Monday, 25 November 2013

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a daydreaming bookworm who wanted to be a writer more than anything else in the world.
Only she was too afraid to try. What if she got it wrong?
Sitting down with a pad and pencil or a typewriter or at a computer felt too pretentious.Like a little girl playing dress up. Much easier to make up stories, alternative endings, fantasies in her head and not try.
Because if you don't try then you can't fail. And it's all still a possibility.
But then, one day, she got fed up with being scared and she sat down at a computer and typed those all important words. 'Chapter One'.
Those words weren't bad but sadly the words that followed were. They really were.
So she wrote some more. Then more and more and more.
And slowly they got better. They began to turn into a real story. With a plot and character and even, a few more words later, conflict.
It all took a long time. There were some tears, a little despair, two courses, craft books and a conference. And some amazing, supportive friends.
But then her dreams came true. Someone wanted to publish her book and she lived happily ever after!

Actually that is mostly true. But guess what? It's just the prologue. All that work, all those many, many discarded words, those books and chapters that will languish forever in the Well of Lost Plots (copyright the great Jasper Fforde), the hysteria, tantrums and rare moment of euphoria? That just gets you to the beginning of Chapter One.

Being a writer isn't about writing one book and getting it to publication point. It's about writing another and another and another. It's about constantly improving, meeting deadlines, staying creative. That's chapter two and three and four and five.

I have a second contract now with deadlines and no finished books to conveniently slot into those spaces. I have had to start a new book knowing that this time I don't have limitless time and the big comfort blanket of the New Writer's Scheme. This is Chapter One. It's all very exciting. And scary as hell.

But I wouldn't have it any other way...


Charlotte Phillips said...

Yay!! Congrats on the new contract! xx

Jessica Gilmore said...

Thanks Charlotte!