The Second Draft.

instagramcapture_dcc9662c-2c28-4e36-99ba-7bad49f84e29

I’ve finally finished editing the first draft of 1:58 and if there is anything I have learnt from this experience of using a red pen on my own work it is this – I can be brutal. Many writers say that they don’t like to ‘kill their darlings’ but I found it quite easy to use my inner-editor to cross out sections that didn’t work, be brutally honest about my use of clichés and accept that there were parts of my novel that just didn’t work.

I had a dream a few nights ago about my novel, when I woke up I realised all of the mistakes I was making with my story and I quickly jotted them down. I’m going to make some major changes, from the name of the novel to the events that take place in the narrative. It’s still the same story in many ways and I am keeping the characters that I have grown to love but the novel didn’t excite me when I read it back. If it doesn’t excite me, then it’s definitely not going to excite a reader.

This is the first time I have completed a novel and edited my own work, so it’s an entirely new process for me. I am excited to get started on the second draft, it may take three or four drafts before this novel is ready but I’m willing to put the hard work in to really create the best story I possibly can. No one said it would be easy. Ernest Hemmingway once said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” A little dramatic but he definitely has the right idea.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Need To Succeed

success

Energy and persistence conquer all things – Benjamin Franklin

I may have lost my way for a while but I now feel back to my old self. My ambitious, hard-working and motivated self that wants to succeed. I have so many projects and exciting opportunities happening right now that I haven’t even had the time to blink and really think about how far I have come in the past month.

Persistence is something that comes naturally to me. Sure, I can give into the temptation of being lazy for a day and say that I will do something tomorrow but in the back of my mind, it all keeps on turning. Like an old grandfather clock, my mind never stops. The hand always goes round and round and even when I don’t think I’m thinking about everything I have to and want to do, it’s still there, encouraging me to keep going. I have this ongoing need to succeed.

I want to update this blog as much as I used to but there are not enough hours in the day to achieve everything I want to and I have to learn to prioritize. In the last few weeks I have managed to land myself a paid part-time freelance writing job, volunteer at a hostel as a mentor in Creative Writing, sign up to be a volunteer at The Manchester Literature Festival and start my own online magazine Zest For Life. It’s in the very early stages but please follow the Zest For Life Blog here.

Adding to that I have a novel that is still stuck on 4,000 words because I haven’t had the time to focus on it. I am still writing short stories and poetry for collections that I will put together one day in the future. I still contribute articles for two online magazines and I also have this blog. If that wasn’t enough, I’m also signing up for a night class once a week, the class is being taught by a successful author who will be teaching the different ways to publish your writing.

I know I have a lot of things going on in my life right now but I like to be busy. The days were so long when I had nothing to do and no motivation to start anything new. Now, I feel my old self again. I am ready to take on anything life throws at me. I still think about the future but I am really in love with my life right now.

There’s a burning passion inside of me for words. I want to write. I want to be a successful writer. One day I want to be a successful author. I want an amazing career. I want to complete all of the projects that I have set for myself. I want to take every opportunity that comes my way. I want to succeed and I’ve decided to start enjoying every second of my life.

Second Liebster Award

leibster-badge1

I was nominated by Dare to Dream, Live to Write and she said that she loves reading my writing updates and poetry which is really nice. Thank you Jessica!! I love reading your updates and your writing too!! 🙂

liebsterawardrules

10 questions to answer

  1. What is your favourite part of writing?
    My favourite part of writing is the way that it captures my attention. When I know that I am getting somewhere with an idea and my mind is lost in the character’s world, I feel infinite, almost like reality cannot catch up with me when I am in that place.
  2. What is your ultimate end goal with your writing?
    I want to publish a novel. I am currently writing my first novel titled The Diary of Sylvie James which is about a teenage girl who is diagnosed with cancer. She lets us into her world by telling us her journey through diary entries. I am at 16,000 words so far and hopefully in the next eighteen months I can finish it and send it off to publishers.
  3. If you can describe yourself in one word what would it be? Creative. I love to be creative. I write, I sing, I love music and I play the guitar and piano. I also love to read and I am slightly obsessed with buying new books when I have plenty to read.
  4. What five books do you have on your nearest bookshelf?
    I will list the last five books I bought from Waterstones which are: Trouble by Non Pratt, How We Met by Katy Regan, Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler, Dear Thing by Julie Cohen and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.
  5. If you could go back in time to meet a famous writer who is now dead, who would it be?
    I would love to meet William Wordsworth because I love his poetry but it would also be cool to meet Shakespeare.
  6. How would you handle if someone you wouldn’t be able to write any more?
    I don’t think I would be able to cope at all. Writing is a therapy for me. I have been writing since the age of five, poems at first and slowly but surely I started to write stories. I would be lost without the outlet to write in any form.
  7. If you met your future self, what would you hope they would be like?
    I hope that my future self is happy and successful. I hope she realises that it is the little things in life that matter and I hope she doesn’t get too caught up in trying to get published and enjoys writing like I do now.
  8. What is your work in progress right now?
    The Diary of Sylvie James, my YA novel.
    I am currently writing a few short stories and I hope to build a collection and I am always writing poetry.
  9. What do you listen to when you are writing? Or do you sit in silence?
    Sometimes I like to sit in silence but if I do want background noise I listen to instrumental piano or guitar music. I tend to only listen to music with words if I am just reading through chapters or making small edits because otherwise it distracts me.
  10. What is your ideal writing spot?
    I can write pretty much anywhere but I like to be comfortable so I sit on the sofa in the living room with my laptop on my laptop tray and just write. I really wish I had a desk sometimes but I know that sitting on a desk chair for hours and hours would not be great for me.

