I hadn’t written anything since August, nothing I’d deemed worth doing anyway. Last Saturday, I picked up a journal and pen and unloaded what I was feeling in regards to my writing, or lack thereof.
I didn’t know what I was hoping to gain out of journaling; I opened the book to fresh pages without expectation. In the first few sentences, I felt clarity, I felt weightless. This new story has been tapping me on the shoulder for the past couple of months. I’ve looked at the notebook and screwed my nose up, not thinking that it was worth doing. My initial spark with it had gone out and, as usual, I overthink and worry as to whether it will return.
It always does. Each and every time, I forget how good it feels to get words onto a page. Yesterday I wrote five pages, today another four. Now it doesn’t sound like much, but it is to me. It’s heaps and I’m really bloody proud of those words.
On another topic slightly, I’d set myself a goal this year of reading ten books – I’ve read eleven. Yay! I finished book eleven on Tuesday and it was my first read of Giovanna Fletcher’s. A couple of friends had recommended her novels to me and I thought I would get a few and give them a go.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on here plenty of times before, although I write romance novels, I don’t tend to read them as much as I want my work to be as original as it can be. It’s more than likely my backwards way of thinking, yet I like to keep it this way.
This time however, I was hoping for it to give me a kick up the arse – I read Dream A Little Dream, a good read – it had heart, it was funny, sad and most importantly, it kept me turning those pages.
This next part is where I might lose you, but please, stick with me.
As I read Giovanna’s book, I took a second mid-page and realised that I allowed myself to feel as though I could sit in her company in a bookshop. I felt confident in my own writing, especially with this new work, that it could work. Now I’m in no way saying, especially as an unpublished author, that my work is better than hers, but my work is better than my previous.
And that, for me, is what it’s all about. Other than eventually getting published, obvs.
I was thrilled that I was able to think that about myself and my work. I’ve always had this complex, and still do, that this career is above my station, that I should stay in my lane. I’ve had instances, and again, still do, where people will pick me up on my grammar, correct me on my pronunciation – blah, blah, blah.
It’s frustrating. I’m not the smartest human on planet earth – I don’t wish to be, nor am I stating this for an “aww hun, you’re so so smart, don’t let the snakes and fakes get u down xxx”. But I remind myself that I can’t be all that bad – I’ve got three novels under my belt that people have enjoyed. That won’t be enough for some, but it’s enough for me. So let’s bang this next fucking book out lasses and lads!
Ooh, soz about that – just had a little moment there.
Anyhoo, my point is, I’ve got to keep reminding myself that I can bloody well do this. I’m still petrified about the next part of it all and I keep thinking if I should shelf this idea to focus on getting Back To Reality in the place it needs to be in, for it to even be kept out of the recycling bin in a big posh office.
I also know I’ve said this point before, and the next one to follow, but I think having the power to say that you can do something and believe in your work, isn’t cockiness. Sometimes, if you write a banging sentence, you’re more than allowed to give yourself a pat on the back or even take your smart arse out for a slap-up, three course meal. And if you write an absolute honker of one, don’t worry about it right now – that’s what the backspace button is for.
I’m allowing what I have written to be bad (thanks, Amie!!!) – it’s more authentic this way, it’s got that fire behind it, I can see in my handwriting at how frantic I am to get these words out of my brain. I can sort all of this out another time. I’m sure there are bits I’ve gotten wrong what with timelines, whether I’ve already said point A and not point B, but ah well, I’ll sort it. I’m just buzzing that for the first time ever, I’ve managed to start writing a novel AT THE START!
This is the ‘next one to follow’ – I’ve said it a million times, but I cannot tell you how glad and grateful I still am to have attended Amie’s writing workshop whilst I was in Australia. I honestly still think about it most days and I put my freer way of thinking down to that day. Of course, there are things that I still struggle to shake in regards to my writing journey, but attending that has undeniably helped.
Also, meeting those lovely people and all of us being as open as we wanted to be was an honour to witness. I opened myself up more than I ever thought I would and I’m extremely proud of myself and everyone else for doing so. I’m thrilled that we still keep in touch and it has opened me up to a wider community where I can feel as though I am able to flourish and be open with my work.
As massive thank you to those on that day, you’re all awesome and magical storytellers – you truly put the cherry on the cake of the already mint trip.
Christ, that was a ramble, but a good ‘un.
I’m off for a brew and a Wispa Gold.
You can view all of Amie’s available information on workshops and the like here.