Saturday, 23 April 2016

Leaning Into the Curves!


Well, its finally happened. My first article as a columnist for www.loveahappyending.com is out there for the big bad world to see. You will either love it, hate it or just think its a bit blah! Personally, I think its pretty ok. And by god its true what they say................writing is like going out in public with no knickers on! You do feel so exposed!  I understand of course that the article content may not be of interest to everyone in the world but I hope that I have written it in such a way that even if the subject matter does not apply to you, the writing itself will bring even the smallest of smiles to your face. You can check out the article HERE. Please go and read it and inflate my ego enormously! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.............good or bad.

One thing that starting to write articles for the magazine is teaching me is that its not that easy! While I used to write a personal blog around special needs issues, those posts were personal to me. The challenge in writing for a wider audience is to make sure that I don't personalise each article too much and make it all about me. Because the feature is about Home Help, I need to write content that encompasses quite a wide audience from parents, to homemakers to career minded women/men to well.............just about everyone I suppose and actually hope that people do find the articles helpful!  While I want the articles to be informative I don't want them to be too serious either. I think we can take life far too seriously and that just sucks the fun out of everything!


Yesterday I sat down to put together my 2nd article for the magazine and BOOM! Writer's Block! I mean seriously! I have a huge list of topics I'd like to cover in the features and so while it was very quiet in work I thought I'd get started on the next thing on the list. I merrily sat covertly typing away hoping that the boss didn't walk in on me typing up an article instead of writing the boring stuff I'm paid to write. I got about 4 paragraphs in when suddenly my mind went completely blank! My brain shut down faster than a computer installing Windows 10! Now, for me this is something quite unexpected because my brain never shuts up! It constantly babbles on and on at me, never giving me a moments peace. And, for those that know me well, my mouth never closes either and the two are in constant conflict! I sat looking blankly at the screen and then just put my head on the desk and counted to ten!
 
Yes I know I probably looked like some mad writerly type (Here's Johnny!!!) I thankfully hadn't reached axe wielding stage! A few big deep breaths however, a bar of chocolate and a reboot of my brain showed me what was wrong. While I had an general outline of what I wanted the article to be about and had been happily bashing away at the keyboard I realised that I in fact wanted to write something else entirely! The writer's block I suppose was my brain's version of an update! You know those annoying things that happen to your laptop when you are mid writing and the damn thing restarts without any prior warning.  My brain was trying to alert me to the fact that it was at odds with what I was writing. Now this is a new thing for me. As a fledgling writer I had often read of the dreaded writer's block or plot lines taking new directions but hadn't really experienced it to such a degree. It happened a few times during my NaNoWriMo project but not as abruptly as this. Then, there had always been a gradual sort of re-plotting and days of my brain toying with the idea. Not this! Goodness me this writing lark is going to be fun!

Writing appears to be a constant learning curve. Sometimes I am a pro at leaning into the curves and following the road ahead. Other times I fall flat on my ass and need to dust myself off and start again, hoping that I don't run out of fuel before I've finished. I often wonder if I have what it takes and have to remind myself that of course I have! Ultimately I am writing for me and if the end result is that one or two other people actually like what I write then I've contributed in some small way to the world of writing. I'm not sure my name will ever be in lights or whether I'll ever be lucky enough to see anything I've written on shelves but I do know I am extremely lucky to have been given the opportunities I have. I am extremely lucky to have such a great supportive writing network and wonderful author and blogger friends who are encouraging and just amazing! The rest, as they say, is up to me. I'm looking forward to a great Summer when I will be off work from the day job and I can concentrate more on my writing and my book work. Who knows, maybe I just might get that damned NaNoWriMo project finished before I have to start the next one. Buckle up! Its gonna be a bumpy ride!