It has come to my attention since the wonderful news of being taken on by Nocturnal Press that I have been surrounded by what I would like to kindly call ‘lifelong procrastinators’. I do not mean that these people are lazy, though some are (you know who you are) but what I would like to say is that though we all have a book inside us; we choose not to write it because we basically tell ourselves we just are not able to write one. Today I’m telling you all to shut up about wanting to write and make one day, today.
When I began this journey over thirteen years ago, I did not once tell myself I cannot do this, it is something I have learned from others telling me ‘you cannot do it’. Well I did, and you can do it too. We all have a hurdle to overcome and this one of writing is no higher than any other; admittedly I can give you several reasons why my hurdle was higher for my rather stout legs than yours, but there is no higher hurdle there is just high, have you jumped it yet?
My experience was probably not ideal to break into this tough and life-changing business, which existed in some shape or form before the written word, and in my view will never die out. I began by discovering poetry and novels. Though naturally adept to poetry and its formal forms I tackled what Jackie Kay puts as the hardest experience in one’s life, full of self-doubt, anxiety, depression, frustration – you get the idea. Today I am still working on that novel, hopefully one day it’ll be on your shelves.
But now, I poured my experiences and my obsessions into my latest book ‘Mr Locke’s Diary’ (Out in February 2014) and I hit gold. It takes lending your soul to the page, or to whatever else you want to achieve creatively, and not giving up at the first hurdle. This was certainly one of my harder short stories, due to tone, register and research involved in localizing it, but it was worth it, I can see myself before I finish a page and for an instant I fall in love – this is before I realise I’m supposed to be editing.
This I know is not much in the way of technical help, but those will follow. I have a few ideas including my next post ‘show me a story, don’t tell me’, a much more technical approach and so on. A writer is born to serve the people; whether it is with a story to teach the next generation or to fight political injustice and I intend to serve. Until next time, read, love, live.