There are plenty of cliched metaphors for describing the experience of writing a novel like climbing a mountain, running a marathon, giving birth (possibly to a gigantic watermelon) … basically anything long, difficult, marvellous and horrible (marvellous even while horrible), involving toil, sacrifice, endurance, uncertainty, self-doubt, obsession, wonder, discovery an
When I was about eight years old my folks told my brother and I that we were adopted (EIGHT! Sheesh! They did things different in those days). Now, I realise that for many people adoption is an issue fraught with … well … issues. I know it wasn’t easy for my older brother - he’s pretty Zen about it now but when we were little it was a painful subject for him. This was probably the more conventional response. I don’t think my poor folks were quite expecting my reaction: I think I let out a whoop of excitement!
Did you read Eli Glasman’s recent post on growing up orthodox? I loved it! And it got me thinking about my childhood exposure to matters of faith and how that tickled my imagination. Some of you may be aware that Spark came from a dream after a desperate prayer! (Read about it here) I could have woken from my dream and brushed it off as a co-incidence but I took the leap of faith to believe it was the seed of the idea for my story. A leap I’ll never regret.
This will be final post for Inside a Dog. From here, I pass the honour over to Rachael Craw, author of the highly acclaimed novel Spark.
I thought I’d end by saying a little bit about how my attitude to writing has changed since I’ve gotten published. At first, I was in denial about it, but if I’m honest, it’d been far more scary every time I step up to my laptop to write.
When I started writing, one of the things I needed to get used to was publicising myself. Particularly beginning an ‘internet presence’. I was advised that it was important thing to do, because it meant that I could be contactable. It also meant that I could have some control over how I was portrayed online.
When I started writing, I never expected that my work would be read by anyone. There's such a negative mentality amongst young writers about the likelihood of our writing ever being read, that I just assumed my work would go unnoticed.
When I was still in university and studying a creative writing degree, I used to hate reading my work out. My throat would tighten and I would be terrified of the reactions I’d receive.
If I had a good evening of writing, I would invest a lot of meaning into it. I would fantasize about the praise I would receive and that it may get published and reading it out to a real audience meant testing how good it actually was.
Perhaps other don’t feel this way, but surprisingly, one of the hardest things I’ve had to face up to, is that I will need to get a job. It sounds a bit whiney and spoilt of me now that I see if written down. But there it is.