You’ve been writing for a while, haven’t you? Lots of words over lots of years.
And you’ve actually finished things, haven’t you?
Possibly you have a cupboard full of finished novels, plays and collections of poetry. Maybe you can’t open your desk drawer properly because that novel you’ve been meaning to edit for the past year keeps getting jammed.
The other day you needed your passport but you couldn’t find it because it was wedged at the bottom of the filing cabinet beneath that screenplay about the cyborg who fell in love with a human.
Your study is a waiting room for words, sitting and waiting for an appointment with the word doctor who is always running late.
It takes a long time to write a novel. At least a year. Good poetry and a gripping screenplay can take even longer as you grapple with tone and camera angles.
Writing is one of the few things people attempt without any guarantee of monetary success at the end. Beginning a novel without any hint of agent representation or a looming publishing deal is probably not terribly good business practice.
We know all that, yet we continue to write.
It’s the creative spark. Once it gets a grip on you it won’t let go.
And let’s face it, we all need something to distract us from the doleful dirge of human existence.
So what’s the point of this post, you say? Are you trying to completely depress us? To condemn us to a bleak future of dusty studies or writing nooks overburdened with page upon page of our creative musings?
What I want to say is that all that effort might just pay off in the end.
Case in point.
An 82 year old grandmother in England has just landed a three book publishing deal. She has always been interested in creative writing and decided to give a novel a go after receiving positive feedback on a short story she wrote last year.
Myrrha Stanford-Smith said she was ‘gobsmacked’ to be handed the three-book agreement, which saw her first work The Great Lie start appearing on shelves last week.
I am thrilled for her. It’s never too late, is it?
So don’t give up. If you believe in your work keep at it.
All those words eventually have to count for something.
Don’t think I’ll chuck out my old stuff just yet.