I owe you an apology reader.
I haven’t been a regular blogger this year at all. I fear we may have lost contact reader. I’m afraid that I fell out of love with blogging for many reasons, the first and foremost being I ran out of things to say.
I mean, how many times did you want to hear that I hated editing, or the thought of it as I’d never actually even attempted to do any.
But, reader, get ready with those fireworks. I have conquered the mountain!
I have managed to do two passes over Something in the Water, and though it needs a few more, it is finally feeling like something worthwhile.
Between my last visit and now I have discovered something very interesting. Something to push my writing career along. It’s my attitude towards my writing. This is what has changed more than anything else. I’ll tell you how and why, shall I?
I attended Newcastle Writers Festival, and it was wonderful. Though it did start with a terrible splat. (I’d inadvertently eaten gluten, activate nuttiness and bad humour)
I had intended to attend a session about the Hunter River’s history and changes since European settlement. This session would have been wonderfully informative and useful in the development of On the River Bank. OTRB is my historical novel set on the banks of the Hunter. But, I had to stop to buy a truck part and was held up for a ridiculous amount of time. (This is where the gluten whammy was set into motion) So I was late, and as the session was very popular, there were no seats available. I was upset and cranky and rang Dave to vent and make sure he knew it was his stupid truck’s fault.
I got over that in time to attend my next session, “The Heart of the Matter” with authors Michelle Douglass, Cathryn Hein, Kaz Delaney and Deborah Challinor. The thing I learnt, and the thing that resonated with me was when Cathryn Hein said she’d written 7 (I think that’s right) novels before she had one published. Now I’ve heard and read many different authors say similar things, but Cathryn put it in perspective for me by adding she counted those early attempts as her apprenticeship.
I somehow realised that I’d never really got it. Like everyone else who’s never written a book, I thought I’d write it down and BAM, sold, hardcover, paperback, movie! MONEY!!!
I don’t know who I thought I was kidding. Honestly! Does anyone expect to buy a canvas and some oil or acrylic paints down at the Reject Shop and slap them together and automatically win the Archibald Prize? I think not reader. With any other art form we expect the artist to practice and attend art classes. They work at their art, they study the masters. They learn from their mistakes.
For some reason, everyone thinks writing a novel is the different. I’d love a dollar for every time I’ve told someone I’m a writer and they say “Yes,” hint of dismissive tone here, “I’ve got an idea for a story, I’m going to write a book one day.” As if it’s as simple as that. Now that I am actually living my dream and doing my “one day I’ll write a book”, these off hand comments kind of rankle. Now I must say right here reader, that I probably said those exact words myself to others. The difference is that now I know how ludicrous it is to think that I might just pump out a Pulitzer Prize winner, simply because, like most people who’ve been to school, I know how to read and write!
So now I have a plan. I have decided to knuckle down and make my half baked dream a reality. I am not just scribbling down random thoughts and scenes. I am working at my craft, adding to my skills as a writer. I will practice until my work is publishable. I will continue to practice, practice, practice.
So while I doubt I’ll manage to blog weekly this year, I will promise to write to you at least once a month. I hope this way, we can stay in touch, but I won’t feel like a whinging bore, prattling on about how hard it is to write. I’d much rather be able to write something interesting, and leave you wanting more, than waffle on and have you think “yeah yeah” and click off my page and move on to a more interesting blogger.