I wrote a book

I wrote it a while back now, and I even blogged about writing it at the time, so this is not really news.  I came up with the idea in 2004 (!) forgot all about it for a wee while, had some babies etc etc, and then finally came back to it and started writing it in 2014.  I edited it in 2015, gave it to some beta readers (thanks you lovely lot) in 2016, and since then I have done…PRECISELY NOTHING WITH IT AT ALL.

Seriously.  I looked at the file information on the word doc today, and it was last modified in March 2016 (i.e. when I received it back from my final beta reader).  I also have a paper copy in an A4 file, that has been sitting on a shelf in the study for so long it has gathered a significant layer of dust.

Why haven’t I done anything with it?  You might ask.  Well…a billion reasons really.  I still wasn’t sure if I’d achieved what I’d set out to do with it.  It had evolved so much both in the decade between the idea and the execution, and also during the writing, that it had become something else altogether, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.  Also it had some flaws, as all stories do, and I wasn’t sure how minor or major they were.  The feedback from my beta readers was good, but two out of four of them were related to me, and another shares my bed, so I mean…how critical were they ever going to be?  Was it secretly shit?  Should it ever see the light of day? Etc etc.  And so you can see, I think, how it almost became easier just to move on to writing the next thing, rather than devote my time to working out what if anything else needed doing to the book and how it should be shared with the world- if at all.

In the time since, I’ve successfully bashed out a first draft during 2015 NaNoWriMo (that I’ve yet to go back and edit at all), as well as starting and then abandoning two separate WIP’s (oops), and right now I am busy working on the first draft of two very distinct stories, and they’re actually going- dare I say it- ok?  One is probably a couple of weeks away from being ‘done’ (in the sense that I’ll have completed the scenes necessary for the plot, and be ready to step away from it for a while) and the other is nowhere near done, but I’m not rushing it and I’m enjoying myself in the process.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about that first story- the one that’s been idling in the wings, and wondering what it’s fate will be.  It seems a shame to have spent two years on/off working on something for only four people to ever read it, so I brushed the dust off the physical copy yesterday and had a flick through, and to my amazement I felt like- it wasn’t awful??  Usually when I read my own work I find myself cringing in that way that basically everyone does when they hear their voice on a recording.  Like: “damn, is that really what I sound like?”  And yes, ok reading some passages, I was like “Dafuq you on about in this bit?” or “Goddam girl, you need to get you some grammar lessons,” but on the whole I came away thinking that it seems a shame for it to go back onto a shelf and be ignored for the rest of eternity.

And so…I am probably going to put it on Wattpad.

I only joined last month, and I have a grand total of 2 (yes, that’s two!) followers, but if they both read it, that will increase the book’s audience by a whole 50% at this point, and honestly, even if no one does- at least I’ll have put it out there.

More and more (and I genuinely think WORLD EVENTS are having an impact here), I am coming to realise that putting stuff out there, is what’s important.  So long as what you’re putting out isn’t hateful bullshit I mean.  But just creating things that didn’t exist and saying “hey, this is a thing I made,” and spending less time worrying about:

  • If it’s the best thing you will ever make
  • If it’s the worst thing ever made in the history of the world
  • If everyone is going to hate it/you or
  • If your efforts will in fact be ignored completely

Because honestly, all that shit is a. exhausting and b. uncontrollable.

I don’t actually think that this story is the best thing I’ll ever make (pretty sure my kids take the biscuit there tbh), nor do I think it’s the naffest story ever (otherwise I wouldn’t have inflicted it on four people I love), and as for people hating it/me- I’m trying to get my head around the fact that someone always will, and I can’t let that stop me.  As for being ignored- honestly I don’t think shouting into the void on Wattpad will feel much different to talking to myself on here 😉

So really, the only thing that remains is for me to DO IT.

I made the decision today, and this blog post is a way for me to hold myself accountable in case I wake up tomorrow and go “Whaaaaat?  That’s a stupid idea, past Rebecca- no way!”

So my plan will be to post two chapters per week (the way Wattpad works, you have to release a section/chapter at a time, like a serialisation) probably on a Monday and a Friday, and see how it goes.

