Hey, it's me again.
Well I'm well on the way with version three. I'll be honest though, I thought that this time round it would be a lot easier than the other two versions.
With the other two, I wrote them from scratch. I started with a blank page and let my finger do the talking (so to speak). But this time, I basically copied version two in to a new folder and decided that I would read through what I have written and just start fiddling with it. Take some stuff out, put some stuff in, move it around a little, that kind of thing. Turns out it's not that easy though.
I have been working on version three for about a week now and whilst I took yesterday off and didn't go anywhere near my laptop, I try and work on my writing for at least a couple of hours every day. The way I see it, if I spend a couple of hours just writing a single paragraph then at least I have added a little bit more to my story, rather than do nothing at all.
I know it sounds ridiculously silly, but these things don't write themselves, no matter how much you think about the plot/storyline and I think about mine all the time when I'm not worrying about other things. I usually figure things out when I'm out walking my dog Gibson (named after my favourite guitar, not the actor).
The thing is, I feel, and I'm probably wrong to do it this way, but at this stage I won't move on to the next chapter, paragraph or line until I am happy with what I have previously written. The main reason for this, as I am quickly learning, is that by just changing just one line it can alter the whole feel of the story/chapter. So if I decide to skip ahead to another chapter if the one I am currently working on becomes too much of a headache to process and then I go back to the original chapter later on that I originally skipped, I find that I'm having to re-write what it is I have already re-written as it doesn't match what it is I have just changed previously. Does that make any sense to anyone else?
I think my biggest problem is I have no idea how to write a book properly, I'm not entirely sure if you can learn to write a book or if you have to have it in you to be able to do it. Either way, it's bloody frustrating. On Monday I must have spent the better part of two hours writing and re-writing the same line until I was happy with it (and I'm still not 100% convinced that it's write).
So today’s question is this:-
Can you be a writer because you want to be one or do you have to learn to become one?
I understand that if you want to do something well, anything really, then there has to be some kind of learning curve. But if I was to join a writing group for example and learn everything there is to know about how to write a book, would that make it easier to write? I can only assume (Yes I know, never assume as it makes an ASS out of U and ME, very clever) that by learning anything about something you want to do is beneficial, building blocks, foundations, etc. But I haven't done anything like that, it never really occurred to me to do that. I had been thinking about writing a book for several years and had tried a couple of times, unsuccessfully I might add. And then I had the idea for my current story and the words just seemed to appear on the screen, kind of.
At times though I had to push through, as sometimes it became difficult to keep motivated, but I continued to work, despite the figurative road blocks that would pop up more often than not. And now here I am working on version three and I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's still a long way off, but it's definitely there. But it doesn't mean that what I have written is good or that others will like it. If we met and had a bottle of Jack to drink, I could bore you for a couple of hours with my story, in my head I have crossed all the T's and dotted all the lower case J's. But just because I think I can tell a good story does not mean I can write one. I mean, I have seen people jump out of a plane at 20,000 feet but I know that doesn't mean I should grab a chute and go out and do it myself. That’s what training and learning is for.
I'm aware that this is a ridiculous analogy, but to a certain extent, for me it isn't. I have told no one about writing this book, because I'm frightened that people will laugh at me. Stupid I know, but confidence is something I am sorely lacking at the moment in all aspects of my life. It's one of the reasons I am writing my story/book.
I have watched dozens of films, whilst sitting with my two beautiful daughters where the message is, if you want something bad enough, you can have it, if you work hard enough. I fully support this message and encourage my girl’s everyday to work hard and enjoy themselves whilst they do whatever it they are doing. But for every success story you read/hear about, how many people don't make it? How many times can you be knocked down before you start to believe that it's not worth getting back up?
Well all I can say is stay tuned, because knowing my luck, together we'll find out.
I apologise if I sound depressing, it's really not my intention to be like this, but these are genuine concerns I have. One day I hope to look back at these posts, perhaps in a couple of years (if I'm still writing them that is) and laugh at myself. I'm actually looking forward to that. But at the moment the fear that I am doing all this for nothing is a very real concern for me as I genuinely believe that for me, this is my last chance at making a difference in mine and my wonderful families life. But if Disney is to be believed all I have to do is have faith in myself that I can do this and work bloody hard and one day, (hopefully sooner than later) I can start to enjoy whatever may hopefully follow.
I have probably bored you enough today so it's time for me to go.
So as always take care, but above all stay cool
P.S. It probably doesn't mean much but I have finally joined the human race and joined Twitter. Feel free to add me at @pipconnor. Hope to speak to someone soon.