I have always enjoyed reading fiction, so it seemed a natural progression to think about writing something of my own. I have notebooks full of thoughts and ideas and a few beginnings of stories that never really amounted to much. It was only when a fellow blogger mentioned that he was thinking about joining the National Novel Writing Month nanowrimo last year - that I said ‘I will if you will’. There – I had commited myself to writing the draft of a novel, 50,000 words in 30 days – with no idea what I was going to write about.
After slogging away every evening for a month I completed the said number of words required for the draft, and to say I was dead ‘chuffed’ is an understatement. I had stuck at it and had the semblance of a story for the first time ever. Then I put the pages in a folder, put the folder in a drawer and have never looked at it since.
A few days ago I was clearing out the office desk and came across the folder and started reading – I could hardly believe that I had written all this in a month – and actually thought it was better than I remembered.
So I took the bull by the horns and gave it to a friend to read – hoping that she wouldn’t say she enjoyed it so as not to hurt my feelings.
I spent a restless night wondering if she had started it yet and what her reaction would be. She came round this afternoon bearing the folder aloft – saying that she had spent the evening reading my draft – and, hooray, she enjoyed it – genuinely. There were one or two criticisms which I took on the chin, knowing already that I could have expanded the story in some places, and she said that I had almost given away the ending too early on – but other than that . . .
Whew – it was nerve-wracking, no-one has ever been given the chance to read anything I had written before , it was a secret, private thing – but it was a worthwhile exercise and has given me a little more confidence in my ability as a writer.
I don’t think I could stand the strain of doing it for a living though - it is all-consuming – all that thinking and plotting is enough to make your brain explode – now when I read a book I take in all sorts of things that I never noticed previously.
So – I am quite happy just to do it for pleasure and to keep my brain active – and one satisfied reader is a good start . . . for now . . .
I am thinking about doing it again this year as I found it such an exhilirating experience – fancy joining me?
Click on to the above link if you are interested – we could give each other moral support when things aren’t going very well – what say you?