So I’m a closet writer. They say the first step is admitting it.
I’ve been thrashing away at my laptop over the past…ahem…few years, writing and rewriting (a million times) my first rom com novel. (My predictive text did not understand rom com. It offered me poo boo. Thanks.)
A Writer, You Say?
A few people know about this dratted book, but very few have seen proof of its existence. It has become like my secret shame. When people ask me how it’s coming along, I want to kill them. Extreme, I know. But when the truth is that you’ve got another long and arduous edit ahead and you’re losing the will to live, it’s them or you! The road to becoming a published writer is loooooooong.
(Yes, yes. The naked bit is coming!)
Why Didn’t Mummy Just Knit?!
In fairness, most people don’t realise how many edits and rewrites are involved in bringing a novel together. If I’d have realised myself I’d have taken up knitting. There would be enough woolly garments to clothe the whole of bloody Lapland by now.
I’m. Not. Bitter.
It took me a year to write the first draft, whilst working full time. That was the easy bit. The real writing is done at editing stage for many writers, which is definitely true for me. (Even this blog post will have about ten edits. Ten edits, you say. For it to be this bad!)
Polishing the words until they shine like tiny emeralds, decluttering until every sentence earns its place, and of course making it flipping hilarious come with the editing.
Edit by edit, layer by layer, shaping, moulding, adding meaning. And for idiots like me who think they’ll just write a novel without checking what this complicated process actually entails, the rewrites can involve going back and giving your story an actual plot. Who knew!
So what the hell am I doing faffing about setting up a new blog and writing blog posts when I’ve got a novel to rewrite, you may legitimately ask. (Not to mention book two that’s already part written, and book three that’s churning around in my head. B-Daddy thinks I’m procrastinating. He may have a point.)
But writing books is rarely the only task to be done for most writers. As much as many of us would prefer to hide in our writing sheds like the introverts we may be, we must go forth and find our tribe of poor unsuspecting readers and dangle our wares. So here I am, a little bit bashful and a whole lot terrified, trying to brazen it out like I know what I’m doing. Haaaaa.
Honestly though, releasing my precious words into the world for all to judge feels like walking naked into school assembly whilst everyone points, gapes and giggles at my wonky bits. It’s so chilly being this exposed. Dare I lay down my delicate dreams for everyone to meander over in their muddy Ugg boots..?
But hell, sometimes you’ve just got to scare yourself, haven’t you? If I don’t take a chance I’ll never know if I can be a writer. And how can I possibly teach Little B he can be anything he wants to be (barring serial killer or strange flasher man with anorak) if I don’t have the lady-balls to fight for my own aspirations. (And hey, Dick and Angel dreamed big and landed themselves a 45 room chateau. Perhaps there is hope for the rest of us.)
Mummy Takes Her Sword
Well, that’s settled then. With a Bic biro as my reasonably priced sword I hereby pledge to “try and make it as a writer”, much like the summer when Ross from Friends tried to “make it as a dancer”, only infinitely more humiliating.
Thank you for letting me practise my art on you. It won’t be as cool as having a friend trying out for Bake Off. There won’t be cake (although if I get my book baby published one day, the biscuits are on me). But you will get to gape and laugh at my wonky bits (in a non-naked way), and I promise I’ll be grateful and non-murderous if you ask me how the book’s going.
So January is for faffing around with blog posts and setting up this blog thingamy. (It’s been TRAUMATIC – read why here.) And in February, I promise I’ll start my next round of editing on the rom com. And when it’s as lovely as it can be, I’ll send it off into the world of literary agents with my fingers and toes crossed in pretty patterns, and will keep you posted…
So tell me, do you have a closet passion? Something you love to do but feel a bit embarrassed to confess? Are you a secret rock musician, finger knitter, chateau re-developer? Feel free to admit it here, so I’m not the only one feeling silly and naked. Now, don’t be shy…
Give Me More!
Talking of getting naked (well, more hiding behind a fake moustache, really), you should check out my post Impostor Syndrome – Is Mummy Just a Fraud?
If you feel like you’re sinking with the weight of all the things you’re trying to achieve too, I’ve published a very nifty post on Overwhelm.
And don’t forget to visit my About Me page, which is also kind of lovely.
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