I’ve been off work this week. I’ve been ill. No, that isn’t an excuse, honestly. I was “proper poorly” and, although I’m still not one hundred per cent I’m going back to work on Monday like the brave little soldier I am.
This unexpected time off work has given me time to think about my WIP and make some real progress on it at last. For ages, it seems, I have been treading water, wondering what to do with it next. Wondering what was missing. This week, I have written a few new scenes and sent quite a few old ones (ones, I might add that have been with me since November 2011) to the trash bin. I have carefully selected scenes that, with a bit of rewriting, will fit with my new version of the story, and I’ve also, reluctantly, had to accept that some scenes are no longer of any use and some characters, fond as I am of them, are surplus to requirements.
I also had two breakthrough moments this week. I had gone to bed quite happy with the scenes I’d written. Then, at some point in the middle of the night, my eyes flew open and I just knew that the last scene I had written was all wrong. It was a distraction. It jerked me out of the story. It was quite a revelation.
The second breakthrough – and this is massive for me – was that I actually read the first couple of chapters out to my daughter. Now, this may not sound like much to you,but for me it was a really big deal. I have only ever showed any of my writing to one person before – my writing tutor. The idea of anyone I actually know reading it has been pretty scary. I don’t even know what made me ask her if she’d like to hear it, but she agreed and she dutifully said she loved it.
Now, I’m not such an idiot that I am relying on the opinion of my daughter. She is lovely and very supportive but she’s hardly unbiased. Nor is she much of a reader. So I’m not saying that I now have every confidence in my writing because of her opinion. What I am saying is that, I actually allowed someone else to read it, and whether she genuinely likes it or is just being a loyal daughter is irrelevant to me. I am slowly and hesitantly pushing the boundaries. It’s small steps, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with just one and all that…
I never thought I’d have the courage to write a blog, let alone publish it, let alone publicize it, but there you go. And I sent my work to my tutor, a published author no less. I have joined the RNA NWS. I am doing things I never thought I’d have the nerve to do because I’m quite shy actually and always end up backing out of anything that might require putting myself “out there”. Things are slowly changing. Maybe it’s because I’m now almost half a century old (dear God!) and am hurtling towards that time when I can wear purple hats and be rude to everyone? (I am soooo looking forward to that!)
My next hurdle is visiting an old friend who I haven’t actually seen face to face for over twenty years. She was my best friend from the age of fourteen and we went through so much together but lost touch in our late twenties. After finding each other again on Facebook we have been tentatively discussing getting together again for a coffee and a catch-up. After twenty odd years it will be one hell of a big coffee…I just hope the sight of me aged nearly fifty doesn’t put her off her caffeine fix. We shall see…