I’m a wannabe, I hate admitting this, but I am. I’m a wannabe author.
I’ve spent the past year dreaming and plotting my first big project (to be honest I spent a lot of time procrastinating and having little belief in myself).BUT I have the dream of walking up to Waterstones and seeing my book in the window, number 1 on the best sellers list and even…wait for it…the rights being bought and it being turned into a movie!
Well, you’ve got to aim high, right? Shoot for the stars. Go for gold. Why play down a dream? The thing between a dream and a realised goal is ACTION. (Finger out, head down, pen in hand and off we go!)
I had this idea that writing a book would be easy. It’s a story that’s been living in my head for a while, so putting it on paper is the easy bit right? Wrong! I’m discovering just how hard it is to write a book. I have even more appreciation for authors than I had before and I’ve always thought they were pretty fab.
The days I have sat staring at a blank screen realising I’m illiterate (did I even go to school?) are countless. Thinking I’d be able to bang out 3000 words in the little time I have after being mother, cleaner, washer, ironer, taxi, food shopper, cleaner, comforter and cook was certainly idealistic. Oh to be Jefferey Archer, escaping abroad for three months to write his novels. (You have no idea how lucky you are Jeff) Stephen King says the first draft should be written within 3 months, love your work Stephen but clearly you do not have young children who demand your full attention. (Thank God school just started)
I dream up an entertaining, action packed chapter in the shower then as soon as I’ve opened the laptop amnesia kicks in (who am I?). I have spent a whole day (it isn’t often I get these) and managed 500 words, in the whole day! (Ridiculous, I know) But then I’ll, weirdly, wake up at 5 a.m. and write more words in half and hour than I did in that whole day. Maybe I need to set my alarm and write early morning, this could be my creative time. Just my luck for 5 bloody a.m. to be my most creative time! I’d rather it be 8 p.m. than 5 a.m. (If Microsoft word had emoji’s I’d stick a shocked emoji right here.)
I’m certainly learning a lot about myself. Who even knew there was a time of day when you’re most creative? It’s a new concept to me; my previously ignorant-self thought writers pick up a pen and just write as well as their talent allows them to all day every day, each paragraph being as fabulous as the others. Wrong again. And then there is the editing bit, which I have happily discovered, I love. It makes me feel like a sculpture chipping away at a block of stone to reveal the hidden gem inside, a painter who has sketched their foundation and applying the colour to create their masterpiece. Getting it out, first draft, this is the hard bit.
Besides these challenges and realisations I’m really enjoying myself. There is nothing better than escaping into a realm of make believe, creating new worlds, navigating your characters around trials and triumphs, crying with them and celebrating with them. On the days I get sucked into the story and the words flow like ice cream from a Mr. Whippy ice cream machine, I’m like Tigger after a double espresso coffee from Costas. Maybe I need to go with the flow, accept the bad writing days for what they are and buzz, vigorously, off of the creative spew days (Tigger was always my favourite). Creativity can’t be forced and I’ve noticed on days where I feel like I’m forcing it I write dribble, it’s like when you have wind – if it has to be forced it’s probably crap!