I started writing a book nearly a year ago – it’s a modern chick flick. I’ve always said it won’t be an intelligent read and I’m certainly no literary genius.
(You wouldn’t think that I was in marketing would you?)
However, the story that I’ve come up with is very much based on real life inspirations and I’ve been told that I’m great at making people laugh.
So I thought a book would be a good idea right?
G whiz – it’s been nearly a year and this is what I’ve come to learn about writing (for this particular book certainly) :
Break ups are useful : whether that be with friends, family, partners, jobs, pets or chocolate – they’re all useful.
In fact early on this year (time flies when you’re having fun!) when I did break up with someone and I walked home in the rain feeling pretty sorry for myself, I thought ‘I’ve got to get this down on paper, it has huge potential!’
Life events do really help us story tellers.
Weird dates are essential : I’m not giving you my entire story line away but a big element of my book is a bout a small town blogger who lands a job in the big city as a love and lifestyle writer. It involves a lot of uber weird (with a capital F) kind of dates and I have certainly had my fair share of those.
You know, like the 6ft4 rugby player who forgot to mention he had an extreme phobia of butterflies and where should we go on our first date…? The butterlfy centre in Chester Zoo. I’ve never seen someone of that height and size run like that before. Sorry W.
Or what about the man who confessed that he wanted to chop my hair off and take it home with him so he could be with me forever (where do I find these people?) Not so sorry N.
Writer’s block is handy : around February this year I had to put my book down. I just couldn’t find the words (literally) to continue.
But it was a test to see just how much I was committed and in love with my story. I plodded on.
Plus, fresh eyes does wonders and I have had many of those ‘what in gosh’s name was I thinking?’ moments.
Talking about it helps : I probably annoy people with the amount of writing related tweets I put out there but it’s not for their viewing pleasure, only mine.
It helps me to have some kind of accountability. It’s so easy to just forget about it and to do something else. And I did that for a few months whilst I had the writer’s block.
So to get myself back into the swing of things, I sent my first very very rough chapter out to a blogger friend. Her feedback was very encouraging!
I’ve also learnt that’s it’s really useful to connect with those who are also writing. Can I point out something? Stay away from those who make their art into something painful. They spend more time telling you why their ex, cat, neigbour, boss and the garden gnomes won’t let them write.
You need to be surrounded by those who are writing…
Deadlines are just rubbish: in book terms they’re an awesome way to stunt your creativity. Yes it’s nice to have a loose structure but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I was recently talking to my friend who is published writer and when I asked him about his date for his next book, he rightly brushed it off and said ‘whenever it gets finished.’
I like his thinking and with this approach I find that I’m writing more.
Are you writing a book? How are you finding it?