So – I have been published in Chapter and Verse, I have favourable comments re assignment one, I have switched to my real passion, fiction and my enthusiasm levels are sky high. I just know that I can do this – I will be the next Stephen King.

This is where I was months 2 to 4 into the course and I think it is important to look back and remember that time, because I lost my focus around month 5 and allowed negativity and lack of confidence to infiltrate. Hence this blog.

I won’t labour the point about researching magazines; we have all been there and are doing that! But what is more important is the content of my notebook in those early months. Everywhere I went I saw a story line, every person I passed was a character, all my friends and were colleagues were aware that I considered myself an unpublished author. Every spare moment was focused on creating my story lines.

So it was I found myself in a roadside café one day with an hour and a half to kill while my car was repaired, treasured spare time when I should have been at work! I was reading Freelance Writers News and copiously taking notes, my excitement at the opportunities and advice bubbling over. At the last page I found the jewel. A writing competition, the theme for a short story was The Secret.

My pen flew off the table in true sorcerer’s apprentice style, my notebook magically opened at a new page and the words appeared. The words fell out of mind onto the page in a tumultuous rush.

I knew the story – for it was my story, it was entitled A Silly Childhood Dream and told of the burning desire of a very young girl to write books and how this desire was hidden away in the deep recesses of her consciousness because of her first failure at age 10 or 11. It became her secret.

That weekend I typed up the story, did a spell check and a summary edit and sent it off knowing it would be published. I ignored every word of advice from the course so far, no airing cupboard for a few days, no thorough grammar or punctuation check. I didn’t need such mundane things I had been published in Chapter and Verse!

2 months later, reading the published story, I was aghast at my own vanity and amused by my own self-indulgence as displayed in my story. Of course it wasn’t published; the winning entry was far more entertaining and readable than my mini autobiography!

My point, fellow students of the literary craft, and good friends, is for you to remember the initial buzz, capture the early enthusiasm and cherish it. If you have lost sight of it go back and read your early notes and stories or articles and accept them for what they are.

I love my “secret story”, errors and all!  Maybe if I can work out how, I will publish it here!



4 thoughts on “The Road to F2 or N2 – Research Brick Wall

  1. Well done Gill!

    I look forward to reading your ‘secret story’ and it is good that you learnt the lessons you have. I’m sure you are very talented, and Stephen King will need to watch out.




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