Day One: July 9, 2020
It’s probably not really day one, it’s actually probably day 14,600 (by my poor maths I make that 40 years) – but let’s call today the new start and, humour me here, day one.
As I intimated above, I’ve wanted to start this journey for a long (very long) time. And whilst I’ve packed my bags, headed out the door and got to the end of the street before, I’ve faltered, decided the world’s too scary a place, given up and retreated to the sanctuary of home and the comfort of the sofa with a cup of tea and a big bar of Fruit and Nut.
So where am I wanting to journey to I hear you ask? (Are you asking, or is that just the voice in my head that I’m hearing?!) To answer the question, regardless of who’s asking, the ultimate destination would be a published novel. A proper book with a pretty cover that people could hold and curl up on the sofa with, which would transport them to another world.
I’ve loved creative writing since I was small. I remember making books with my friend Andrea when we were about 7 or 8, and we’d write little stories and illustrate them. I remember two in particular – one about a birthday party, which was on plain A4 paper stapled together along one side, with lots of blue drawings in (that’s what my mind conjures up anyway, I can’t remember the finer details, maybe I could only find a blue felt tip pen that day); and the other was a book about a horse (the title of which escapes me right now) but I can picture it – about A6 size with a tatty cardboard cover with a hand-drawn brown horse’s face on it. I’d stapled torn up sheets of lined paper inside and had written the story, the details of which won’t come to mind, in my nearest handwriting. I’m pretty sure I’ve still got it somewhere, tucked away in a box in the attic.
I loved writing all the way through school, mainly fiction but I also enjoyed nonfiction projects and writing essays in college and university. I loved to read and from a very young age I had a veritable collection of books adorning my bookshelves no matter where I lived (family home, university halls, student digs and then flats and houses of my own). Books played a big part in my life, a means of escapism, comfort, knowledge and entertainment.
I think I’ve always know the saying everyone has a novel in them, and I’ve always felt that I’ve got a couple, I’ve just never got round to writing them! Life happens doesn’t it? And boy did life happened to me (no doubt at some point if this continues past day one, a biography might appear so you can find out some of what life chose to throw at me). And the book ideas got shelved, but the seed has always been there, just waiting for the right time, the necessary nourishment and encouragement to start to grow and flourish. Admittedly I did start at one point and knocked out about 20,000 words, which wasn’t a bad start but my heart wasn’t really in it and I still have those 20,000 words in an unedited, unfinished document that hasn’t been touched for about five years. Maybe I’ll go back to that and pull it apart and sort it out, or maybe I’ll start with a fresh idea (I have a few I could choose from) and start from scratch. Let’s see where the journey takes me … I’ve no mapped out plan for this but I hope you’ll come along for the ride …