I’m fairly new to writing, and when I say fairly new I mean I’ve barely been writing for five months. Which sounds a little bit ridiculous when you think about it considering I changed my entire life in pursuit of becoming an author. (I quit a stable, well paying full-time job to start university at the age of 24.) Suffice to say when I started writing back in December I didn’t realise the kind of domino effect it would have.
The reason behind why I started writing is pretty simple, and probably a bit boring. A good friend of mine showed me a story he was working on, the beginnings of a novel, and whilst reading it I had a thought. I realised something about writing that should have been obvious. I realised anyone could do it. On the following weekend I gave it a try. I sat in front of my computer, opened up google docs (I didn’t have word, I still don’t have word, I use Scrivner—check it out) and started writing. A measly five hundred words got written, and I was proud.
Afterwards I reread those words and realised they weren’t very good. That didn’t matter. I’d written something, it wasn’t much, but it was something. I wrote over three thousand words that week. Which I understand isn’t very much, but I was thrilled. I enjoyed myself every step of the way. The story I was writing, however, only lasted a week.
I started a new story, something I find a lot more interesting. That new story is the novel I’m working on. I started writing that novel and I haven’t stopped, I don’t plan to stop until it’s finished. At which point I know I will have to spend a good long while in the trenches editing the damn thing.
I try not to think about the editing phase.
Then I’ll write another one, and another one. I’ll keep writing until I have something good, then write some more.
So, yes, why do I write? Because I love it… and I really want to find out what happens at the end.
As for how I write, that hasn’t changed. I have a laptop now, but other than that the process is the same. Get out laptop, put it in front of me, write. Write until I have something—anything. I try to allot two hours to my writing sessions, but it doesn’t always work that way. University has been getting in the way more than I thought it would. It’s just something I’m going to have to learn how to juggle. One thing I’ve noticed, the more I write and the better I get at it, the harder it is to write. It may sound strange, but it’s true. When I started writing I had no idea what I was doing, I just sat back and let the words flow out. Now that I’m starting to learn what good writing is, this little editor jumped on top of my shoulder and won’t let the words flow anymore.
So what I need to learn how to do, in my writing process, is just let go and write. Fill the page and worry about making it sound pretty later. First drafts are meant to be bad. First drafts are meant to be bad. I might have to make that my mantra and recite it every time I sit down to write.
Netflix came to Australia last week. The first month is free. I got home at 10:30 this evening to find that my sister had signed us up. I’m a self confessed television show addict and a first year university student who now has access to Netflix. Instead of going to sleep I sat down and watched Safety Not Guaranteed. (A bit quirky, annoying in some parts, but overall an enjoyable movie.) If I fail out and never finish this book, I’ll know to blame Netflix.
It’s 1:42am as I finish writing this blog post, I should be asleep.
Novel word count: 64,468