It’s Christmas (almost) – that time of year we all get a bit warm and fuzzy around the edges. A great time for a recap. Mid-July I took the writing-bull by the horns and finally decide to do something with my passion to write. Starting this blog gave me the kick up the butt I needed to keep moving forward and five months later I’ve published a short story and have two novels in the works. Not bad going.
I can tell you, I’ve progressed from a writer who’s feeling terrified and hopelessly out of her depth to a writer who – quite-frankly – is having a whale of a time.
Initially all the ‘rules’ of writing threatened to sink me. I experienced some deserved but harsh critical feedback and began to realise my twenty years of writing didn’t necessarily result in amazing works of fiction. But during the last few months I’ve been learning, soaking up the advice, the feedback, the comments and something peculiar has happened. The journey is no longer terrifying; it’s a privilege.
My first great fear was editing. How on earth does a writer get swept along in the excitement and adventure of a first draft and then essentially rip it to shreds? However, I’ve come to recognise editing as the saviour of writing. Editing is akin to an artist’s brushstrokes on canvas; with each new layer of editing the masterpiece begins to take shape – its potential shining through. Editing shouldn’t be frightening. Don’t get me wrong – it’s tough (virtually impossible to do correctly without an outside perspective) but it’s a bitter pill worth swallowing.
Books look like simple things; front and back cover, bunch of words in the middle and a blurb on the back. How hard can that be, right? Ha-ha! They’re deceptive in their simplicity. Every single book requires a downpayment of blood, sweat and tears (and $$$). They look easy and that’s the trick.
Websites, book covers, eBook formatting, printed proofs, distribution, marketing, the people behind the scenes – editors, cover designers, bloggers, and of course the readers!, the thrill of having a hard copy of your work in your hands – a real book! It’s astonishing and I’ve loved every damn second of it. So if this is the world of writing, I’m ready for more. Bring it on. I’m home.
(Image source: freedigitalphotos.net)