Not too long ago, I had a mini-life crisis where I wondered what I was doing with my life; what are my goals, what have I achieved and how will I get there? And I realised that one ever present goal of mine was to become an author.
Fuelled by the feeling of YOLO (You Only Live Once), I pulled out my laptop, opened a Word document and started typing. The aim was to finish a 50,000 word novel in less than two weeks, with an aspirational target of 5,000 words per day. Even as I am typing this, I can’t help but scoff at myself, because:
- I quickly realised that 50,000 words is A LOT of words, and
- It’s not easy to write a novel
Nevertheless, I persisted. Each day, I would struggle with how to continue the storyline, but for over a week I still consistently met my writing target. I knocked out 2000 words, then 3000, 10000, 20000…You get the drift.
I was inspired and pumped, and then, in the final two days before I could ‘finish’ my book, and write the last 10,000 words… I couldn’t think of anything else to write. Complete blank. Cue, serious writer’s block and the thought of not only scrapping the novel, but also the dream of becoming an author.
“Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.”Zig Ziglar
We’ve all seen the memes containing quotes similar to the above, telling us that the road to success is littered with failures. I comforted myself with that thought. But then, the little voice inside of my head, the one that says things I don’t want to hear, piped up and asked “Did you actually fail, though?”
I realised I hadn’t – because failure would require me to at least finish something and put myself out there. What I had done, was given up at the first hurdle.
So, here I am. Sitting in front my laptop, editing and rewriting chunks of my novel, a daunting prospect. I don’t need it to be a blockbuster, I simply need to finish it; a story with a beginning, middle and end. And then refine it. And then write again, because practice makes perfect.
This is not a blog with a happy ending, this is a blog about a work in progress.
The only thing I have left to say is: big kudos to all authors out there – I have a newfound appreciation for your craft, and am in awe of your skill and creativity!