Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book order and writing

Yesterday I placed an order online for four books. On writing.

One is about a hundred ways to improve your writing, one is about actually sitting down to write 50,000 words in a month and two are about writing from experience.

I've always loved to write. (Maybe that comes with loving books?) I had a journal/diary when I was ten. I had tons of penpals when growing up. I started my own crime novel when I was twelve. In a black notebook with red binding and corners. One of the characters was called Cecilia Dagg (=Dew in English) and the name still makes me smile. I like it.

The crime novel never went further than a couple of chapters. One body was found. Among the black currant bushes. In the garden close to where I used to live.

I did the obligatory poems as a teenager. In a notebook I covered with pictures I ripped/cut out of magazines. The poems are very pretentious. And the thought of them make me blush and feel embarrassed. And that's how it's supposed to be, isn't it?

My writing assignments and essays in junior high and high school almost always got me good grades. In high school I really started thinking I could write. Our teacher gave us interesting assignments (go to the cemetery for an hour and write about the experience, sit in the park for an hour and describe what surrounds you or tell me about your relationship to autumn) and they really trained me in noticing things around me. My favourite essay to write had the title "My favourite street" and I wrote about Oxford Street in London.

The last essay we all had to write in high school had the title "The essay I never got to write" and our teacher told us about this title on our first day in high school. He wanted us to start thinking about what topic to pick. And he gave us three years to prepare for actually writing it. I early on knew I'd write about my father. And I did. And I still feel kind of proud of that essay.

I started university and found online communities. I had my online diary and then a personal blog. For quite a long time. I joined a knitting forum and had my own little blog thread there before abandoning it for this blogspot blog.

All my writing has shown me that my strong side is writing from my own experience. I think I lack the imagination required for writing all fiction. And I lack the interest of writing crime novels (despite or as a result of my attempts as a 12-year-old). I'm good at describing what I see, hear, smell and feel. And think. But making these things up? Trying to make characters that aren't me? Naaah. I stumble. And I fall.

Publishing a book has always been a dream of mine. It's been more or less hazy through the years. I know I'm capable of writing. I feel confident in my words. But do I have the structure to make something of it? And order? The will power? The urge? The courage?

Yes. Occasionally.

And I'm at the start of one of those "occasionallys". My fingers has been itching for quite some time now. I find myself forming sentences and paragraphs when walking or biking. An idea for a working title comes to mind while knitting something mindless. I hear dialogues when going to sleep.

I just need to make some sacrifices. And sit down and write.

There's nothing else.

(But a boyfriend. And a job. And cat cuddles. And knitting. And sewing. And reading. And baking. And planning for a vacation. And sleeping. And trying to learn boyfriend's camera. And going for walks. And fighting a stupid back and hip. And talking on the phone. And meeting up with friends and family. And writing blog posts. And reading blogs. And figuring out the meaning of life.)

I just need to make some sacrifices. And sit down and write.

There's nothing else.


Kerstin said...

And please tell what books you bought! My fingers are itching a bit too, to write something else than technical manuals.

Geek Knitter said...

My teenage poetry was so bad it still makes me squirm with embarrassment. I sincerely hope there are no copies floating around out there!

essjay said...

I do hope the books give you the inspiration to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard!) and I look forward to reading about your adventures. Hopefully you can find enough time in the day - I too have no time to add new hobbies!