More Haste, Less Speed

Hey, how are you on this snowy cold morning? Hope you are coping during these strange times and keeping you and your loved ones safe. I’m taking a break from writing my book for a couple of days and thought I would give you a brief update on how it is going. Or rather not going. I don’t want to call it the cliché ‘writer’s block’ but there is a blockage of some sort, obviously meant to be, so that I learn my next lesson on this journey. 

As a naïve first-time writer, I thought that once I’d written my masterpiece and checked it through a few times, filling in the gaps and running spellcheck over it, that I would nearly be there! I read the 75,000-word manuscript chapter by chapter to my oh so patient husband and then merrily hit the send button to my editor for a professional beta read, believing I was now ready for the next stage; looking into book cover design and creating my Author blurb. How wrong could I be?

All of the above took me about 2 months in my ‘I’ll get this from pen to published in 3 months’ dreamworld. Who knew I had the toughest bit yet to come? 

As much as I know that being a top-notch author will remain a fantasy, I do want to write something half decent, readable at the very least. So, when my editor advised writing from a different starting point and interweaving the back story, I knew I should do it.  Perhaps turn my D minus piece of work into a respectable B. Possibly even a B plus? 🤔 Well, I mean stranger things have happened; I took my maths GCSE with my daughter a few years back and scraped a B plus and very nearly an A grade. I have always been terrified of maths, but as you know; I do like a challenge! 

Had I wanted an easy life, just getting this book self-published for the sake of it, I suppose I could have gone with my original ‘chronologically’ ordered story… but then no doubt, I would end up another of those failed memoirists charged with writing their story like a school essay; journaling events instead of turning them into an engaging and enjoyable read.

So yes, it’s tougher than I could have possibly first imagined and two months have passed since I finished those 75,000 words… without an awful lot of progress. My poor little mind is struggling to keep up with the amount of learning, social media writing groups, blogs and words of wisdom from every which angle. All hopefully helping to shape me into a better writer. Plus, I’m making it my goal to read at least one book a week, either fiction or memoir, which whilst I used to see this as a luxury, is now an ‘essential’ part of my learning process.  

I struggled for 3 days to see how to work a flashback into my chapter this week. I don’t want to call it ‘writer’s block’ since that’s what writers get in the initial writing phase isn’t it? When they draw a blank with the story they so expertly create from the depths of their mind as they transcribe it onto paper. Big respect to all fiction authors, at least I had my story ready to be written!  (it’s a memoir of my rather spectacular events from the summer of 2019). 

I have decided to take the pressure off myself for now. I am ridiculously impatient at times but can see the old adage ‘more haste less speed’ is at play here. So, whilst I forge my way through this maze of restructuring with seamless flashbacks and consistent plot lines, I am going to take it a little more slowly and wait for solutions to come clearly and naturally. Take it easy with a Cadbury’s Caramel (who remembers that advert). Take my time to enjoy this new world and learn as much as I can along the way. That’s not to say I don’t still have it in the back of my mind for the book launch to still happen in the next 6 months, I do. But it will be when it will be.

It’s one heck of a steep learning curve, but I’m feeling strangely confident. I will keep you updated. 

Nikki x

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