I’ve been sat a few days, procrastinating like I do, playing games, watching television and reading, trying to decide what to put in my first blog post.
I mean, this could be monumental, right? If my wildest dreams and hopes come true, I could become a world famous author, writing hugely successful books that inspire millions of people, all leading to that lucrative multi-movie deal with Disney! This blog could be saved for history and studied by scholars of the future!
Ok, daydream over.
Let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that will happen, but we can dream, yeah?
So, to start, let’s talk about my book!
Such as it is.
Thing is, I’ve been writing this book for a long time now. I’ve had the idea in my head for ages, at least fifteen years in fact. The idea pootled around inside my head, evolved and changed form a few times, before eventually settling on what I came up with, namely…
Katie G and the Aliens
Katie G is a normal, everyday girl. At least, that’s what she tells everybody. In her own mind though, she’s not ordinary. She’s amazing. She’s far more intelligent than everyone else in the world! That is, until the Aliens arrive and things change. Something is wrong with all the adults and Katie really is more intelligent than all the adults in the world! But what’s wrong with her parents? What can Katie and her friends do to sort things out and who is the mysterious alien who wants to help?
That’s the basic premise. And it’s been in my head for years.
I did try and start writing it a few times but I could never seem to stick at it and that’s when I discovered NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is, in their own words, a ”non-profit organization that provides tools, structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds — on and off the page.”
The idea of NaNo is to get people writing by setting a challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month, something that doesn’t sound that hard, until you actually try it! I tried it a couple of times and failed miserably, before finally succeeding in 2012. I hit the magical 50k and then took a day or two off from it for a break and then barely touched it for about six years
The big mistake came when I decided to go back to it, to finish it off. I had the CRAZY idea that I should read it back, see what I thought. Big mistake. HUGE mistake! The biggest! Dear gods, was it bad, sooooo bad! I was embarrassed by it, it was awful! I could never be a writer! What was I thinking! And thus, I didn’t look at it again for about four years, and then occasionally looked at it, maybe trying to write the odd few sentences for it.
It haunted me. Every so often it would come into my mind, like a little goblin, sitting in my head, poking me, saying “Come on, get it done!” and I would always ignore it, remembering how bad it was. In fact, I nearly deleted it several times!
But, see, here’s the thing. Of course it was awful! It’s an incomplete first draft! It was obviously going to be terrible! I mean, how many people write a first draft that is flawless? I’d missed the point of NaNoWriMo! It was expected to be awful; the point was to get people writing! Once it was written, then you go back and correct it all, edit it, re-write it, do it over and over, polishing it until it’s finished! Like a REAL author does!
It was thanks to a friend of mine I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site, Jon Ford, that I was persuaded into carrying on. He was also writing a book, in fact he was writing an epic series of novels and he was doing really well. He did so well he recently published his first book, Hunters (which you can read about on my Authors page here) and it’s excellent. In fact, go off and buy it right now. I’ll wait right here.
Back? Good. Anyway, Jon was doing really well, had his book approaching completion, had a cover designed and had his website up and running, complete with a blog in which spoke many times about writing and the issues from it.
It was reading his blog that gave me the prod I needed to start thinking about finishing my own book and it was the support of my ever-loving wife, Rosie (That’s her nickname, btw) that pushed me to actually do it.
I’ve decided that what I need to do to actually push myself to finish it is to make it more public. I’ve done this before when I tried to lose weight and it worked for me. Having it out there, in the world, it’s like a promise to myself, almost an ultimatum, to actually GET. IT. DONE!
Should be fun!