First Writing Aspirations
I was in grade school when I decided I wanted to be a writer. Well, that and an acrobat, and a dancer, and a detective…but anyway, I definitely wanted to write stories. I think I was 8. I had this awesome teacher, Ms. Meronek, who gave us a little project for Gr.3 (or was it Gr.4?).
The project? Write a novel. Not just any novel, a Halloween novel. A novel with a monster, in fact.
If you knew how much I cherished Halloween, you would know that this was an amazing stroke of luck. A school assignment that combined my two most favourite things in the world: Halloween magic and story-writing. Sure, my main character was a little monster that looked suspiciously like Teddy Ruxpin, only rainbow-coloured and chameleon-like, but it was my monster, my story. And I loved it.
Something amazing happened when I wrote this story. People liked it. Or they pretended to. Whatever the case, I felt supported and encouraged. By my teacher, the principal, my classmates, the older kids, my parents.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot this. I forgot how writing a story from start to finish made me feel. I forgot that, at 8 years of age, I knew what I wanted to be.
It took me a long time to remember this. I started the book I’m working on about three years ago. This is my first real attempt at writing a novel since grade school. I wish I had taken note of the actual date, because I haven’t stopped working on it since. Okay, I haven’t been working on it non-stop for three years, but there was never a time when I felt I would lose interest. I finished my first draft over a year ago.
I’ve gone months at a time without working on it. But then there were also times, when I would work on it non-stop for months at a time. After finishing the first draft and letting it marinate for a while, I’ve been trying to do a little bit of editing every week. The neurotic in me compels an obsessive calculation of what percentage I’ve finished, almost everyday that I work on it, in fact. For example, as of now, I am 66% into editing my first draft. I’m basing it on the number of pages I’ve made it through. But of course, the editing process is not as linear as that. I’ve deleted A LOT of scenes and added a few more here and there.
There are times when I absolutely despise what I’ve created, and then there are times when I become quite involved in just reading it, like I’ve almost forgotten that it’s my story and I know how it ends. I love those times. I know there is still a lot of work left to do, (probably 50 more drafts), but I will finish what I started, eventually.
I have to admit, I’m a little excited at the progress, however slow it has been. And terrified at the thought of showing anyone my little monster.
Man I loved this show…
What is your first memory of writing? by Jodie Llewellyn