Last year before Christmas I started telling a few people I was writing a novel. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I’ve kept that secret for as long as I can remember. And there was always the self doubt in my mind… can I actually do this? Would people that know me think I’m crazy?
When I was in high school and everyone around me was obsessed with the Twilight series, I couldn’t understand why. I was that girl who couldn’t even read the assigned books for my English subject at school. But as it grew more popular I decided I’d jump on the bandwagon and see what the fuss was about.
Once I started it took me two days tops to read each book. It wasn’t the story or the characters that got me. It was the fact the pages in front of me took me to another place in this world. A place where you can forget who you are and be someone else. Feel things that you wouldn’t in your own situation. Dare to do things that your personality wouldn’t normally allow. Be anything or anyone, anywhere in the world. That fascinated me. That is where it all started.
I started writing. Little bits here and there when no one was around to see. My obsession for weird pens and cool notebooks arose and I couldn’t stop. My inspiration seemed to come from my dreams. If I had the same dream twice, it was like my mind telling me not to forget. To write it down!
I started to watch some YouTube videos on creative writing. I wasn’t at the top of my English class in school, I’d say I was just above average. I never really tried. This fact made me doubt myself a ridiculous amount. All the authors I knew of had further degrees and qualifications that did not compare to me. So I tried to learn as much as I could on the side of working full time. Some people in my writing groups who have done these higher education courses sent me their notes. I am forever grateful to those people. I learnt so much.
It was still very overwhelming wanting to do something but not knowing if you could or where to even start. I had one story in my mind that was just begging to come out and I didn’t know how to begin the process. Until I watched a YouTube video (yes YouTube again…It’s super helpful) that was about how to plot out your story with palm cards. You’re supposed to write down on a palm card something you want to happen in your story and then lay them out of the floor. It gives you a chance to order them and step back to have a look if you need to re-order. I loved this. I had twelve palm cards… which are now 12 chapters in my book (for now…). Learning this step from a quick video helped me structure my idea and prepare for the fun part… writing!
Apart from my notebooks filled with ramblings, just the fact I could see some progress for one of my ideas ignited the craziest feelings for me. I was so inspired that I have not stopped writing since! I’m now about halfway through my book-if you count a novel at 80,000 words. I get excited whenever I have free time to sit on my laptop. My job requires me to travel 2 hours a day so I get to use all that time on the train to write.
By now a lot of my close friends and family know about my book I’m working on. I can not believe I hid my secret for so long when now I have the most tremendous support. My heart is full and I have never been so passionate about anything before.
I’ve realised that I’m having so much fun and I need to forget about any self doubt. Or even ignore what other people will say if it’s negative. I’m writing a book because it makes me happy. It might take another few months, or even years. Who cares, I am enjoying it. Making myself happy is the only thing that matters.
P.s. Keep an eye out for a synopsis of my novel I’m working on! Won’t be long now.