    Tag You’re it:

    Writing Madness – http://www.bethanyhatheway.wordpress.com
    I really enjoy Beth’s blog and I particularly like reading her original fiction.

    Insane Owl – http://www.Insaneowl.com
    I love Fiza’s blog, it is very professional and is always updated with original work and blogs about writing.Live to Write, Write to Live – http://www.nhwn.wordpress.com
    I love this website. It’s very informative and has many of tips and advice on anything writing related.

    Poetree Creations – http://www.poetreecreations.org
    A brilliant blog about poetry, I was fortunate enough to have one of my poems on my blog reblogged by this blog too.

For Something To End.. Something Else Must Begin

uni2

So my second year of university is actually over. One more year left of university and then I will be pushed into the ‘big wide world.’ The thought doesn’t scare me as much as it used too. I think I am ready. Ready to follow my dreams and I look forward to what the future holds for me. This academic year has been both challenging and life changing. I have lost friends, I have gained friends. I have made the right decisions and I have made the wrong ones. I found a strength in me this year that I didn’t know I had. I guess your attitude on life changes as you get older.

I have learnt so much this academic year about me as a person and me as a writer. I think in the first year of university I was still a newbie, everything was fresh and new like a blank piece of paper. I threw myself in the deep end, I came from a performance background straight into the writers world and I even though I knew it was what I wanted, it was still a scary concept at the time. This year however, I feel at home. There might be flaws when it comes to the Creative Writing degree but we all feel like one big family.  We all have the same dream. We all have the passion to write. We want our words to be heard. We want someone to read something we have written and be inspired, just like the authors that we admire inspired us. I have finally found my voice, I’m still not sure what I will be writing in the future but I now feel confident enough to pursue it.

As for the personal aspect of my life this academic year, I have dealt with some difficult situations but life is a fight and you just have to keep going. Life is too short for sadness and life is too short to feel that you are not good enough. Now that one stress in my life is over for the next five months another one begins. One word. Family. I guess it doesn’t matter how old you are, you still hope for your parents to stay together. But that isn’t real life. Not everyone can carry on when unhappiness clouds every part of their mind. Not everyone can stay in the same monotonous routine day in and day out.

Sometimes you have to deal with a little heartbreak in life and even though it’s a painful time watching my parents separate, I know that things will be okay. They have to be. I know that things are never going to be the same, I know that life is going to be awkward for a little while. But all I can do is offer my support and my love to them. My mother believes that because me and my older sister are all grown up and living our own lives that it doesn’t effect us, but it does. I find it hard to deal with because my family is breaking in half and there is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is sit back and watch, watch my father’s heart wither to nothing, watch my mother make a fool of herself and watch as my young siblings confuse a new room and a new house with a new adventure. It breaks my heart that I have no power, no strength to change the events that are taking place.

On a positive note, I finally have the freedom to do what I wish. No university assignments tying me down I can finally relax. I also have a meeting with an editor of female first magazine this week about a possible intern-ship this summer. Even though the troubles in my family are still present in my mind I have to think about myself. I have to think about my life and my path. I can’t spend my time worrying about other people. This is a lesson that I have learnt recently, with the help of my boyfriend and his mum I have realised that sometimes I care a little bit to much other people and I lose focus on myself. I am far from selfish but sometimes you have to have selfish moments. I need to think about my future, my relationship and my goals.

There is one good thing about this summer. I can write, get a head-start on my novel for my dissertation. I can read – finally! I have a bookshelf full of unread books and I have just bought four more – oops! I think I have an addiction. I can finally read all of the books that I have had to push aside. I can go to the gym, I can go shopping. I can go swimming. Do what I wish. This sounds rather exciting but after a month or so I will get bored. So that’s why I am grateful for the opportunity to work at a magazine and gain some experience. I have been thinking about it a lot recently and I would quite like to work for a magazine when I graduate.

Of course I will have to start at the bottom and make my way up the ladder but that’s the best way to get a good career. And that’s what I want. A career. I want to have my loving boyfriend by my side, every step of the way. I have amazing friends. I have my health. I am very lucky. I need to focus on the good things in my life and be grateful for them because somewhere out there is a person hoping to have what I have.

A chapter of my life may be over but I have a new one to begin. I’m going to take the next five months to relax. Enjoy life. See my friends. Spend time with my loved ones. Before the manic third year of university starts. I had my fair share of stress this year with my university work and a lot of people told me to just chill. I’m a workaholic, a hard worker and I always want to achieve better grades.

Being a perfectionist isn’t always a good flaw to have but it’s part of who I am. At least now that it’s officially my summer I can take their words and turn them into reality. I can chill, I can do what I want to do. I’m going to enjoy this time because hopefully when I finish my third year I will be going straight into graduate employment. My second year of university may be over but for something to end, something else must begin. And that something else is five months of freedom.