Friday, 27 July 2012
So I’ve finished writing my debut novel, The Different. Good for me —yay!
Quite an achievement for someone who only learnt to write three years ago. Not that I was illiterate, far from it; I’d already waffled my way through a couple of unpublished non-fiction books, film scripts and the expected raft of dissertations and magazine articles. But three years ago I learnt there was a craft to it. Before that, I could string a sentence together, even make sense, but I was oblivious to the words being any more than a means to deliver my ideas, the writing little more than an inconvenient step. I knew such a thing as good writing existed, I’d read and appreciated enough of it in my choice of fiction, but I never thought I could be a writer of such. Perhaps that was why I stuck to scripts for so long, why I never actually tried to publish anything.
Having the scales peeled from my eyes about the potential of my writing was a revelation. I remember being, not flattered as I should, but slightly stunned when Helen Shipman, my tutor at Falmouth, in her slightly admonishing tones commented how I could be a very good writer if I could write everything as well as the piece I’d just handed to her. I can trace it back to that point when I decided to learn the craft, hone it and perfect it; not as the medium through which my ideas are delivered, but with which they are painted.
I know that my skills as a marketeer, not those as a writer will be tested next, but for now I’d like to relish this milestone and celebrate a long worked-for achievement.