I always wanted to be a writer. I’d been studying my whole life as a reader, but it wasn’t enough. There are many more readers than writers out there. I needed to do more so I began to read about writing, took a short course, listened to podcasts. I bombard myself with writing knowledge but learning only the theory of the craft would take me so far. Sitting down and writing, not once, not occasionally, but every single day took me into the realm of artist where I gained the invaluable practical knowledge.
Writing and showing up each day to write is when my craft grew exponentially. The snippets of information I had gleamed in my initial studies would pop into my head and they began to shape my art. I tried techniques suggested, those that worked stayed and those that didn’t were filled away as do not use. As I continued on, through the days I longed to sit at my desk and write and those days when I didn’t want to, but did anyway (and those days always produced the best work and left me feeling glad I showed up) I realised that the biggest teacher of all was the art itself. I had proven myself a willing student, had managed to close the door on those swirling voices telling me I was not good enough, that I was wasting my time, that it was all a load of crap. I pushed through and kept going and then, the art began to teach me.
The creativity, which was so sparse I question if it was even there in the beginning, began to grow. It grew to the point where I entered the magical state of flow. I would sit for hours, churning out material and unaware of the time that had passed. But it wasn’t just at my desk. I would be in the shower early in the morning and run out, dripping water all over the floor, reaching for pen and paper to scribble down the idea that burst into my head; the next storyline or conversation or character development. Those came to me at the most unusual times but they were the diamonds and I was not going to miss a single one.
Beginning was the most difficult part of all. Continuing on was tough, but as I continued there was a spark that lit up and soon enough burned into a raging fire that would not let me stop. The idea has caught me and it was not letting go until the job was done. Yet that burning passion came later. All I had in the beginning was one thought. Enough of this wanting to be a writer, they only way it’s going to happen is to stop wishing and start doing. That was all I had. I sat down and I typed. The next day I sat down and I typed and the day after that and so on. I didn’t even know what the story was in these early days. I had a vague idea of something with no idea of an ending or even a middle and I went along. Once I’d proven my commitment, the muse showed up and guided me along the way, taking my story into places I would never have conceived at the start.
I continued to study. Reading, listening, talking with others. The study was much easier now that I had the ability to apply it to something. Then came that moment where I reached the end. The manuscript was finished. I rested it (just one of the thousands on invaluable tips I had gained) and came back to it. Yes it was in need of an enormous amount of work, but I knew I had tapped into something. The passion was burning and it fuels me still, to keep going. Because I am an artist now, a professional, I know my craft inside out and I know the standard I want to achieve and I am working on that standard each day. Like all good things worth accomplishing, it is taking longer than I ever anticipated, but I know it is worth every amount of energy I put into it. I know I am crafting my masterpiece that I will be proud to attach my name to. There will be others after it, however, like the first time of anything, there will always be something special about this one, the piece that taught me how to be a writer.