Thursday, 31 May 2012

Returning to Writing


So, apart from meeting up with an old friend and eating far too much, I haven’t done a whole lot today.  The school placement I was supposed to be starting fell through; however, I’m sure there will be others. With still no news on the job front either, I started getting a bit upset, so had a nice big bubble bath to calm down and just zone out.

It’s been the case for years that I’m at my most creative in the bath. I really need to start taking a pen and some paper in there, only knowing my luck, I would produce a plan for an award winning bestseller and I’d drop the paper in the bath. I like to think that if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all and at least the bad is character forming. Laying among the bubbles, I started thinking of the creative writing project I submitted for my final writing module at uni. The story had been on the backburner for a couple of years, but for some reason, until this year, had never gotten started, or had been deleted in frustration. I decided that after my bath, I would pour myself a vodka and apple juice and read over my work.

I was actually amazed. I enjoyed reading it. Possibly because I wasn’t over analysing it and hoping it would get a first, or worrying about my lecturer’s comment about him ‘not being a huge fan’ of the fantasy genre. I started editing it, and I started thinking to myself, that submitting it as a portfolio had not been quite as detrimental to the original idea as I thought.

Stephen King said in On Writing, that you should leave your work alone for a few weeks before you go back to read it over and edit it. It worked wonders, and instead of resenting plot and structure decisions I had to make while writing it to be graded, I could see that they had paid off. For example, I had to introduce a couple of characters early in order for the first four chapters to make sense and for the plot to develop more quickly within the first 7000 words. Lecturers and markers aren’t aliens. Changes made to make their reading easier actually make the writing better for everyone.

So, I made the scary decision to try and commit to my creative writing project too. I’m not being over ambitious, I don’t think I have the next Harry Potter on my hands, but I want to make this year productive, and I’d love the see the project finished. So I have edited the first four chapters, and I aim to write the fifth tomorrow. Like I wrote in an earlier post, uni sucked the fun out of things I once loved and made me doubt and over analyse something that as cocky as it sounds, I actually am pretty good at.

So there are today’s things that scare me. Remembering something that’s challenging but that I’m passionate about and committing to it, correcting and editing my own work’s imperfections and mistakes (next time I’ll do it with tea instead of vodka) and admitting that actually, I do believe I’m good at something. And for the first time in years, I actually believe it.

I also linked my mam to this blog today. And looked at my statistics and would like to give a big thanks to everyone who reads this, and a particular thanks to my readers from Russia, USA and Germany – I have no idea how you came across this, but thanks for giving it a read and I hope you enjoy. It means a lot that people see this and any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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