This situation can really ruffle your writing feathers. Its only taken me 18 months to accept this.
- Newbie Writer Dream Euphoria. You are a fresh-faced newbie writer with a head full of writing dreams. They mainly involve you turning into some best-selling novelist overnight, rushing through airports in dark shades and undertaking international book signings. Your glittering literary career will start to take shape the second you get your writing out there – sigh! You press ‘publish’ on your first blog post, showcasing your latest bit of flash fiction, lie back and watch your phone like a hawk.
- Await the arrival of a magical creature. Things haven’t gone according to plan with your glittering literary career. You are sticking everything in your writing folder on your blog but sadly the only response you have had is a handful of likes and a few spam emails about some steamy bedroom activities. You have hardly set the literary world on fire. Plus you have also been slaving over your debut novel and have quickly realised that this is not as easy as it looks on the films. This is nose to the grind stone stuff. So you leave your novel unfinished (at a hard bit) and await the presence of a magical creature (writing fairy godmother or some Rumpelstiltskin type character who will spin your draft into literary gold) to help you make those writing dreams happen. Day after day you sit by the window waiting for a puff of smoke, a flurry of sparkly stars and the arrival of your life saving magical being. When they arrive they will turn your unfinished novel into a bestseller. Sigh!
- Get someone else to make your writing dreams happen. This is the stage where you find someone else to make your writing dreams happen for you. You have given up on the magical creature so it’s time to turn to the human world. Cue the novel collaboration requests with other writers. Surely you could become a bestselling author if someone else took on the responsibility for your writing dreams. If it fails you can blame them! Huzzah! The trouble with this approach is that the poor soul you load your writing dreams onto has their own dreams to chase and they don’t want to give your dreams priority. Why should they? Cue the tears. What you still don’t understand is that they are YOUR writing dreams – not someone else’s dreams! Gasp!
- Frustration. This stage is where you get frustrated with Writing Land. All your writing dreams are crammed up inside your head, your magical literary creature hasn’t shown up, you have come to realise writing a book is one of the hardest things you will ever do and no one else wants to make your dreams happen for you. Writing sucks! Cue the tears, door slamming, folders of unfinished stories, low moods and loud sighs. You try to quit writing but that doesn’t work because you are still walking around with a head full of writing dreams.
- Acceptance. The literary penny finally drops when you realise that you are the only one who can make your writing dreams happen. You are 100% responsible for turning your dreams into a reality. No one is going to do this for you and the train full of magical literary creatures isn’t stopping at your station. It is a tough one to swallow. Basically you are facing a mountain of hard work and graft. You are responsible for your own writing dreams. As my writer and blogger friend Sacha Black said on a recent blog post comment ‘if you get to the end of another year with no finished stories or novel there’s only person to blame!’ Gasp! Cue the tears welling up in your eyes and the lump in your throat. Its true. You are 100% responsible for those writing dreams inside your head.
I would also like to thank the wonderful and inspirational Lemon Shark for writing an excellent post which made Sacha give out some tough writing love and ended up with me having a life changing moment on a Sunday evening. This is an excellent example of why you should read other blogs – they can change your life!
Now – can you all go and make your writing dreams happen!