Friday, 25 March 2016

Writing Words - Refocusing


Many of you know that I write. I've been writing for a few years now. I've sent a couple of completed books out to agents and received some really lovely and personal rejection letters after being asked for full manuscripts but I've never got further than that. 

Let's be honest - rejection hurts. It doesn't matter how often someone tells you to get over it, it hurts enough to break your spirit. And I'm not used to rejection. Throughout my life, I've rarely faced it. I'm that most annoying person who has walked into every job she has applied for. So I've found the rejections for my writing really hard to deal with. To the point where, last year, I gave up. I stopped writing. I had too much going on in my life and I couldn't give it the time it deserved and I didn't have any energy left to rewrite for what felt like the hundredth time. 

During this time, I realised the truth. It wasn't something I could discard like an unfashionable jumper. Writing is buried within     me. Prose beats in time with my heart. As hard as I tried to stop, my fingers itched to write, my brain filled up with brand new story ideas and new characters flicked at my eyelids while I slept. I wasn't allowed to give up.  All I've ever wanted to do since my Nan gave me an old typewriter at the age of seven, is see my name on a book cover. 
So after major nagging from my SCBWI group (love you all really), severe butt kicking from my Book Bounders group and intense soul searching, I picked up my pen and started to write again. Around the same time, the amazing and superbly supportive Abi Elphinstone alerted me to something she had written which really made me think. I know it isn't going to be easy, but I need to do this. I know how frigging lonely the journey is and how everyone's success make me feel like I am moving further away from my own, but I know I will never be happy if I give up completely. I will always wonder if the next book could have been the one to take me through to publication. 
I realised that in order to achieve my dream, I had to retune my brain - refocus on what I wanted and how I was going to get there. I sat down and looked at everything going on in my life and decided how I could juggle things and work alongside them to make this work.  I know I will have to make some sacrifices within my life. Am I willing to do that? Yes. I am. I have the full support of my family. If I miss out on a few things, that's OK, because I want this more than anything in the world.

I know that I am more likely to write in the morning than in the afternoon, so I now wake up earlier (5.45am to be exact) and don't get out of bed until I've written at least five hundred words. That might not sound a lot, but it is an easily achievable target, which I often going past and one I don't feel threatened by. I take chapters to edit to work with me and every opportunity I get, I can be found changing words and moving text around. I've started a bullet journal solely for my writing, which keeps me on track. In between reading books to review, I'm ploughing through writing books to help me hone my skills. As long as I write or edit, even just a little bit, EVERY SINGLE DAY I am moving nearer to my goal. 

This post is one of the changes I'm going to make. Every week I'll talk about an aspect of my writing. I know there are far more experienced writers out there who can and do write more professional posts than this, but this is my blog, my piece of the Internet and I've built it up from nothing - why shouldn't I use it for more personal posts? 

So if you are not interested in my writing thoughts and journey, then Friday's might not be the best day to come and see my blog. If you are, then I look forward to having you joining me on my slow and winding journey to publication. I am the tortoise, I'm way behind my writerly friends, but I will get there. And I expect an amazing party with cheerleaders, trumpets, balloons and cake when I hold my very own book in my hands. Oh and also a sloth. Just because everyone should have one. 

14 comments:

  1. This is such an uplifting post and for many many writers out there it will be just what they need to hear to keep them going. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Happy to share. I hope it helps someone else out there struggling through.

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  2. This is such a motivating post, I look forward to cheering you on as these posts appear :)

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  3. Really heart-warming. I'll be out there waving pompoms when you get that book deal!

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    1. Long long way before I get there, but thanks Linda.

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  4. Great idea - keep going! I'm looking forward to these posts! x (Marie-Claire)

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    1. Thanks Marie- Claire. My Book Bounders really are the most supportive bunch.

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  5. Where do I hire a sloth?
    Keep going , my dear friend!

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  6. Really great post, Viv. Feeling inspired by your surge in motivation, and looking forward to reading more each Friday!

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  7. Your striving to persevere is encouraging. It is a reminder to us all that dreams are worth the sacrifices and hard work we need to make I order to achieve them. Keep up the God's work.

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  8. A really motivating post! Thanks for sharing - And I'll be sure to keep checking in on Fridays :) I just sent my first queries out last week... Is it strange I'm actually looking forward to my first form rejection? I feel like then I can call myself a real writer lol. Although I'm sure that attitude will soon change! Although in the meantime its nice to be working on something new.

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  9. I love this post. I am right there with you lovely. Looking forward to following your progress x

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