Before I encourage any of you to join Wattpad and read along, I should possibly give you a bit more information about the story, but I’ll do that in a separate blog post (probably tomorrow, because this one is already super long, and it’s almost midnight- when my laptop turns into a pumpkin and my jeans transform into pyjama pants- oh, who am I kidding, I’ve been in pyjamas since 7pm already 😉 )

So yes, if you want to know more, then please do subscribe to the blog/ follow me on Wattpad / follow me on Twitter / but probably don’t actually follow me in real life that will definitely freak me out.

 

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It’s Been A While

Titled this blog post and immediately had Staind- It’s Been A While playing in my head.  Sometimes I wonder if my brain isn’t just comprised of 70% song lyrics and melodies from the late 90’s/early 2000’s.

Anyway, that maybe wasn’t my longest ever hiatus from blogging, but there’s still the odd bit of tumbleweed blowing through the place.  It’s not even that I haven’t had anything to say- more that I wasn’t sure it was what anyone would want to read.  Life has been kind of difficult and kind of crazy, and most of the difficulties and craziness have been fostering related, which makes it hard to share, partly because: confidentiality but also because it’s such a sensitive topic.  It’s not like letting off steam at the end of a rough day at the office, these are other people’s lives that we’re talking about, and our lives- all mixed together, and it’s kind of hard to extricate what is ok for me to talk about and what isn’t. Hence: silence.

If it makes you feel better, I haven’t even been writing in my diary, because I was getting fed-up with writing the same thing every day: “Today was hard, crying baby, social worker, blah blah” so I just stopped.  Which is admittedly problematic since writing is one of the very few forms of release/coping mechanisms that I have that actually works.

The good news (for me anyway) is that I channeled it instead into finishing off edits to the YA novel I’ve been working on since last year, and I think it’s finally…after 15 months and 5 drafts, ready to be read by people other than just me.  In fact, Chris is already about 14 chapters in- which is impressive considering I wasn’t sure our relationship would survive him reading beyond the first two or three (he’s such a harsh critic and I am so rubbish at handling criticism in any form!)  I’ve also had a fair few (actually, quite a lot) of volunteers for alpha and beta readers, so once he’s finished ripping it to shreds I’ll be sending it on to others for them to do the same (eek!)

I’m going to attempt to get back into the habit of blogging regularly, and not just when I am sufficiently outraged about something to go off on a massive rant, as was my temptation a couple of days ago (although I may still write about that topic because honestly, my blood pressure is rising even just thinking about it).  My aim is two blog posts a week, and for a mixture of reading/writing related posts and general ranty/life posts, so…stay tuned!

I Have a Plan

Actually, I don’t, but that’s my point.

I attempted NaNoWriMo last month.  I say attempted, because I failed.

I wrote 6,156 out of a target 50,000 words.  So you could say failed, or you could say reallyfuckingspectacularlyfailed.

Whichever, either will do.

My reasons/excuses include:

*Dithering at the start (I initially planned to edit book 1, but then decided to just forge ahead with book 2, by which point it was a week into November already)

*Life in general

*My boyfriend wrecking, sorry updating the computer

*My 3 year old having the nerve to get tonsillitis

*The impending end-of-year yuletide festivities

and most significantly of all

*LACK OF A PLAN

I started writing a book in the summer of last year, and bombed at 40,000 words because I had a plot (and a good one, or so I thought anyway) but no idea what was actually going to happen, you know…on a scene by scene basis.

Then for the book I wrote earlier this year I went to the opposite extreme and totally went into planning overdrive.  Then after weeks and weeks of meticulous planning, deep-thinking and LISTS, I managed to write 20,000 words in my first week and the full 73,000 words within 5 months.

So this time, I jumped right in, and quickly realised I can’t swim at this depth yet.

Hence, the NaNo fail.

I’m feeling totally okay about it though.  At least now I know that I’m not what is termed a ‘pantser’ (writing by the seat of your pants, aka making it up as you go along, although to a certain extent that is how all writers write isn’t it?!)

So my plan now, is to go back to my original plan of editing book 1 first, and then make an actual plan for book 2.

Plans, plans, plans!

Much needed, as it turns out.