09 March, 2012
First Draft Blues
It's been odd writing an adult novel after writing a children's fantasy adventure. Where are all the sword-fights, snowstorms, strange creatures and daylight robberies? I enjoyed the process, but in a really different way this time. It wasn't as fun, but it was more satisfying in other ways. Despite that, I've been feeling down about writing this week. Maybe it's just the realisation that I'm not the next [insert name of great author here], or maybe it's just that end-of-project feeling, or maybe it was just that I've promised myself I'm going to read Ulysses soon. Whatever it was, I'm grateful to both God and the ChocLit publishing company for helping me snap out of it today.
I know I'm meant to write. Don't get me wrong - I don't know that I'm meant to be a successful writer, but that's a different thing altogether. Not only do I feel that it's what God wants me to do and what I love to do, but a pastor from New Zealand who had never met me before and knew nothing about me, randomly pulled me aside in a church service and told me that God wanted him to tell me to keep writing because I have what it takes. All the same, it's hard to remember that feeling of purpose some weeks, isn't it? I finally pulled myself together this morning and promised God I'd stop moping and get on with it, and I instantly knew something positive would happen today. Nothing has happened with my writing for weeks and weeks - no feedback, not even a rejection - but this afternoon I got an e-mail from ChocLit telling me that my short story is shortlisted in their current competition (results on 10th April). It's not a Booker Prize nomination but it'll do for me. It put a smile on my face and a spring in my... erm... pen, for the time being anyway.
If you could read back your first drafts and find you've managed to write something that was comparable to an established author, who would you want to be compared to? (Of course, you want your own style, not someone else's, but humour me here...)