An Author’s Lament
The life of an author is not an easy one……well, I speak for myself.
I am going to write a book. I have my story to share. I’m excited to start this lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
Everything is set, cup of coffee on hand, computer open, the house is quiet, dog asleep at my feet, the perfect scenario. Time to write!
This is what happened to me.
My first book ‘McAllister’, ‘(later to be renamed ‘Back of Beyond,’) was a long, drawn-out process. Being a true story meant a great deal of fact checking, reading through letters and diaries, followed by gathering all the pieces into a correct timeline. It was like a jig saw puzzle and took a large amount of time.
Once I finally sat down in front of the computer, I was excited and ready.
Ten years later my manuscript was complete, ready to be edited and published.
Why did it take so long?
Simply because I didn’t prioritise my writing as being more important than other duties of less importance. My mind would wander.
‘Oh, I have to take something out of the freezer for dinner, the washing is ready to come in, my pot plants need watering etc etc.’
Was this ‘writer’s block?’
NO, it was a total lack of commitment to my writing.
What was the turning point?
I met a wonderful man who had written multiple books and plays. He expressed interest in my story and kindly offered to help me and be my mentor.
This was the push I needed.
I began to focus; he was a hard taskmaster but he made me accountable.
‘Forget the household chores,’ he demanded. (He is unmarried!!)
As quickly as I could write, he returned my manuscript with editing and ways to improve the text. I took his advice seriously and followed his recommendations without fail.
I booked into a tiny unit on Stradbroke Island for a week. I was alone with frozen meals, my manuscript, and my computer. Then I began to feel the satisfaction of being a serious writer. No distractions and no excuses. Every day I wrote and edited until my computer battery went flat. I walked on the beach and had a swim while it re-charged, then repeated for seven days. I was feeling fulfilled and very satisfied. My mentor was pleased with me, and this is when I finally completed the manuscript ready for editing and publishing.
‘Back of Beyond’ www.jennyold.com
My second book ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’ another non-fiction. I completed this book in sixteen months. I had several opportunities to do a block of uninterrupted writing, away from domestic duties. We were travelling in a caravan, away from distractions with my husband demanding I spend some time each day writing or working on my book. This is a good system for me.
I believe I need to be booked into a delightful island get-a-way to write a book! This suggestion has not been taken up as yet!
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’. www.jennyold.com
My latest lament.
I have been complaining that I don’t have time to write my latest book which is a fiction. This has been wobbling on for over a year. So far I have written 307 pages, but I have had a break for five months. The same excuses.
Not acceptable to my mentor friend. He gave me the proverbial ‘kick up the backside’ last week and strongly suggested, (ie DEMANDED) that I get back to it and do at least one hour a day, starting immediately.
‘Go home and do one hour today ’ he insisted.
Really? We had just enjoyed lunch and two glasses of wine. My mind is not exactly sharp after wine in the middle of the day. However, I complied.
I went into the office in a seriously bad frame of mind, (from another issue) and ventured out two hours later with a smile on my face and feeling terrific!
Thank you Donald.
I am now writing every day, even if it is only for one hour, but I’m again involved with my story and loving every minute.
Writing is a commitment.
I need to be accountable.
I AM a writer and published author.
I AM proud of myself
I’m sure there are many authors out there who can appreciate my lament. I wish you well.
Keep writing, the household chores will wait!
Jenny Old AUTHOR
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’
‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook