And so I’ve begun. Begun to be a writer. I think. I hope. I’ve got a manuscript. I’ve got a mentor. I’ve got a Twitter account. I’ve joined a writer’s group. I’ve even got a pseudonym (titter). And now I’ve got a blog!
I still feel like a rookie though. A novice. A fledgling. A beginner. It’s even hard to call myself a ‘proper writer’ because I haven’t published anything.
I’ve always written something – teenage poetry, industry articles, and good letters. I wrote the first chapter of my novel long ago… before I had the story. Before the ‘what’s it about?’ had revealed itself.
I am almost fifty now. I’ve had a lot of jobs. Good ones, and some of them well paid. Some of them even satisfying. I ran my own company for fifteen years, organising events. I led a young, dynamic team and earned recognition as a successful entrepreneur. Once you’re on that road, it’s hard to stop. And I had (have) a mortgage too. But above all, and below the radar, I have always wanted to be a writer.
A few years ago, some things happened to me which were shocking. They were very hard to explain… without it sounding like fiction. That was my light bulb moment, my eureka effect. It had finally presented itself to me, without much looking. The simple fact that something I could talk about, write about, was something that sounded like fiction. It felt like finding a needle in a haystack.
So, two years ago, I was finally brave enough to commit to it… this story. I sold my company and borrowed some money. I sat down and wrote daily. Bit by bit, my characters emerged. And slowly, carefully they took on their own personality. Soon, they were doing the job for me. They became their own souls, owned their own being, stuck up for themselves, disagreed with me if I made them do something that they didn’t want to, or say something that they wouldn’t.
And now, it’s complete. I think. I hope. They, my characters, seem happy that the work is done too. Well, mostly. So, at least… it feels right – my novel feels real and tangible. I want people to read it, love it, maybe even relate to it. Simultaneously, I’m so nervous…god, I’m scared. What if it’s terrible? It could be absolutely awful. Why would I even dream that other people might like it?
But, you see, I’ve written it, re-written, re-re-written it. I’ve jigged it around, cut it, extended it, edited it, torn it up, and Sellotaped it back together. Now, I think it’s ready. I say ‘I think’, because I suppose I won’t know until I DO something with it.
But, oh, the rejection. Yes, now there is a subject I’ve read, heard, and talked about. It sets horrible alarms ringing – maybe I’m wasting all this blood, all this sweat and I’ll end up in tears. Of course, it’s rubbish – I’m not a writer. No, no, I’m nothing but an office worker. Who am I kidding?
But I haven’t got this far, just to give up. I can’t. My characters won’t abandon me that easily and I can’t let them down. They trust me now – they’re my friends. I couldn’t do that to them.
So I’m just working on my final-final draft. Yes, I did think that last one was it… but I just re-read it and it’s not. No, no, no. Just a few more tweaks and it will be done, ready for submission, I promise.
At least, I think it will. I can only hope.