I wrote what was to be my blog post this week. I wanted to look back and recall why I started this crazy journal. Because that is what it has become, a crazy, rudderless but hallowed journal.
It´s mine and I hold a deep affection for it and it´s readers.
I started with white, as in a blank page. I filled it with black, as in the type of my words. I stopped, I read what I had written and I shed a tear or twenty million.
The truth is, my writing journey began with a Christmas present, from Me to Me in 2010, it was a subscription to an online writers course and it was intended to create a diversion, an escape from the harshness of the reality I was living. What emerged in that earlier black on white exercise was the memory of my husband setting me his first, his one and his only writing challenge.
YOU HAVE EIGHT HOURS TO LIVE – write about that.
From that day I knew he knew. We understood that I needed a place of my own, an escape from the difficulties of caring for him throughout his illness. He resented it but accepted it and my writing became the first and only thing we didn´t share.
Pushing this to one side, having a lot of time on my hands I set about cataloguing all of my writing from 2011 to now, discovering old treasures left unfinished and others needing to remain buried!
What emerged was that my sole source of external motivation, inspiration, inducement and spurs (ouch that last synonym fits well, as in a boot up the proverbial) all came from an online writing group. Today I am still connecting with many of those original scribblers and still garner encouragement, advice and solace from those same people plus many others that have joined the ranks over time. A few weeks ago I had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with one of the member´s whilst he was holidaying here in Spain. We had met once before but this time I met his rock, his support, his lovely wife. Such is the strength of that online writing group.
The road may seem long and the path may seem steep, yet the journey is what you make it.
August 2012 found me sharing the above with you as “one of many such pearls of wisdom to be found in Elaine McKenna´s excellent little book, Ignite Your Inner Desires.”
This delightful and pertinent proverb has been with me throughout and gives me the same proverbial boot now as it did then. Much love to you Elaine xxx
Another gem was the cliché that was and is, never a cliché to those of us who learnt from it:
Black on white
This came from a writer who had ventured into the unknown and self-published on Kindle and was happy to share the minutiae of his publishing experience with those of us still a million miles from that revered place. Of his writing skills I wrote in January 2012:
“tales of human sacrifices, history, other worlds and strong empathetic female heroines have truly taken me away from the rigours of reality and immersed me in a soft pillow of fantasy”
Kevin Ashman can be found by clicking on the link within his name. He was one of the chattiest, funniest and most empathetic of the group´s members and entered my radar as “someone to watch”. I identified with his early blogging, which unashamedly admitted, that he knew he had to enter the unchartered territory of social media. I still laugh when I read his early entry describing this fact and concluding with the line:
Oh my god, that means I have to TALK to people.
I have news for you Mr A, talking to people is not an issue for you! You are a born communicator.
I spent time recently at a writer´s retreat where a lot of talking went on. I thought of Mr Ashman and his wisdom many times during the week. Black on white folks, that´s what does it. My point is that Kevin simply wrote, he had an inner desire to do so and he followed his nose and did it. No fuss, no bother, no drama queen episodes (all of which I am supremely guilty of) he simply said black on white, write.
Fourteen self-published Kindle books, which made him a “very good living” in his words, later and his phone rang.
“Hello Kevin, this is the largest internet retailer in the world, as defined by revenue and market capitalisation (Wikipedia definition) calling. What are you doing tomorrow (it may have been next week)? Fancy popping down to London and chewing the fat with various other writers and agents? We`d love you to come as we have been watching your books with interest and have a publishing deal for you to assess.”
Please note that as always I have fictionalised a factual conversation with my own take on humour and … some say poor taste!
Kevin now has twenty / 20 / XX / bloody hell books under his belt, he has regularly been number one across the world in the Amazon ratings (Yes, it was they who called) and is still tremendously supportive of me personally. OK, I was a little tipsy at the time and he may well have needed to hold me up but seriously, I know when the time comes, if it comes for me, he will be there when I need advice and a shoulder to cry on.
His twentieth book hit the shelves on the 30th March 2018 Blade Bearer and I advise you all to go get yourself a copy. If you are a reader then you too can be taken away from the rigours of reality and immersed in a soft pillow of fantasy!
If you are a writer, read it and learn, read it and have belief, read it and then write.
To all my scribbling friends, I say to you all, and especially to me, it can be done.
Black on white, get it down, write it out, just get off your arse and do it (Gill).