I am terrible at finishing what I start. Unless there is a deadline imposed or the thing in question is for someone else (a feature, article, interview, something asked of me at my employment) I am pretty useless at doing the things I really want to. I have #goal fear (yes, I just hash tagged).
I find little things to distract me: household chores, friends, family – and while all these things are important (no-one wants to live in a rubbish dump or ignore that great invite to a party or a night out) – they are often excuses for me not to complete something. Particularly if that something happens to scare me, or if I want it more than anything. I used to be part of the “if I don’t do it, I can just talk about doing it and never fail” school of thought, you know, the one where you chew your mates’ ears off with what you really really want to do, and then never actually do it. That.
“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”
I have made no secret of the fact that I would love to be a writer – a writer of young adult novels more specifically – but for some reason, I just haven’t been able to finish the first draft of my first novel.
I have a masters in Creative Writing. I have written a novel before (albeit a pretty terrible one that will be locked in my cupboard for all of eternity – ok, just kidding, it wasn’t bad, it got a good grade, it just wasn’t the direction I want to go as a writer. I wrote it when I was 24 and when I had no idea what kind of writer I wanted to be).
But 2015 seems to be a game changer. I’d always talked about going travelling one day and, at the end of last year, I plucked up the courage to quit my job, buy a plane ticket and at the end of January 2015, flew halfway across the world to New Zealand. Was it terrifying? Yes. Was it worth it? YES! Without sounding cheesy, I learned so much about myself during that five months and made a promise, as my plane winged its way back to Blighty, that I would never become complacent or frightened again.
So it kind of got me thinking. If I can finally have the lady-balls to solo travel and have nothing drastic go wrong, why can’t I apply this to my everyday life?
I have suggested that we should all get a little braver and start doing the things that scare us. Well, these past few months I have being taking a leaf out of my own book and getting on with the stuff that makes me happy.
Having secured a part-time office job to pay the bills – and make sure I can actually feed myself – I’ve had so much time to write. I have spent every spare minute of the past three weeks squirrelled away in the dining room (my desk quickly became storage for my insane amount of shoes, books, clothes – a habit I don’t think I will ever break) tapping away at my keyboard.
The result? I have FINALLY finished my first draft.
It is no-where near finished, this novel of mine, and it needs some serious second-draft love and affection, but I am so happy – and proud – that I have managed to get almost 80,000 words down on paper. Obviously this is pretty lengthy for a YA novel so part of the second draft is to cut the waffle down significantly.
My next goal? Completing the whole thing by the end of the year and, if I grow even braver, perhaps sending it out there into the big wide world by January 2016.
All I know is this: if I can do it, anyone can.
Face your fears. Go for that job. Write that book. Take that trip.
You can do it. You deserve it.
Along with my #itsnotgrimupnorth series where I wax lyrical about all things Manchester, check out #getbrave where I’m hoping I can get you lovely lot involved with sharing words of wisdom, tales of inspirations and ways to keep each other motivated.
Sometimes all people need is a little support, a chance to shine, or just someone to listen. Lets help each other out!
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