Catching the bug!!
It first happened in the middle of the night, in a hospital bed, while I was pepped up on goof balls.
That’s when the bug hit. Unexpected. Totally unexpected, but there it was. That night I wrote the first couple of chapters of my memoir. Pity, because, during that night it was brilliant (did I mentioned I was high on pain killers!!) however the next morning I couldn’t remember a word, only that I’d written it. And being laid up with a knee reconstruction I had no paper and pen handy to write any of it down.
So, the bug laid dormant for the next few months and I got on with life and living, being a mum, wife and teacher.
Then one day, about six months on, I read of all things the Twilight books. Not life changing in the conventional sense, but when I read how Stephanie Myer had a dream, an actual, literal dream then woke up and started writing, and despite being a mum and having a busy life, still found the time to write a best seller. Now whether you like those books or not, the idea that it could be done, by someone like me, kind of stuck. So all sheets to the wind, I pulled out the laptop and within a day had nutted out a plot for my first book. Then I began to write. I think I wrote non-stop for the next six months, until I had written all three books of my trilogy. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, too afraid to admit I’d attempted something so obscure and so out of my league. Then I braved giving it to a couple of people in my family. You know the kind of people that will let you down gently, and tell you it’s rubbish in the nicest possible way. Well they read the first book, and wanted to read the next one. I took that as a good sign.
I joined a number of author sites and sucked in a breath as I loaded the first few chapters and waited biting my nails. Those months were the toughest. I got a tonne of constructive comments and a tonne of hard core, hard to take comments. But I put on my big girl pants and took each and every comment on board, and learnt a hell of a lot along the way. I really appreciate all those people who wrote honest opinions, without it I’d still be in la la land, thinking my writing was some kind of wonderful.
When I look back now I cringe at those first drafts. But in some ways the innocence of that writing, is worth keeping. I still have my very first attempt, and I look on it, like a painting I did in kindergarten, when I was oh so young and pure and didn’t know any better.
And so here I am, three years on, about to be a published author. Luckily I’ve still got the bug. It’s still swarming away in my system. Some days are harder than others to get the chance to set it free, but my head is buzzing with stories, and each and every day something happens or someone says something, and all I can think is what a great story/character/plot/scene that would make, and I put it away in the hive.
This is one writer, who hopes to be continually bugged, and has the opportunity to let her stories fly. And even if their flight is short lived and they’re swatted into the electric blue light, I hope I’ll have the natural instinct to cut my losses, adapt, and hatch more.