The insecurities of writing

I recently I read a blog  about releasing your insecurities of being a writer and it asks you to share your own. So here goes…

Am I a writer and when can I justify calling myself one?

It has been a topic of discussion recently on social media with polarising views.

I am definately not an author as I do not have a published book but in an age of self publishing I could cobble together a manuscript of gobblygook and send it out in the world but would that entitle me to the label? I don’t think so but the boundaries are no longer black and white and there are many shades of grey. Do you become an author when you have written a book or is it after so many sales or reviews? 

As for a writer, I believe that yes I am a writer. As summed up in the quote:

I am a novice in this craft but I hope to learn it well enough to become a published writer but then grey  shades appear again, I  have published this post so does this count or does it require an external source publishing your work (I refuse to count letter I had published in a magazine at 12). I could go round in circles with is topic and it still not become clearer.

If asked what I do, I would cringe  if I said   “I am a writer” as it is just a hobby and dream but one day I would  like to say it for real.

 Am I competent or good enough to write? 

Ultimately, that is for my readers to say when my novel or stories are released  into the world after my word count increases but one day I hope I can develop to be. Some books enter the world and draw many in with the authors storytelling or clever marketing while others have a small loyal following. My aim  is to write ‘The Hollow’ and if my daughter enjoys it I will be happy.

Will I ever have the courage to share my stories with others? 

Blogging and sharing work at writing group is a start but will I combat  fear of publishing The Hollow – watch this space!

Have I got the stamina to finish?

Not only finish this draft but to edit, find a publisher and do the marketing. The illusion of posting my manuscript off like Jo in Little Women and be published has been shattered with reading other peoples experiences. I want to write – nope, need to write but living with a chronic illness I know life can throw obstacles at you that are difficult to climb over. This is my biggest insecurity  as I struggle daily to balance medication, health and family life with writing. Luckily, I live in the age of technology so when I can’t write, I can type or use apps on my phone and if that fails, once I have mastered the art of Dragon and he listens to me, I can talk. If I can’t manage any of those,  I can imagine other scenes and stories for when I can.

I have many other  insecurites but they will just have to stay  contained for now.

What are yours?
 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission accomplished! 

August is here and Camp NanoWriMo is over but unlike other challenges I have set myself, this  time I can shout “I did it”. I limped past my target of 10,000 words and I have a sticker to prove it.

I feel rather silly,  feeling so proud of an image of a winner sticker; smiling like a 5 year old awarded a gold star for work well done but achieving  something purely for me is rare. It feels uplifting and I am inspired to do more. This is handy as I have only skimmed the surface of scenes my WIP needs to become a fully fledged draft. A target definately helps to focus and write on days when it is easy to say “I will do more tomorrow” while a little squeaky  voice reminds me that “tomorrow never comes.” Hopefully, the writing habit is here to stay. After all,  10,000 words a month equals 120,000 words a year which is a novel and more. On days, I couldn’t the feeling of frustration grew as my words and thoughts longed to be released. Even gobbledygook needs to be written now, it seems,  just in case one sentence proves useful in the future. Is this a temporary phase or is an addiction creeping in? Watch this space to find out.

So hello August and happy writing!

Kate

NanoWriMo and more

More than half way through Camp NanoWriMo and unbelievably I am ahead of my target of 10, 000 words. To some it is a teeny target but in recent months getting any words written has been a challenge but now, I am writing daily, even if a few words. It helps so much because my imagination has been released; bringing new ideas, stronger characters and different scenarios even when I am away from the PC. I wake up excited of the scenes I have seen and become frustrated if the opportunity is not there to scribble things down in the detail I would like. Maybe I am a writer after all.

Last week, my husband finally turned our tiny spare room into a study for me. It still has the bed for when visitors stay but it also has an old oak bureau my husband has fixed. Having my own space with things to hand which do not need packing away at dinner or bed time is bliss especially when you are surrounded by books. I am feeling grateful and lucky.

One of my characters in my WIP resides in Whitby so as a family we tootled over the moors, enjoying the fantastic scenery to visit this atmospheric seaside town with its cobbled streets, unique shops, wonderful book shop* and scrummy fish and chips. The perfect house and shop for my character wasn’t found but my imagination has developed one just for her. If I could bring one place out of my head into reality, it would have to be Willow’s shop nestled in an unknown street of Whitby. I would spend a fortune so maybe it is wise to leave it there.

As my story develops and other characters visit there I will have to go there again for research. After all, it would a shame not too.

 

*when this book is finished, it would be my dream to do a book signing in The Whitby Bookshop. It may be small but it has a wonderful character with its spiral staircase, helpful staff and lots of bookworm goodies as well as the stars of shop – the books!

 

Happy writing

Flash fiction: Memories

So many memories are bombarding my mind, waiting to be heard, seen and felt. Visions flash before me; first places I have been and then faces. Some are laughing, smiling and others are sobbing and even full of fear. All of them I have known from before. Some I hold dear and loved deeply yet others like the man with an upturned moustache was just a passerby walking his dog.

But they told me I would forget.

I recall voices. So many voices all talking at once, merging into one hellish cacophony of noise.

They told me I would forget.


The memories keep on coming, speeding up making me feel sick. I want it to stop.

I want to forget.


Then I remember a memory clear and slow. The sky is clear and blue. She is in the doorway holding our baby and she smiles as I turn and wave goodbye. I promise them I will be home soon. I remember.

I do not want to forget.


I hear the scream. The thud.  Silence.
Anger and frustration burn inside me building up. I scrunch my eyes, ball my fists and yell as loud as I can.


Then I forget.

janko-ferlic-152866

Going on a Dragon Hunt

Following on from my last post, a cake was baked. Not strictly parkin, a Yorkshire ginger cake because of the lack of oatmeal in the house (I don’t think rice crispies would have been a good substitute)  but a ginger cake made to my Mum-in-laws recipe. It hit the spot creatively so the scene is written and my main character, Amber is happily going on a dragon hunt armed with a cake to Filey.

Filey Brigg drawn by D. Backhouse

Filey Brigg is a long, narrow, rocky peninsula in Filey on the East coast of Yorkshire. Until recently, I just saw it as part of the scenery to enjoy while drinking hot Horlicks overlooking the bay but then I discovered it was supposed to be a parkin-loving dragon turned to stone after his death. This fits perfectly with Amber’s story and gave me the opportunity to introduce Iggy, a very floppy toy fabric dragon who played a large part in her early childhood.

Iggy; A beloved friend or a judgmental fiend depending who you ask

He may or may not play a pivotal role in the book depending on where the twists take me. It always amazes me how something you read followed by a prompt of a sketch can inspire you to write scenes you would never have thought of otherwise.

 

 

 

More of the folk tale of Filey’s dragon can be read in a delightful book called East Yorkshire Folk Tales by Ingrid Barton as well as here.

July has arrived so Camp NaNoWriMo has begun so it is time to put the kettle on and get this draft done.

Happy July!