I’ve done it. After all these years of dreaming of being an author, I have finally written a novel. A first draft, admittedly – which is horribly dire in some places – but it’s a first draft I can work with.
I had been procrastinating writing towards the end of it – it was high time to move on and write something new, then come back to it once I could look at it with fresh eyes. I was stuck with the plot – a plot point I had wanted to put in that would have really worked, suddenly didn’t appeal to me any more because I’d grown attached to my character and I didn’t want to be mean – but after mulling things over with my friend Abbie it all became so clear what I needed to write.
So I sat down for an entire day and just wrote – I FINALLY broke my procrastinating streak – and here it is. My first novel, ‘Gifted’. But now another horrifying reality has reared it’s head. Now I have to put myself out there. I didn’t realise how much of yourself you pour into your writing until I realised I now have to show it to people. My brother and his lovely girlfriend Jemima asked if they could read it when it’s finished, and I had an overwhelming sense of panic. What if it’s crap? What if people hate it? What if I’ve been deluding myself this entire time and I’m going to have to run away to Mongolia and start a yak farm?
Even when people ask me “What’s it about?” I start panicking – instead of going into detail about the plot, I’ll waffle about the genre and the general over all theme because I’m terrified they’re going to give me a strange look and try to shuffle away as politely as possible. I started writing it as my dissertation, and I’ve actually become quite attached to it over the past two years.
I’ve had this idea stewing for the past 6 years at least, and the original inspiration came from a Queen album. The plot has changed so much since then – the one character who had helped to develop it in the first place became a background character, who was key to the plot but not in it as much as I had originally planned. In the end she even developed properly as a character, rather than just be this cray cray woman who sparked off the story.
Next all that’s left to do is edit it – at one point I was worried I wouldn’t hit a decent word count so waffled for a bit, but there are other plot threads I’ve dropped and not really picked up again which I need to explore properly. Though I’m going to have to force myself to leave it alone for a bit so I can look at it properly.
The downside to having finally finished it is now I don’t know what else to write. For so long this idea has been on my mind, I feel lost without it.
It still hasn’t quite sunk in that I’ve finally gotten one step closer to my goal. Unfortunately I doubt this productive streak will last.