My Journey from "writing" to "Writer"
For me, the joy of writing has finally taken hold. Having written my first story at school, I have been running from it ever since. This was the story that was read out to the class, much to my abject horror, cringing embarrassment and unconvincing nonchalance thereafter. It may not have been the best story written that weekend for our homework assignment, but I think my teacher was just surprised that someone had written a romance! The fact that it was the best, most thought through piece of work she had seen from me in the 2 years she had taught me, I think, speaks more to her perseverance, than my 15-year-old talent!
My current manuscript is a modern romance, set in small-town America, and tells the story of Emma Jane’s decision to stop running from her past, and have the courage to build a future she deserves. This story has taken roughly 18 months to get to the so very nearly finished state and is part of a series of, probably 6, books set in and around Longheim, with a renewal, reinventing vibe going on.
Three events moved me from ‘I’m writing’ to being a ‘Writer’. The first was an entry in a Facebook Literacy Group competition. Not sure why, but I decided to enter, and I came 7th! Out of 9!!! But it got my work out there for the first time and proved to me that finding MY readers is so important.
The second event had, arguably, the most impact, I had a coffee with a published writer I knew. Previously we had sort of agreed to support each other, but nothing much had come of it. This time it was different. We both needed accountability, had firm projects in mind and agreed to be each other’s sounding board. A quick text each evening, detailing how many words we had written soon became a series of messages, detailing our daily goals, passing on marketing tips, sharing information, being supportive (which means nagging each other!) as well as that progress report.
The third event was as a result of Event 2. I was advised to start building an audience, a list, a readership, and that Twitter was a good place to start. So, off I went, created an account, and began. I kept seeing #NaNoWriMo all over the place. Checked it out, and BOOM! I was hooked! The challenge is to write a book or 50K words in the month of November. I’d missed the first two days, so had a bit of catching up to do. And I did it! It gave me the additional accountability I so obviously needed, and I got stuck in. I’m a Winner! I got my 50K words down in November, and even though the story wasn’t finished, I carried on, and finished that first manuscript!
Incredibly happy, and very smiley for 3 days. Still rather chuffed with myself, I now know I will get this book out and published. And I have even jotted down a further 4 story ideas which may form part of the series. In fact, keep it to yourself, but I’m already halfway through a shortie which kind of relates to the series, here’s a sneaky peak:
The last vestiges of night gently pulled away, giving the world a new day. The once black as black sky had a blue tinge, whispering in from the East, the stars, once diamond bright, now gently fading. Pulling the cover closer around her shoulders against the predawn chill, her numb bare feet touched the slippery wooden boards, she was now ready to stand up to this day.
I’d love to hear what you think about Towards The West (working title), and if you’d like to hear more, please sign up for my newsletter.
Who knew writing could be so addictive?! She said in a very squeeky, annoying voice.