Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Writing on Wednesdays - A Serendipitous Writer's Journey

I mentioned last week that I was going to spend some time on my holidays reviewing my blog and structuring the posts a little to fit in with my routine. Well, this post is the result of that brainstorming and the first of my structured days. Actually, come to think of it, it is the second one, as Menu Planning Monday seems to be a set feature now. Think of my blog as a magazine or newspaper with different columns and topics on different days. I will advise the rest of them as I think of them and include a tab on my home page to summarise this new structure. The beauty of this system is that it stops me rambling (well, I can hope) and keeps me organised, and if you only want my recipes then you know what days to visit.

So, without further ado....drumroll please....Welcome to Writing on Wednesdays.

As the name suggests the focus on Wednesdays will be on writing. It is a broad topic and will encompass many different and varied posts, which I trust you will enjoy.

For example, one week I may share a short story or piece of writing I have completed, other weeks I may discuss the merits (or my opinion) of particular words or give a short tutorial on punctuation or grammar. I will also include information as to my own submissions, successes and failures, and summaries of any workshops, presentations or classes I have attended. So...basically anything that is writing related. I would like this space to be interactive and for you to share your own writing journey with me, or if you don't write, to offer your opinion as a reader or critic.

My writing journey, so far, is made up of a series of weekend getaways. Just when I think I am getting somewhere, I make excuses, or life gets in the way (more excuses), or I lack motivation or confidence to complete or submit a project. For example, a few years ago I spent six months writing a young adult fantasy novel. The project consumed me in a way I never thought possible. The main protagonist became my constant companion and I began to think like her and wonder how she would handle certain situations. It was an incredible experience, if a little daunting (and a tad obsessive), and one that I have heard other authors describe. Once I got to the last two chapters I suddenly stopped writing. Not because I didn't know how to finish it, although that is a possibility as there were several possible endings. No, I stopped because when I read it back I thought it sounded great, but did not know for sure if I could actually write. For example, you may think you sound okay singing and then when you hear it recorded, you think how could I have thought that sounded okay? What if this was the case with my writing?

What if I couldn't write? What if the 100,000 words I had written were just dribble? I couldn't possibly submit something to a publisher that I was not sure of. I was completing a novel writing course at the time by correspondence and my faceless and nameless tutor was encouraging, but a little brief in his feedback. I needed more reassurance. So, I put the novel on the shelf where it has sat for the past three years and enrolled in University for a degree in Creative Writing. Studying has taken up all of my spare time and I am currently taking a semester off to get my writing back on track. Everything I have read or written over the past few years has been study related. I have learnt  so much about writing and discovered a really important thing....I can actually write, and really well apparently.

So, here I am, starting a blog for the first time, charting my simple living and flooding journeys, and combining it with my writing one. It is a serendipitous (second time I have used this word this week) path that has led me here, to this blog. Serendipity is one of my favourite words and is basically about making a fortunate discovery by accident. I think its favourite drinking buddy is fate. In other words, I like to believe that I was meant to accidentally discover and clear the overgrown path that I am on.

Let me explain.

A few years ago I tried to get a writers group off the ground in Gympie. The local library assisted but basically it never got off the ground. Since I have started this blog, the library rang me and invited me to a writers group which is hosted by Karen Foxlee, an award winning (Premier's Literary Award) local author of young adult novels....a perfect mentor who writes in my genre. Last month I submitted my first competition entry and received a Highly Commended Award at the Bendigo Literary Awards...instant confidence boost. Next month I am attending a workshop on creating e-books, and will join National Novel Writing Month in an effort to write 50,000 words in a month...a new novel in the making perhaps?

I also met a complete stranger for coffee today, a beautiful lady who I met via a simple living blog. When she arrived she handed me a jar of honey she collected this week...we both knew straight away that we will be long-term friends...what a lovely accidental discovery!.

My point, which I come to in my usual round-about way, is that I have pushed the boulder aside that has been blocking my way. I have come out into the open, embraced my fears, and admitted my failings (floodings) to the world via my blog. I have announced myself to the universe and been acknowledged.
I am slowly regaining my inner happiness, and am being rewarded for rediscovering who I am and want to be. It's a nice way to look at things isn't it?

How do you sit in your world? Are you where you want to be or still on the road asking for directions?

Do you write? If so, please share your experience.

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