The transition from research-based report writing, back to creative writing, hasn’t been easy. The inspiration that came so easily when I was young didn’t come as easily as an ageing adult; the ideas were there but I just couldn’t get them onto paper, albeit electronically in this computer age.
When I recently retired from the ‘academic’ world, an opportunity presented itself to write short articles for an online site that publishes reviews of places and events. I was excited about the prospect but found a severe case of ‘creative-doubt’ kept me from making a start. I made some fairly ‘creative’ excuses for not putting fingers to keyboard but finally decided to just acknowledge the doubt, sit down at the computer, and get on with it. My way of dealing with the fear was to convince myself that even JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ script was rejected initially, so I would just use the experience to hone my skills towards eventually writing a book.
While doubting my first article would even be published, I was flabbergasted to find that not only was it published, but over 100 people read it within the first few weeks. Using reflection and research I was able to improve on my initial attempt and win an Editor’s Silver Award for my third article, followed by a Bronze Award for my next one, and another Silver for my seventh article.
Inspired by the success, I have gone on to write more articles, learning a little more about the process with each one. While still a long way from being considered ‘polished and professional’, and from earning the coveted Gold Award, I push forward, confident that at some point in the future I will be able to channel my skills into that elusive novel.
Long before my teenage years I promised myself that one day I’d write a book, but to this day I have no idea what to write about. Like a lot of things in my life, maybe it will just happen without too much concern about the ‘how or what’. All I’ve really ever needed was the ‘idea’ that I wanted to do something, and somehow the rest would just find its own way of happening. I’m not sure if you’d consider it ‘the stars all lining up’, or ‘having all my ducks in a row’, but somehow it always happens – all I have to do is have the idea.
I hope you’ll journey with me through these pages, and I will try not to take too many shortcuts, since a shortcut for me is always the longest distance between A and B. But if I do get off-track, be assured that the journey will be an adventure, so I hope you’ll buckle up and stay on board.