Pursuing the dream of writing

When I first set up this blog, its purpose was to serve as a platform on which I could share my stories. It could be a chapter of a book I was writing, a few scenes of an idea I liked – essentially anything that I was working on. I’ve always been terrible at sharing my creative writing work, and still am to this day, so ‘alwayslovetowrite’ became an exercise in letting go of my fear and hitting that upload button. Somehow, it was far easier to do – I could publish that piece online and then shut down my computer. Whilst I wanted people to like it, I wasn’t concerned by how many, or how few, actually read it or commented.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in primary school. I remember writing terrible plays, writing part-biography part-fiction stories about my life, and even once trying to write songs. One piece of advice I’ve heard countless times from authors is that you don’t need to be published to be a writer – the only way to become a writer is to write. In that way, I suppose I have always been a writer, but my dream has always to be a published one.

Every now and then I get the urge to write again – normally up to and surrounding November due to NaNoWriMo (if you don’t know about NaNo, check out my 2017 blog about it here). No surprise, last month I had a huge resurgence of energy and motivation to get back to writing, and ended up returning to the book I wrote over a year ago now. I loved the story idea and the various characters, but it definitely felt unpolished – even after I went through and edited it last year.

Before returning to it this time, however, I picked up On Writing by Stephen King. If anyone reading wants to be better at writing or is just interested in Stephen King and his writing history and process, I would highly recommend picking this one up. It starts with his ‘CV’, as he calls it – a section filled with episodes spanning his whole life that has made him the bestselling author he is today. Following this are his pieces of wisdom and advice on what is in his writing ‘toolbox’, and how to apply the various tools into creating a brilliant piece of written work. This is a book I’m sure I’ll go back to read again, if only for King’s engaging and entertaining writing style. It feels like you’re in an elusive writing masterclass with this author baring all of his writing secrets, and there are so many of his tips that I am now constantly using.

As I now work in publishing, there is so much I know about and yet still so much that I have no clue when it comes to getting published. Following successful authors on Twitter and Instagram is similarly helpful and not helpful at all, but it all helps to build a picture in my mind of what to aim for.

I won’t get published this year – most likely not even next year, or the year after that. But whilst I still love writing, and am proud of what I create (after many, many edits), I’m determined to keep trying. Who knows, maybe by the time I’m in my forties I’ll have a book that has my name on the cover which I can find in a bookshop. Maybe even a book that people have read and a few of those have liked. That’s the dream I’m pursuing.