Now that I have begun sharing my little writing secret a bit more widely, it has been interesting to hear people’s response to my news. Most people have said “Oh, that’s interesting.., well done…, keep me informed of developments…” One person, however, came out with “What made you decide to do that?”. It was a bit of left-field question but, with a little more thought however, a fairly pertinent one.
There were two reasons. The first is that my job no longer excites me and hasn’t done so for a VERY long time. Finding a new one is not really an option because that will simply be SSDD! Same Sh!t, Different Desk! The second reason is that the time was right.
You see, I first began writing this story over ten years ago. I had it all worked out in my head – the beginning, the middle and the ending. I knew EXACTLY how I wanted it to be. If I’d been making a film, it would have been so much easier. Getting those thoughts out of my head, through my fingers, and into words, however, was another matter altogether! It simply was not happening. I wrote twenty chapters before I shelved it. Once on paper (or PC screen to be precise) my characters seemed flat and my story just felt ‘not right’. I wasn’t happy with it so I put it away.
Roll forward ten years to last November. The 29th of November 2016 to be exact. I had just finished reading a really good book called ‘Lizzie’s Christmas Escape’ by Christie Barlow. She was a new author to me, although this was her fourth book. But, if you put snow and Christmas trees on a book cover, then I am there!
More interestingly, however, was the story of how Christie became a writer. Her children were talking about careers and Christie told them they could be anything they wanted to be, do anything they wanted to do. When they asked her what she had always wanted to do (because that’s what kids do don’t they? Turn the tables when you least expect it!) Christie replied “Write a book.”
Which she did! Just to prove her point.
And that book went on to become a best seller. (As did the next four after that and I am in no doubt that her next one – ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ due for release on the 22nd of August – will also be right up there in the Number 1 spot too.)
When I read this, I had my light bulb moment – I was going to write my book!
A frisson of absolute certainty ran through me. I knew, right down to my toes, that now was the right time. I was so pumped up with joy and excitement that I had to tell someone. Poor Christie caught the brunt of the excitement as I sent off some waffled Facebook message to her. She was (and still is) extremely lovely and wished me every success.
In January 2017, I sat down, blew the dust off the USB stick where my first twenty chapters were waiting for me to re-visit them and I started writing again. This time, however, it was an altogether different experience. My brain and fingers were totally in sync. The stuff in my head couldn’t get out fast enough and I was putting down my thoughts exactly how I wanted them to be.
I just could not stop pouring out those words. My mind was tripping over itself in its creativity.
A perfect example of this was one Sunday afternoon when I sat down to give one of my secondary characters his background. I genuinely had no idea how, or where, this was going to go. Two hours later, this character had a full life story which had sprung up from goodness only knows where. And it sprung very damn well because it transpires that the area where ‘Me Dude’ grew up was only a few miles from where my editor lived as a child! And he was more than happy with what I had written, saying that it brought back memories. Yay!
Which brings me neatly to giving you a quick update on how things are doing so far. One third of the book has now been professionally edited and I haven’t had to do any re-writes yet. Some dodgy typos and plenty of useless commas (always my Achilles Heel) but those I can live with. My graphic designer began work on my cover on Monday so really looking forward to seeing some drafts very soon. And finally, Book 2 has been started and I’m already four chapters in. The characters in Books 3 – 10 are pleased with this progress as they know their stories are one step closer to being written.
I don’t know why it is all so different this time around. I suspect it was down to finding Facebook, and becoming a member of a few active forums, that I learnt how to channel my thoughts and put them into writing. Or maybe it is simply a case of the time is now right!
Whatever it is, I know that I am loving every moment of this experience and I’m most definitely having the time of my life.