When I first started out on this journey - I wanted to be a writer! I wanted to be published (and of course I would because I was a graduate, with great ideas!) I suspected I was probably a literary genius, I just hadn't ever put pen to paper before.
I had a couple of jobs and I used to write when no one was watching. I wrote children's stories, short stories, poetry and - generally - a load of drivel. My stories were sentimental tosh, my characters one-dimensional, my sentences ran on and there was a distinct lack of craft. My long-suffering family and friends were kind and patient, but hardly a sustainable audience.
Then I hit on an idea - A GOOD ONE. I spent a long time developing the characters and knew this was the book I would one day write... when I'd become a good writer!
So I had to get serious - at this point it was still all about "being a published writer". I joined a critique group and I relished in any praise that came my way - I used to torture my partner by making him listen to everything I'd written and tell me how good it was! I was devastated if he deigned to say it wasn't brilliant - what did he know?!
Then something happened.
I stopped trying to get approval for everything I did and I started trying to write a good book. That's when I realised:
I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT WRITING.
That moment when you set yourself up and time becomes irrelevant as you lose yourself in the crafting of words. OK often it is frustrating and difficult, trying to find the best way to write something. Coming at your scene form yet another angle - trying to remember what you have written and what you've edited out. But sometimes - more often than not - I pop my head up from my laptop and take in the moment - here I am writing. Suddenly the idea of being "published" took on a lesser role.
Of course I still want to be published - but when the book is ready and when the writing is the best it can be. Like the Little Donkey plodding towards Bethlehem - I am making my journey towards a finished book - perhaps there will be no room at the inn... but I must keep on going, one word at a time.
This morning I woke up and read this: What are the Real Odds of being a successful author? Great reading for anyone on a similar journey.