to share with you all.

So I found out on Saturday evening that the novel I have been working on for the last four years made it to the shortlist of the Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Manuscript competition. That’s the guys that Ridley Scott works with to find great new ideas. Ideas like ‘The Martian’. It’s a competition where they look for regular everyday crazy-focused people like you and me (yes, you can be focused!) who haven’t yet published their book but have a good idea! And not only Ridley Scott, but other pretty amazing people and companies too, like Energy Entertainment and Inkshares (Insert your wide-eyed emoji here!)

And I wasn’t allowed to tell you. I wasn’t even allowed to tell my mother. I’m not gonna lie, I asked my Nana and a million other people in my world to pray for my writing between Saturday and Tuesday though, and if you were one of these people, thank you. Thank you to the moon and back, and I’m excited you are on this journey with me. Hah!

Tonight I found out that I’ve made it to finalist. Here I was thinking, “This is great, can’t wait to tell a few people that I got shortlisted for something that big and awesome.” But hey, I made it to the finals!!! That’s amazing. That’s whole other level kind of stuff!

Best of all. It’s validating.

Our biggest fear as artists, creatives in any form, and as every day ordinary people is that we aren’t good enough, that we are inadequate, and we compare ourselves to everyone else. Stop doing that. You are more than capable, more than gifted, more than talented. I know it, because I’ve suddenly discovered that I’m a daft gothic romantic with grandiose ideas who is capable, and is valid.

I am capable.

I am capable because of the people who have been placed around me in my life who believe in me. Who match my inner crazy and who have relentlessly supported me. I’m capable because I will get down on my knees and honour where my talent comes from. It’s not possible without.

And I might have a bit of raw talent, but if not for the people who put up with my lunacy 24/7 I would never have arrived here. I would never have stayed focused and relentless in my dedication were it not for those who have loved me despite all. Now it’s up to the One who gave me what gifts I have to see where we go from here…

And I should try to sleep. The wind is howling in the trees, I can hear the first autumn leaves being rattled toward the ground, and my snake is looking at me with a wise face like she knows I’m crazy, and my two adorable tarantulas are giving me the evil eye because I haven’t given them darkness yet.

So, let’s try to sleep.

Oh, and before I forget, you can find me on the finalists list here. I’m down alphabetically under ‘L’ for Loretta of the Lamp, the working title of the manuscript I’ve been working on that I never told you about, haha. I’m also down under my actual name, Jo Fletcher.

With love, from this side of darkness, J R Manawa x

(By the way, I hope they don’t mind that I borrowed their website banner….guys let me know if you do! ^_^)

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. MarlyB says:

    Congratulations! Well deserved xx

    1. jrmanawa says:

      Thank you!!! 😘😘😘

  2. Ray Orton says:

    Hi Jo,

    Well done. No resting on your laurels though, you have far yet to go. Congratulations. From Ray.

    1. jrmanawa says:

      Yes sir absolutely!!! The work is only just beginning! No rest here!!! 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽😬

  3. Lorraine Crengle says:

    Good job Jo. Wishing for you all the best of the best and that you are the final finalist. You are amazing . Aunty Lorraine.

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