Falling In Love: The Writer’s Life

Now, writing a novel has always been a dream of mine. In fact, it’s on my bucket list. I have a plan. And a very detailed character list. And a blow-by-blow plan of every twist and every element in the novel. There is nothing in the novel that isn’t in the plan, and I have begun, this summer to write the chapters. Y’know, the fundamental basis of the novel; the text. And I find it something that it is very hard to do part-time.

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I’m working at the moment, however when I’m not working, at three o’clock in the morning for instance, I find myself perusing the ten thousand words I’ve already written, scratching my head, and wondering how I can improve the novel, the characters, and the flow of the novel. It’s a job I’ve always dreamed of having. Writing, is the only job I can really imagine doing; and thus this very blog, which is almost a year old now, was born.

I can imagine myself, in five years or so, in a house which has an office stuffed full of books, a comfortable desk chair, and my laptop. I could contentedly work there, for ten hours or so a day, writing down all the stuff my rather expansive imagination comes up with. I would blog, at the same time, and perhaps write commissioned pieces, editorials, and do some editing work too. I could travel; laptops are rather portable, as are ideas. Travel produces ideas, and creates different perspectives. One of my biggest ambitions is to spend six months or so, travelling around South America, and writing about it. Combining two of my favourite pastimes, it would be one of the best years of my entire life.

But anyway, I’m working on the novel. It’s gonna be interesting, and has a historical aspect that I like, because I am intensely interested in both of the World Wars, and the impact it had on families and their dynamics. I hope it’ll be something I look back on in a few years, and call it my first good thing; my first successful venture into the world of publishing. I hope that comes true, and I can imagine spending all my free time writing, because that’s all I’ve ever really wanted to be, or do.

There are some problems, with the writer’s life though; the first is that you have no externally imposed structure, and so you have to be well-disciplined, and able to commit yourself to work, even when there are a variety of distractions around you. The second is writer’s block. I’ve had a few weeks recently, where there was nothing I could say. I couldn’t write anything worth a dime. But then I caught a cold, and spent a week at home, watching old episodes of Friends, and all of a sudden, I remembered why I wanted to be an author. And when my new laptop came, and I did the thing, you know, where you sort out all the old files on your computer,I found the drafts and plans I made for a novel, about a year ago. And with nothing else to do with my time, I decided to start writing it again.

And frankly, it’s been the best four days of the summer, so far. Despite the raging cold, and an ability to talk like Darth Vader.

(:

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On Investment

Lately, I’ve been repeating “it’s all about the dream” to myself in an effort to maintain a degree of motivation. I repeat it especially frequently at seven in the morning, and during lengthy cross trainer or hill walker sessions. I’ve even turned into a cliché, and written it onto my mirror. It’s true however; everything I’m doing at the moment, including designing a prototype magazine, training hard, working on my degree, has a foundation in the future. This is something of an oxymoron, however, it’s perfectly true; my world is finding it’s foundation in the future. It’s an investment in the world.

Investment seems to be something of a touchy subject in the wake of our current economic climate; people who had invested in property have temporarily lost a vast amount of potential capital, and people who had simply locked their savings into bank accounts have suffered some degree of loss, or at least an affected interest rate. The older generation are suffering on the pensions schemes, and the young people are suffering under the loan companies and the rising cost of education. And therefore one can only ask whether we can ever truly invest in the future. We can’t predict the long-term effects of economic downturn, or how long it might last, and how severe it might be. There are entire organisations dedicated to trying to establish patterns of economy, however financially, and in many other ways, the future is decidedly uncertain.

However, to not invest in property, education, etc, is far more dangerous than doing so; one can hope to skate by on good grace and charm, and unfortunately, I have friends who have quite literally skated through school and accidentally fallen into the laps of insurance companies, accountancy apprenticeships, etc. There are people in the world who are apparently automatically blessed; they just acquire opportunity with little to no effort. I think half of this is a situational advantage; some people end up lucky and simply fall into being in the right place, at exactly the right time.

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The rest of us however, are investing. Employability events. Optional lectures. Extra reading. Extra curricular projects. Getting up in the morning. It’s all part of the grand effort to become something in a climate that seems determined to force young people into unemployment. One of my pet peeves in the employment sector is when you are told “you haven’t enough experience”. The question of course being, “how on earth might I acquire this experience, if you are not willing to invest in me?”. I don’t think it’s really entirely about us, investing in ourselves. I think it’s also about employers, older people, and lecturers, investing the time in us to teach us, and to lend us the experience. Those who are willing are continually asking for opportunities ought to be rewarded, in a world of equals. There won’t ever be enough spaces to accommodate everyone, and that’s okay; we just need a fighting chance to gain some of the experience that we seem to lack.

So, today I’m hoping people will invest more in us; we’re willing to work hard and to learn, because we want to be you one day. We want to be the people to invest in the young people. It’s a cycle though; we need a leg up, so we can be just like you, when we grow up.

(:

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