My novel – ‘Everyday Wendy’ is to be published in 2022 (more details to follow). To a required deadline, I’ve spent most of the past year editing my story into a publishable work. I’ve learned more from the process than I could ever have imagined.
I have notebooks full of ideas for stories. I have shelves of books on writing craft which I’ve studied and drawn upon in an effort to improve my writing. I read a broad range of genres. For a number of years, I’ve written every day and enjoyed creating playgrounds and characters. I’ve been lucky with having a few things published too – even won a couple of prizes for my writing.
The past year has taught me the difference between being a hobby writer and a career writer.
Turning my novel into a publishable draft has been work. Several hours a day, most weekdays, concentrated graft. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been an adventure and fun and through the process, I believe I have learned how better to write my next novel. I will write another novel (I have two more in the planning stage) but I’ve needed to ponder on whether I want to be ‘a writer’ and if I do, why (Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash).
I love creating worlds. Even more than this though are the many surprises I find in those worlds. Remembering those moments sat at my desk, tapping away on a keyboard when I’m taken to ‘oh, OK then – didn’t see that coming’, makes me smile. I love that. I love finding the essence of the thing – chewing over the right word to use, how best to show emotion or find the right hook to make a reader want to turn the page. When a story works, when it does what I had hoped it would do with the richest of words and the most crafted of forms, I am happy. Writing makes me happy. If, sometimes, my writing makes other people happy too, even better.
Writing for me is more than a hobby – I need to write
I don’t know who I am without it and a few days away from a keyboard has me twitchy. Even on beach sunbeds, I’m making notes on dialogue heard and possible settings.
Do I want it to be work though? I’m not looking for another career – I’ve had one of those and very fine it was too but life now takes a different pace. Indeed, it is a pace and with space that allows me the joy of writing. Making writing my job would suck the joy out of it I think. (Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash)
Hopefully, the novel will be successful, sold all over the world, goes into paperback, options taken, book tours. Yada yada (living the novelists dream for a moment there…. But if, as is more likely, this is not what happens I guess I will carry on joyfully writing anyway.