I decided to write this on the 9th April 2018 to help other Book Virgins on their journey to be a successful author, at this point I haven’t actually published my book but we will work on the obvious assumption that it will happen 😉
So a bit about me,
I was having a bad day at home feeling sorry for myself, wondering what I was going to do with my life, yes you guessed it my mid-life crisis was looming! At 42 I was generally very happy with my life, but I didn’t seem to have that passion in life, I would look at people and feel jealous that they had a passion, whether that be a craft, artist, cycling, running (well maybe not the exercise stuff) , I was pretty much jealous of anyone with a passion. I had things I loved doing or things I enjoyed doing, my friends would say my passion was holidays, I regularly get called ‘Judith Chalmers!” but something was missing.
One day I was sat at home feeling sorry for myself, wondering if I should fully engage with my midlife crisis, I sat down and wrote a little list of things, I suppose a sort of bucket list, one of the things was a parachute jump, which I have now booked for the 6th October..eeeekkkk
The next thing on my list was a question,
Was I a reader or was I a writing. Or was I both?
I think most people think they have a book in them, or one day they will write a book. Every so on this had popped into my mind, but I had never done anything about it. I don’t know why I suddenly decided I was just going to do it, and that was it.
Generally once I decide to do something I do it.
On the 20th March I contacted my friend the very talented and amazing writer (I won’t put her name on just yet, as she might decide she doesn’t want anything to do with me once she has read my book lol )asking her how I become a success writer? Joking in one way but serious in another.
My friend was amazing, she sent me links to a free Creative Writing course with the OU, with the following advice;
Decide what genre I wanted to work, with some recommendations like Teach Yourself Writing a Novel – so far I haven’t read this as I got too excited and just started writing!
Write every single day, to get in the habit. On this note, this is great advice to just get your mind into ‘writing mode’ thinking about your plot and characters. Also from the beginning I decided I wouldn’t have a set place for writing, so I write on my desk looking out onto the garden, in a busy coffee shop, sometime I write ‘On location’ to get inspiration, I write while watching tv, in bed, you get the picture. I had read that some authors needed a particular environment Eg Quiet, desk set up properly, a certain room etc etc but I would find this limiting and could stop the flow of writing, but we all write differently, this is just what worked for me.
I also went out and bought myself a beautiful baby blue laptop, I LOVE IT, I wanted something just for writing, not the internet etc, just writing and I can say it has worked for me. Also it’s an investment and the belief in myself that I will be successful.
Keep a notebook for ideas and description, I will 100% recommend this, I have a notebook and pen everywhere, I even had one next to my bed as when my complete and utter obsession and excitement took hold, I literally had 3 nights where I had about a million ideas a minute and I would write them down on a piece of paper in the dark!! Some of them were a bit difficult to read in the morning lol, but seriously, you don’t know where and when an idea will grab you and unless you have a very good memory it is a great idea to write them down.
On the 25th march I messaged (insert friends name when she is happy to associate with me!) to say I was cracking on with homework and coming up with ideas, any thoughts I had I just kept constantly writing them down with the hope that one would engage me.
I had also started the OU course which I found very useful, it got me into the mindset for thinking about characters, what they would look like, how they would act etc.
By the 30th March, I had written 5,000 words I sent my word count to (friend) She was impressed, I did say it was probably quantity not quality and that (as you can see from this blog) I get so excited about writing that Grammar, punctuation and anything else wordy (is that the right word) goes out the window. I just have to get it down on paper.
Friend was so supportive and said don’t worry, just GET IT DOWN on paper and worry about all of that after. Great advice as always. I would recommend you find yourself a (friend, she might be available for a fee if this blog is successful)… 😊
I emailed over what I had with many many comments; this was something like my message:
I will send it over. Remember I have just sat and wrote this, no rereads etc. Like you said I thought I would just get it down. I would love your feedback, sending now…
After a few technical issues, I received this response;
You are evil, I want nothing more to do with you.
Lol, best message ever, I thought I must have made my main character scary enough!
I got some great feedback, with some constructive comments about toning down certain character traits etc. and “it was a really good start, I like your writing style. Very ‘now’ first person and punchy. Publishers like this. I like that you get right inside his head. He’s an evil b*****d. I also had feedback from another friend about the book and was told to stop everything I was doing and write… good sign.
I was really pleased, in fact over the moon, as I have never, ever sat and written anything so to get feedback like this really made me believe I could write a book.
Okay enough for now, told you I rant on. First blog I have every done!