Dreams are delightful. They start when you are young. For me it was always the dream to be a famous author. When I realised I didn’t have the face for TV/Movies, or the voice for singing, I was left with writing. But don’t misunderstand me, it was not the poor cousin! Writing was the best of the lot. Books were magical. They transported you into a new persons head and let you live out their interesting/scary/powerful/exciting lives. The idea that I could make such a power object was a rather delightful fantasy, even as a small child.
And dreams are a lovely distraction. Walking along my leafy street, pushing a heavy pram filled with heavy children, it is wonderful to dream of a possible future time where people might want to read my books. Of book-signings and fans and travel and money. And even knowing the reality that at least number 4 is unlikely to happen, it is still delightful to dream.
And the beautiful thing about writing a novel is, that for most of its creation there is no one to question your dream. There is no objective voice saying “I’m not sure you are really capable of this task.”
And then you finish.
On the 1st of Jan this year, I stood by the desk at Officeworks, chatting with a friendly shop assistant about why I wanted two bound, identical copies of my 400 page document.
“I wrote a novel.”
“Oh, really, I want to read it.” She grins and turns to the screen between us
“No, don’t. I’m embarrassed. It’s only a first draft” I splutter, throwing up my hands to block my words. She frowns and nods, and then begins to interrogate me about how one goes about getting such a thing published.
I answer, the awkwardness of the exchange fading. But it hit me then what it meant to be finished. Suddenly my novel wasn’t just my novel, and my dreams weren’t just a fun distraction from the ordinariness of life. My novel and my dreams were going to be tested.
I have taken the first step of that testing, passing those 400 pages on to my sister and my husband. And as much as I love them and they love me, it was a terrifying step. There has been helpful and painful feedback, in fact some of the most helpful feedback has been encased in some painful truths. But this is only the beginning. Not just for my novel but for the short stories that I am currently writing. They will be sent out to magazines, and according to every authors biography that I have ever read, they will be rejected. And people who have no interest or investment in my dreams will read my novel and decide that it is “not a good fit” or worse, “not of a publishable quality.”
There is a great deal of fear that I must push to through if I am ever going to get my novel published.
One hurdle down. Many, many more to go.
Welcome to my new blog. This blog will be a reflection on writing, some reviews and reflections on books and television, and bits of everyday life as well. Thanks for reading 🙂