I have been writing a novel for nearly a year now… I still cannot quite believe that it has been that long… or that short… the whole experience has been, er, novel. I had no great, soaring ambition, no goal of conquering the literary world, not even the intention of actually writing a whole book when I started last October/November. See, I can’t actually remember exactly when I started. I just know that I did.
Having written creatively as part of my English degree which culminated with my getting a First (yes, I dropped that in, I couldn’t help myself) last summer, I knew the pleasure that writing could bring. Pleasure, company, therapy. So, finding myself in London with few connections other than my sister who was in the throes of an intensive architecture degree, I turned to writing. I have loved every minute of it.
But here’s the thing. As my little idea, which is based around an honest story of love, friendship and self-discovery (and all the pitfalls that come with them), as it started to grow, seed-into-tree-esque if you will, I kept waiting for that moment where I would hit the wall. Where writer’s block would strike and I would battle, silently, solemnly, as I imagined a writer would, trying to move forwards but, actually, just standing still. Stalemate. In a literary No Man’s Land, myself on one side, my writing on the other, a mess of words in between us. This never came though. I am certainly not saying that the writing process is easy, it has not been… I have probably accelerated my oncoming wrinkles and encouraged a premature growth of grey hairs with the late nights and character disputes which I, the writer, was far too involved in. But maybe that is why I have managed, thus far, to avoid hitting that wall, because I feel for my characters. Each one has a place in my heart. They are like me and yet they are so incredibly unlike me that I wish I could be more like them. Caring for their lives, which I have sculpted with these fingertips, has meant that I want them to carry on living and to reach that resolution that I know, and they know, is coming, and that they wholly deserve it.
Writing is a funny thing. I am nearly finished and I dearly hope that this wall that I have so far avoided does not creep up on me with my final chapters. (I have two to go, AH!) There are tougher and, I expect, wrinkle and grey hair inducing times ahead for this here writer and her first novel. But I am pretty damn happy to have made it this far, let’s wait and see. Well, you wait… I’ll write.