In 2016, I came across a writing prompt about a girl being locked up with someone who didn’t speak her language. And my story was born. I didn’t focus all my attention on it, as I’d only recently graduated with an early childhood education graduate diploma, and was working as a kindergarten teacher. But I’d write notes on it, every so often, whenever I was inspired.
At the end of 2017, I resigned from my job as kinder teacher to fully focus on my story. I had amassed a large amount of notes – about five notebooks full – and I was ready to write. And, to be honest, the kinder kids were killing me. It is TOUGH teaching two sets of thirty children, I tell ya. So after giving myself six weeks off, because I was mentally and physically drained (and it was summer and everyone was on holiday), I started work on my manuscript on the 29thof January, 2018.
It was a long road, one full of stress, and headaches (I’m a migraine sufferer, did I not mention that? Don’t worry, I won’t let you forget it), and more stress, and self-doubt. It was hard. But finally, on the 29thof June, 2018, I wrote the last word and had a complete manuscript.
It was pretty much the greatest feeling. I don’t think anyone’s ever felt as great as I did. Not even those superhumans that climb Everest. I mean, I’d basically climbed Everest, let’s be real. And then, something I didn’t expect happened. I got a job offer. I’d gone in for an interview about a month earlier for a library position at a school, even though I have no library skills or experience, or a diploma. But it’s always been a dream to work in a library, so I was hoping my passion would win them over. And it did! It was the perfect timing. Not only had I just finished my manuscript, but I was also running low on the funds I’d saved up since I hadn’t worked for half a year. It’s hard being an unpaid writer…
Anyway, so I was starting at the library two weeks after my manuscript had finished. So I got two weeks to just chill in the afterglow of my hard work. And then I started the job, and fell in love with it. It would only be until December, because the next year the lady I was replacing would be returning. Which was fine by me. I just wanted to save some money, so I could go back to my writing.
Moving on. I excelled at my position. Everyone told me I was doing an amazing job, that they’d never seen the library so organised, and so welcoming, and that my smile was like sunshine. Maybe I’m paraphrasing… but that was the sentiment. While working there, because there was lots of downtime, I managed to edit my manuscript, and then basically write 100+ pages of backstory for my world and characters. They were basically paying me to write. My dreams really were coming true.
In December, I was offered the position for another six months, because the other lady I was working with had gone on maternity leave, and I accepted, because I still had the opportunity to write, and I also enjoyed position. Being surrounded by books is a wonderful feeling.
But as the six months came to an end, no matter how much I enjoyed it, I was glad. I’ve always been a bit of a commitment-phobe. The longest I’ve ever stayed in a job is 15 months. I’ve never been fired, I’ve just always felt the itch to leave, that it’s time to move on. And so when they offered me the chance to work in the office once my contract was over, I had to decline. I have no interest in office work, and I needed to go back to focus on my manuscript.
So I did.
It’s been almost a month since I left that library position, and since then, I’ve done a chapter readthrough of my manuscript, and have written a complete timeline for the novel.
It has changed A LOT since I finished the first draft last June. Some days it’s overwhelming and stressful, and sometimes I don’t feel like I have the skills to write it the way I’m envisioning it in my head. But it’s my story, and I’m going to try and try and try to produce something I’m proud of.
I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was seven, and my teacher (who was also my uncle, but that’s beside the point) praised my story. Maybe hewas just being nice, but it still changed my life. I’ve written countless stories over the years, some for assignments, some just for fun. But I’ve never spent so long on one idea. So I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved so far, and extra surprised that I’m still as in love with the story as I am. I hope that one day it’ll be out there in the world, on shelves, for people to pick up and read, and if that happens – no – when that happens, I hope they love it.
I’ll be writing little updates once a week (I’ll try anyway), just to feel accountable, and to have an account of my progress. It’d be nice to look back, I think. I hope whoever reads this is interested. I’ll try not make them this long all the time. But can’t make any promises. When my fingers hits that keyboard, even I don’t know when they’re going to stop.
*I don’t know if I mentioned, but I’m trying this thing where I don’t edit my posts, except for a very quick readthrough, because I’m trying to tamper down my perfectionism, and be more comfortable with putting my work out there, and just finishing things in general
Tell me some of your dreams in the comments. Maybe we can encourage each other.
Ciao 4 Now.