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Thoughts on being a writer

Posted by l_smith21 on December 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I've written things for as long as  I can remember, I think pretty much since I learnt how to physically write letters I've been writing stories. I was always scribbling ideas and plot lines in the margins of school exercise books and smudging pencil everywhere, I was always in trouble when out for meals because I would come up with an idea or someone would say something and I'd have to scrawl it on a napkin and come back to it later. When I worked as a waitress and again as a shop girl, I was constantly jotting down my experiences on whatever was at hand, reciepts, serviettes, anything really. 
An entire half of my wardrobe is full of incomplete manuscripts and short stories hastily stapled together, full note books of stories and characters that I've finished and chucked aside. There is a pile that is almost bigger than I am, of notebooks with varying degrees of novels beside my bed. Most of them are half thought of ideas that will probably never see the light of day. Some, I might come back to and finish, but others will probably just continue to gather dust. 

About two years ago, I was alerted to a web page called Jottify, it's like a social network for writers, kind of like movella and wattpad and so I started transferring things that I'd written over to it, just as a storage kind of thing and I would read through them and stare at the titles and never click the publish button. Because I was too scared. Writing has always been my thing, and it's like, if I publish it for the world to see and people don't think I'm any good, or they don't like what I've done, then writing won't be my thing anymore. I won't know who I am. Because if that's not my thing, and it's not something that I'm good at, then who am I? 

Earlier this year, I found myself on a work placement which was every kind of dull, and to pass the time, I went back over some of those things on my jottify profile, edited them and read through them and during that time, I started to feel like maybe I should start showing people things that I've written creatively. I've been writing articles and emails and all sorts of dull things like that for people for years, and they have always come back to me for more, so the actual piecing together of sentences must be a thing I was good at. And so, with that in mind, I took the plunge, I published a full length, completed novel to my jottify called Lucy in Love. And I sat and watched and waited for people's opinions. I found it in the most read of the day, I found it in the most liked of the day, I found that people I knew from school and from around had it on their e readers and were reading and enjoying. People I didn't even know would be interested in reading it sought me out to tell me how much they liked it. 
The whole thing was kind of a revelation to be honest. 

Recently, I went back to my jottify profile to begin the arduous task of saving my SVFM challenge contribution ( a novel in six weeks) to there so that I can link people to it once the challenge is over, and I found that I had a new reader of Lucy in Love and that new reader had left me some comments that made my heart go wee. Like, super wee. 


Things like this make me not scared to show people what I've written, it makes me realise that even if I doubt myself sometimes, that that isn't automatically true for everyone else. 
The last videoCharlie Mcdonnell posted to his YouTube was about being scared that people wouldn't like the things you have created, and I can identify with that, because I'm scared all the time that I'll get negative comments, that people won't like what I do, that I'll lose my identifyer because of it. 
I certainly felt that way whilst writing my latest novel for the six week challenge. 
I still don't think it's the best thing that I have written, I still don't think that people will necessarily enjoy it but I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I won't know that for certain until I put it out there and what other people think may surprise me. 

The six week challenge ends on December 13th and I will make sure that the new novel is up and ready for reading/ downloading that day. Hopefully it'll be good and people will enjoy it.
I hope. 

Categories: musings, my life, shameless self promotion

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