New Beginnings

imagesNew day. New blog. New beginning. 

After months of deliberation, I made the move. Packing my words into a small cardboard box and making the trip to another domain. To a place that feels somehow more like “home”. With a shiny new blog, I am hoping to gather my writing momentum again. It’s been lacking of late and has perhaps packed itself into a box and moved house as well. 

I finished the Year of the Edit with Kim Wilkins. It was such a valuable experience. Kim is an amazing teacher and there was never a dull moment. I was one of the first up for critique. I think that’s when my writing momentum shrivelled and died. The feedback was accurate and necessary. The first ten pages of the story I submitted, I have since realised, is not the story I want to tell. I spent the months during the course pondering. What is my story? Where did it go? I feel I know it inside and out but how do I get that sensation down on the page? 

As the course progressed, I listened and learned, took notes but felt like I didn’t have a “real” story anymore. I had nothing to apply all the great knowledge to. I felt like a fraud at times. My own work stalled in the process as others sped down the track leaving me in their dust. I changed gears for a while. Gently pushed my WIP aside to dabble with a couple of short stories. Something to take away the feeling of failure I seemed to have taken on board. But each word I wrote for “another story”, felt like I was cheating my one true love; the story that feels a part of me, the story that seemingly won’t rest until it has been birthed to the world. 

So I have all this editing knowledge. I know the pitfalls to avoid, ways to freshen my manuscript, how to straighten out story line kinks and fill in gaping black plot holes. What I don’t have anymore is a manuscript that portrays the true story I want to tell. And that makes me miserable. How do I fix this? I start again. But not on my own. 

On the first day of August, I will begin Year of the Novel online with Kim Wilkins. It is strange to first do an editing course on a manuscript you thought was heading in the direction you wanted to go. But alas, why do things by the book? I’m doing it this way for my book. I am doing it because I believe in my story and I want to tell that story as well as I can. And with Kim’s guidance, I know I can do this. 

I’m taking a page from author Julia Green’s book. 

‘Practise lots. It can take a long time to get a story right. Don’t rush it. Let it take the time it needs. Do lots of re-writing. Talk to other people who write. Believe in your story.’ 

So here’s to my first post on a new blog, with a new plan. I’m off in search of my happily ever after. Even if I have to write it myself.

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9 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. Thanx Lyn for this beautifully written Blog. I wish you every success with your new-look website and with your journey with Year of the Novel, hoping it will open up for you more Fresh Beginnings.

  2. Welcome to WordPress! You’re going to love it here 🙂

    Lynn, the choices you have made will only ever benefit your writing. I used to be fearful of starting over, but that first version you did only made your writing better and your ideas stronger – they certainly weren’t a waste of time.

    I’m not sure whether I’ve told you this before, but the first novel I wrote, I got to the end and realised it wasn’t what it should be. A year later I wrote a new story within that world, with fresh characters and ideas. However the new story naturally absorbed aspects from the first: it was made stronger by the fact that I had previously explored the fantasy world and experimented with how to write a novel.

    The new novel was The Black Luck Stone, which won me the mentorship.

    • Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for this. I tell myself it all happens the way it does for a reason and you are right – it all makes the writing stronger and so nothing is wasted. And what you have shared here is exactly what I feel I am doing – creating another story from that same world that I feel I know so well now. It will be head down and tail up for me for the year. Oh, for a mentorship
      though.I can but dream.

      Here goes anyway…

  3. You are doing all the right things, Lynn. My novel “Dust” was more than four years in the making, and I too, had to start over from scratch after a poorly thought-out first attempt. Nothing is ever wasted in the journey we are on; just keep believing and keep on writing.

    • Thanks, Chris. It’s so nice to hear that others have been through this same thing. It is also encouraging to see that the hard work pays off in the end. Really looking forward to getting my teeth back into it and starting again with Kim to guide me. It’s also incredible having such great support from other writers. It keeps me hammering away at it. Bless you all! X

  4. Lynn, I really admire your honesty about how unsettling the process has been for you. I wanted to do the Year of the Edit but was too late to get a place – I’m hoping to next year, however I’m a bit nervous now!! I’m very new to this whole business and the more I learn, the more I realise how much I have to learn. But, as everyone above has said, no words are every truly wasted if we learn from them. Good luck with your novel. I’ve now got to face a similar task with one of mine. It’s daunting, isn’t it?? Just as well there are other people who have walked the road before us with wisdom to share…

    • Hi Karen,
      I have struggled with “confessing” all this. Mostly to myself. Year of the Edit was fantastic and I am so glad I did it. Kim is an awesome teacher and very supportive ( and hilarious and entertaining). I learned so much. I also grew as a writer by being able to admit my work wasn’t ready yet, and then deciding to do something about it – even though it seems a little out of kilter doing Year of the Novel after Year of the Edit. I’m sure what I learned in YOE will actually help me in YON. The thought of doing YOE was daunting for sure but from it came a wealth of support and knowledge that continues to build as our group stays in touch, spurring each other on. I think it is so true what you say – the more you learn the more you feel there is to know. It’s a Pandora’s Box for sure but one that I love exploring. I wish you all the best for your journey, too. It’s certainly nice to have company and support along the way.

    • Hi Karen -yes. I did paediatric cardiology up until last year when TPCH ward moved to the Mater Children’s. I have just sent you an email about your little boy. Keep me posted and give me a shout anytime.

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