Hmmm; time to reflect, eh? I’m starting 2008 at the beginning of the same story that I was starting at the beginning of 2007. I could be unkind to myself and say it feels a bit like Groundhog Day or I could acknowledge that my achievements are subtle, but accomplishments nonetheless.
This time last year I was skulking around Kate H’s blog, harbouring a desire to write. I’d nursed this want for years, having started and aborted several secret manuscripts. At the inception of the Novel Racers, I still lurked, until one day in a small voice, I emailed Kate and asked her if I could join in.
Blogging with the Novel Racers (and other writers who’ve blogged alongside) has been a wonderful experience on so many levels. You’ve plugged a hole I had in writing friends. You’ve supported me through my many wobbles. You’ve given me friendship, advice, encouragement, made me laugh and cry, and shared your achievements and disappointments.
I’ve seen a determination in myself to do this that I don’t think I’ve had for other things. Despite not getting it right over this last year I am not giving up. I have had moments where I’ve thought I may, but eventually emerging from those wobbles has been a determination to keep trying. That must mean something.
Somewhere in my brain has always been a firm belief that I am not creative; that I have no imagination. It’s true I was brought up to believe I was the academic one, and my sister was the creative one, but since doing my fine art degree I know that that’s not the truth. A combination of growing confidence with writing articles and the fine art degree experience have made me realise that it’s simply a question of overwriting those messages. I understand how to make decisions about a piece of art; I don’t yet know how to do that with fiction but I do believe that the more I do it the more likely it is I will get there. I have faith that practice, practice, desire and more practice, I will begin to understand how to do this. My experience with creative writing is totally in its infancy.
I’ve always said I was only racing with myself and I still believe that. I’m also firmer than ever that my goal right now is not publishing (I know some people will doubt that) but having recognised how heinously difficult the whole process of writing a book is, I just want to be able write a novel of which I am proud. IF I ever manage that, I am sure that I will want to think about an agent, publishing blah blah blah, but that’s way off still and definitely not my primary goal.
I’ve learned to say out loud ‘I want to write’
I posted my first ever short story into the public domain.
I showed people some of my writing.
I showed JULIA BELL my first crappy attempt at fiction. I survived the feedback.
I’ve started, stalled; started again and stalled again, and I’m still going to try again.
I’ve developed faith in the process of practise.
My 2008 writing goals are to:
Do my morning pages while the children are getting ready for school.
Restart WIP in 3rd person.
Learn to make decisions about WIP plot and characters.
Be brave and send Julia my first re-written chapter one.
Aim to do a dedicated writing course in the summer 2008.