Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The writing life....

Since my truly wonderful week in Devon on the Arvon Foundation course, I've really felt transformed creatively. It just unlocked something, I think. For years and years I've had these impulses (really strong at times) to write...but I've let lack of confidence, procrastination - laziness?...just wash them over me. When I signed up for the course they were getting ever more insistent and then the week proved to me that I can write, that there are people out there (16 of them at least!) who don't know me but enjoy what I have to say. I realised when I was there that the opportunities I was being given - time, space, amazing tutors, inspiration sparked by talking to other like-minded but very different people - would not come again, or not easily anyway. So I was determined to get the most from the experience & to finish all the tasks we were set, to prove to myself that I had the stamina to finish what had too often before been just promising beginnings. Maybe that was the key that unlocked me? Who knows, but it worked. I also discovered something I think I knew about myself, which is that I work much better under pressure, when I have a deadline. So I've given myself a date to finish writing all the recipes that I'd like to appear in the cookbook I hope will one day be in the world. It's a fairly tight deadline - too long and I find myself doing other things, the little saboteur in my brain telling me that there's plenty of time. So far it's working really well and I'm enjoying it all so much.
The hardest thing was convincing myself that writing....unlike a more physical activity...can actually be work. Once I'd done that, it seemed very natural to go up to the little writing room I have set up on the top floor of the house
this is the view I have to stop myself looking at and dreaming the time away....but when I get down to it, I find that I lift my head and two hours have passed. A miracle! Fitting it in around the bakery is challenging at times, but I'm prioritising it above most things bar work. It's amazing the time you can find when you cut out the time wasting elements - tv watching, magazine reading, sleeping (!)

Watch this space. I shall be an author, one day, somehow, I know. I feel that my future is really in my hands now. So I'm doing everything I can to help it along!

Wishing you a creative, productive and happy week xox

6 comments:

  1. Oh, I would die to take that course in that beautiful place! It looks like an absolute dream ♥

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  2. Oh Rachel, I am so happy for you. Glad that you are in the zone now. I too have strong impulses to write a book. I am glad that you have given yourself a deadline. That definitely works. I wish you much success, but the most important thing is that you believe in yourself and you know you can do it! I will be patiently waiting for it. Happy writing sweetie xo

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  3. Dear Sweetie, (love calling friends that)

    Thank you for sharing your feelings about writing and why you find it challenging to work it into life. Think you are going to be an amazing writer. The class you took seems to be just the venue to give you the little push you needed. Can see why it's hard to concentrate with a lovely view you have out the window, (sigh). Makes me want to forge ahead with my own dreams. xxoo

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  4. My dear Rachel,

    I think you figured out the true pathway to writing a book. JUST DO IT. I have so often had to say no to friends who wanted me to go out on a lark, but I can't. If I do that then I lose an entire day of writing. I know that I need a pure block of brain time. You need that flow area of thinking, writing, editing, writing, deleting, to get you going.

    Sometimes I find that the writing does what IT wants rather than me doing what I want. My usual genre (and most of what is published) is non-fiction, nature, gardening, etc., but now I am working on a young adult novel and it is hard work, but FUN. I love writing it.

    For me the only time I feel good about myself is when I am working on a project. I don't think I do better with a deadline looming, but I do better when I KNOW that what I am doing is being published. Does that make sense?

    So a cookbook, yes?, but something else too? Aren't you onto another writing project as well?

    Today is our anniversary so we're off to go to the Farnsworth Museum, to dinner at one of our favorites restaurants, and to the movies.

    Happy writing dear Rachel,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

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  5. I envy you really. I do from time to time have writing ambitions, I want to write crime fiction, maybe some old fashioned horror stories, maybe even sci fi. I wouldn't dare to venture anymore in serious literature as I don't think I have quite the skills.

    I took writing lessons back at uni, it was great fun and maybe one of the most stimulating I ever did, with acting and opera. Sometimes I want to do it again.

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