In a news article available online on ABC News, five authors shared their stories of becoming published. It’s a dream a lot of us follow—to be a published author. I know that has been a dream of mine for a very long time. So, to read these stories, all of which vary, about people who were able to take that step is undeniably inspirational and motivational.
I think we can all relate to at least one of these stories. Sure, some of us might not be published (I’m not!), but it’s the determination or fear these authors had inside them that could mirror our feelings when we write our stories. So, in light of this article, I thought I might write about a few experiences of mine in regards to writing. No, this isn’t a ‘Creative writing journey’ instalment, but little snippets that might ignite your writing passion or relate to what you have experienced.
There’s something about the first novel. It doesn’t even need to be the first novel. It could really be the first anything that can have such a hold on us. It’s hard to really define what that first novel or piece of storytelling is. I have written plenty of stories, some of which I have shared with family and friends, but none of them have really struck me as refined enough to be the ‘first’. I’m not really sure exactly what would define a ‘first’ novel for me. I haven’t quite had that feeling, but I know deep down what I want my ‘first’ novel to be.
One of the first stories I remember writing was way back when I was eight or nine. I think we had been given a task in class to write a creative story from something we found in a non-fiction book. Whatever the task, I remember writing a story about a spider who didn’t know they were a spider, so it was confused as to why humans were afraid of it. My teacher at the time really liked the story, which kind of flicked on a potential interest for writing.
Then, there was the first ever long story (or at least, it was long for me at the time). Again, wee little lass Charlotte at nine-years-old had decided she wanted to be a writer after reading a particular series of books (more on that in a future post). So, for a period of time I spent my days writing this story whenever I could. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure some of it was a rip off from the series I was reading, but most of it was original. However, as much as my family loved it, I still don’t call that my ‘first’ novel (mainly because it really wasn’t the length of one).
There were plenty of other stories that came after that. The older I have gotten, the more unfinished work has piled up. Then, there were the short stories I wrote all throughout high school and in university. Again, none of them really excited me—except for one story.
I’ve had an idea for a series of books for a long time. It continues to bubble in my brain, brewing more ideas that I continue to write down. However, none of it has really come together to make this ‘first’ novel. Yes, I did try to write the first book once, and I even finished it (again, we’ll leave this story for another day). It just didn’t feel like the ‘first’ novel.
Of all the stories from the news article, I connect very deeply with those of Robert Lukins and Holly Ringland. I connect to Robert due to the fear of failure. The idea of creating something, pouring hours and hours into it, and then it flopping is an earth shattering prospect. Then, I connect with Holly’s story because I not only have known for a long time I want to be a writer and published author, but I’ve also been procrastinating from actually writing for a very long time.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say in all of this blabber is that the first novel is very important to us, just like any ‘first’ is. Not only that but we do have similar feelings and experiences about it. Maybe by making these connections, we will find that motivation and inspiration to finally write that ‘first’ novel—whatever that ends up being.
I know it has for me.
What do you think? Have you written your ‘first’ novel? Are you published? What have your experiences been? Let me know! I’d love to hear about it.
That’s it from me. Remember to ignite the story and I’ll see you again soon!
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.