I’ve thought of myself as a ‘writer’ for several years now whilst I have quietly chipped away at a full length novel. The problem is that life has a spectacular ability to get in the way. Of the 100k words I have written of my novel at least 80k of them were written during a brief stint of unemployment when I first moved to Canada four years ago. The freedom to write whenever I felt like it was liberating and I found myself writing at least a thousand words daily. I went to the gym, I did yoga, I read books. In short it was fantastic. Unfortunately it was also terrible. We ran out of money, we had no car or freedom and no-one anywhere was willing to hire me. After three months I was stir crazy, desperate to leave the house. Then finally I got a job and things got back on track.
Unfortunately what didn’t get back on track was my writing. Work was pretty all consuming and there was far more of it than there are hours in the day. At first I excused my lack of writing because I was ‘learning the ropes’ or ‘too tired from work’. After 6 months I was still ‘proving myself’. After 2 years I ‘couldn’t let the team down’. This continued on and off for three years. At this point I had a 1ook first draft of a book that no-one except me had ever seen.
Last year I said I would break the cycle. I made it my new years resolution to write more. I set up a website (www.todayschapter.com) to force myself to write daily. The idea was to release a chapter every weekday so my friends and family could read it. For the first two weeks I was consistent. Then I had a bad day at work and missed posting that night. Then I hit a part of my story that still needed a lot of work, so i missed a couple of nights whilst I was editing. Then work got crazy and I missed a whole week. Soon I’d stopped entirely. There were some grumblings from my friends, they were enjoying the story, but I couldn’t keep up with the pace I had set. Instead of adapting the schedule I simply stopped posting. Then I got a new position at work and came up with a whole new set of excuses.
By November 2012 I hadn’t properly worked on my story in months. I was fatigued and unable to commit to writing so much each night. As NanoWriMo came around I decided to take a break (from my break) and write something else. This is how Getting Lucky was born. It is based on a simple concept that I could express in 20k words. I finished my first draft in a couple of months. I’m still tweaking parts of it but it represents a major milestone for me, my first ever completed story over 5000 words. That’s not a big deal to most writers, but for me it was the start of something. Since then I’ve entered 2 writing competitions and starting drafting entries for 2 more. I started this blog, to share my thoughts and ideas. I’ve just recently started working on my novel again.
My goal is to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I want to feel liberated again, to write when I want to write, to tell the stories that I scribble down frantically in the notebook on my bedside table. I’d also like to be able to buy food. Hopefully I can achieve both!