Writing

An unexpected benefit of writing regularly

I am five weeks into my Writing for Children & Young Adults course, and something wholly unexpected has happened.

Let me explain:

When I was younger I had the confidence of a small gnat. So, I looked for ways to ‘better’ myself – NLP, hypnosis, meditation, visualisation… (It was a long list.)

I also clung to a dream: to be an author one day. Partly because I loved writing and I was obsessed with books. But partly because I secretly thought that if I could write a book like my childhood heroes – Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and Dr Seuss – I would be A SUCCESS (i.e. approved of, accepted and, naturally, brimming with confidence)!

Aside from this not being a great reason to write, that’s a heck of a lot of pressure to put on one book.

Unsurprisingly, I struggled to write anything. Something which had been a source of joy and pleasure in childhood became serious and heavy and difficult.

And the more I avoided writing, the more ‘writing a book’ became this huge, mystical thing.

But I have discovered something unexpected:

Taking part in a year-long writing course has forced me to write regularly. Which means I am finally living my dream, instead of imagining it.

This is an important distinction. Because the shocking reality is that some writing days are ‘good’ – there is magic in my fingertips. But many days are ‘bad’ (really bad). And most days are somewhere in between.

The ordinariness of this is unexpected. And liberating!

If writing a book is not such a Big Fat Mystical Hairy Deal, I am free. I can play and experiment and do whatever I damn well please.

I can succeed or fail, and it’s all OK.

Writing a book is magical and also completely ordinary. This is earth-shattering news.  

As the dad in Kate DiCamillo’s novel Flora & Ulysses would say,
“HOLY UNANTICIPATED OCCURRENCES!”

2 thoughts on “An unexpected benefit of writing regularly

  1. That discovery will help you deliver a great book and a highly successful and fulfilling course. You’re very talented anyway. This will enhance it. You’re doing great. Well done.

    Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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