Good Reading : February 2017
What a difference a month can make. Last month I was wallowing in self-doubt and floundering in self-pity, convinced I would never succeed in transferring my theoretical story into an actual manuscr ipt. Today I am grinning with delight as I scan the 5000-plus words I have added to my novel-in-progress in just 10 days.Yep. I’ve started writing again! I have a renewed passion for writing, words and ideas are flowing freely, and I am giddy with the prospect that I just might achieve my long-cherished novel-writing dream. Sure, there’s a heck of a long way still to go – at least 75 000 more words before the first draft is finished, followed by multiple edits and redrafts. And I have no doubt that I will have more doubts during the writing process. But something has changed, and I owe it to that serendipity I’ve alluded to in the past – this time in the guise of Good Reading deputy editor Tim Graham, who subedits my stories each month and shares my appreciation for first-rate writing.When Tim read my outpour ing of woe and despair, he responded with the writing mentor’s equivalent of Henry V’s call to arms before the Battle at Agincourt. Within an encouraging email, he wanted me to know that a ‘dirty first draft’ was perhaps a necessity, and suggested that my very doubts just might be a sign of my potential. Tim also sent a brief quote from a writing guidebook he was reading. The book, by Australian author, writing teacher and stand-up comedian Catherine Deveny, is called Use Your Words: A myth-busting, no-fear approach to writing, and it was exactly what I needed. In wise, witty and no-nonsense style, Catherine chipped away at all the excuses, anxieties and self-imposed blocks and offered practical advice to change my position from that of ‘gunna’ to that of ‘doer’. Armed with self-imposed parameters that are working some sort of magic, I’ve penned about 500 words, five times a week for two weeks. And each time I sit down to write again, I’m primed for the task and am champing at the bit. WRITER’S LIFE g g g g Thene ophyte no velist Aspiring novelist MAUREEN EPPEN gets back on track this month after a temporarily derailment.
December 2016 - January 2017