Like everyone else out there I
am hoping the New Year will bring lots of opportunities to make our lives
better. I am not necessarily thinking of
anything complicated like geographical changes, or relationships, or even things
related to money but rather that we get the chance to do the things we want to do. I often think back on my life and know the
hiccups have always seemed harder when I had to walk away from things I wanted
to do and do what had to be done.
Choices are important, both having them and being able to make them.
With this in mind I have been
giving a lot of thought to my writing.
This is hopefully going to be that year where things happen and there
are plans afoot to self-publish an anthology with Kay and Alison, a release hopefully
of a book each and a website. Big plans
as you can see, scary plans because these things are close to our hearts.
Interestingly enough as I was pondering, as you do often when words fail while
you sit at the computer, I found this very pertinent piece by Cara Brookins ( a most interesting
writer I came across through mixing with other writers). As always I will provide a link for you to
read more but I thought I would first discuss a little about my reactions to
Briefly she advocates writing
for the right reasons and obviously in order to do this we have to know the
reasons and then understand exactly what we are getting ourselves into. She
actually says we should do our “thing, and do it for your own reasons. But you
should leap in with a full knowledge of the sharks and fuzzy ducklings in the
pond.” I loved that last part about the
sharks and those cute little ducklings. It is so easy to get caught up in the
fuzzy and warm feeling and forget that writing like most things involves hard
work. What is worse is that other people often fail to get that.
Over Christmas my own brother’s
attitude was at first a genuine interest but then when it interfered with
something he wanted me to do it the interest changed to an almost humouring the girl attitude that really
upset me. He didn’t even know he was
doing it. People don’t understand it is
work apparently unless you are JK Rowling forgetting how hard she had it when
she was first starting and trying desperately to fit it (the writing, the not a
real job writing) into her “normal” life.
So let’s have a look at what Cara
has to say about the right reasons to write, that is after she tells us to stop
writing. Yes, that’s right. She says exactly that and she is right
because it is a most difficult thing to do.
On a personal level I get obsessed and wake up in the middle of the
night sure I have not explained why Nico, my sexy and very tough nut to crack
lead, behaved the way he did. Then I remember
I have to let my readers work it out for themselves and that makes me crazier. Can I stop writing (hey, I am not even
published and may never be) I ask and the answer is always the same. No I can’t.
Cara says this is a right reason to write.
I agree but kinda wish I didn’t
Another reason she considers a
good one is writers can fix the world with their words. It’s very true, words fix and hurt and make
us think. I am a reader first and foremost
and can’t imagine a world without those precious words. Those same words also brings us immortality
by allowing us to leave a small mark and though it may seem egotistical, trust
me, it’s not at all about the ego but about knowing we are not alone in our
thoughts, desires, feelings, someone out there gets it too. For me that last reason is super
important. I have felt alone and have
found solace in words proving I am not and never was or will be alone.
Cara also points out other right reasons
equally as important but these I will leave for you to go search out on her
website. It is well-worth the effort as
it is informative and also humourous particularly the discussion on making
money. I mean who doesn’t want to make
money? I do but honestly there are
easier ways to make money, less frustrating and time-consuming ways that are
not dependent on luck. Of course talent
plays a part in the outcome but sitting at a desk for hours at a time, writing,
re-writing, and then throwing yourself at the mercy of other people’s opinion
plays an even bigger part of the writer’s life.
You have to choose it understanding all of this or it won’t work and
even then there are no guarantees.
The New Year for me is about
writing. I am making the choice because
I want it this way and honestly despite my fears I can’t think of anything I
would rather do. I don’t have any
resolutions but I do know I am prepared to work as hard as I can to ensure I
don’t let me or my readers (please let me have some) down.