This week marks a pretty important week in my writing career:
I’ve evolved enough as a writer over the past few years to firstly, to comfortable enough to call myself a ‘writer’ and secondly, to be confident to call my hobby a career.
Writing is a funny game. It can be the most raw and harrowing experience and yet be enjoyable and rewarding at the same time.
It doesn’t matter what type of writing you do: feature articles, blogging, non-fiction, fiction, corporate writing, copywriting; every time you put a word on the page it is like opening yourself up to scrutiny and judgment.
As Hemmingway so brilliantly put it:
“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
It may sound a little extreme, but it is true.
You judge your own writing, as do others (editors, readers, agents, publishers). Writing is a very personal experience, no matter how banal the topic may be. All writers bleed a little with every word they put down on paper or the screen.
The other thing with writing is that you will never be finished growing or learning.
It’s an unending road that climbs gradually upwards.
You start off at Mediocre, then you write and write some more until you reach Okay town, again more writing and you are finally relieved to reach Goodville. You will spend a little time here honing your craft, practicing, learning and then every now and then you find yourself further up the road, at the Golden Gates of Great.
More often than not you spend most of your time between Goodville and Great, in the hope that one day, just one day, you may reach the heady heights of the Emerald City: Awesome. Here is where your writing heroes hang out in all their glory. And while it may seem shiny and sparkly on first glance, every writer residing in Awesome is still striving to achieve greater heights. More.
They still doubt every word they put on the page. They feel every syllable and letter, wondering if they are ever deserving of being called a writer, let alone an awesome one. They both cringe at their supposed failures and smile with relief at their successes, all the while their brains churning with how they can do it better next time. That’s the evolution of a writer; it’s never ending.
And it’s one of the things that I love most about writing. You need guts, determination, strength and heart. Every. Single. Day.
Anyhow, as I mentioned earlier (before rampantly stumbling off course), this week marks a big week for me. And one that will ultimately be a turning point in my evolution as a writer.
Firstly I’ve started a novel writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. It’s an in-depth, six month intensive course focusing on not necessarily how to write, but instead workshopping a manuscript.
There are fifteen others in our virtual classroom and with guidance from our online tutor, we will take in turns to read each others manuscripts and workshop them. Offering feedback, suggestions and advice as only a reader can. It’s going to be eye-opening and a huge learning curve.
As a fiction writer, one of the hardest things is putting your work out there to be read. As silly as that may sound, after all you write to be read. It’s just that it’s both confronting and daunting put it out there.
It’s like sending your baby off to school. You want her to do well, make friends and have people like her, but at the same time you know that she will have to deal with life’s negatives that inevitably will arise. You hope that those negatives, will only make her stronger and help her grow into a well adjusted adult.
The same can be said for a manuscript. Sending it off into the world to be judged and scrutinized is hard, but you need to do it. You need to let go and welcome feedback, constructive criticism and see your work through the eyes of the reader. And again, you hope that this will make your writing stronger and help it develop into a ‘real book’ that people might actually want to read.
I know that this course is going to do so much not only for my manuscript, but my writing in general. I’m ready to continue growing.
Secondly, after completing my second copywriting course I have launched my professional website. After about a month of designing, building, writing and have beta readers offer feedback, she too is ready to head out into cyberspace.
So what do you think?
I’m really happy with it, there are a couple of small things that need tweaking but other than that, I’m ready for the onslaught of clients. Bring it on! “Build it and they will come”, isn’t that what they say?
Well, not exactly.
Now the hard work really begins. Networking and putting my business out there to get some clients. Building the site (which I am proud to say I did all by myself!!!) was the easy part. Building the business is the tough part. I have a long road ahead, but I’m enthusiastic and determined to make it a success.
As for here on the blog, I will tell you now that there will be a little shift in what I write about.
In doing the novel writing course I will inevitably have a lot of things going through my head, so expect to find more posts on writing. And hopefully I can bang on about my first few copywriting clients in the time ahead too. But I will still be emptying my head of its contents and striving to live simply and purposefully too.
Not a change as such, perhaps just another step in my evolution!
How are you evolving as a writer or blogger?
As a blogger do you find it hard sometimes putting your words out there?