I actually cannot believe this day has come. I have been working for months with a group of authors from Pretoria to collaborate on an anthology of short stories and it is finally done. It is published! I am once again a published author. I have even sold a few copies already. It is an amazing opportunity and I am thrilled to have made it to this point.
I have published seven children’s books already but this is my first foray into young adult writing. I receieved a lot of guidance from the more experienced authors in the group and appreicate all their help. They are a wonderful group of writers and I hope for future projects together.
The anthology is titled Journey and is a collection of short stories around a central theme. They are a variety of short stories from all different genres, which is amazing as it is expanding my interest in different genres. They are all about a journey, some physical, some emotional. My story is about a young girl who is lonely and does not fit into the world around her. She is taken on a journey to a forsaken land where she experiences true loneliness. Through this journey, she realises that she has a choice: does she want to be lonely or is it worth the risk of putting herself out there?
The Anthology is avaiable as an e-book on Smashwords or as a paperback, please contact me for more information.
I recently had the amazing experience of being able to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was a terrifying and empowering experience. As with many things in life, it did not go as planned. I thought I was organised and motivated; I got off to a great start for the first two days, then reality set in. I had planned it that it was during a three week school holiday so I didn’t have to work and could just focus on writing, well that didn’t work. My aunt and uncle arrived to stay, I moved, I redecorated the entire school and spent way too much time reading; all in all it ended up with me in a panic the last week of Camp. I had set the Camp goal of thirty thousand words in thirty days. I was at 15,304 on day 21. I was feeling so disappointed in my attempt and felt there was no way I could complete it. I had such high hopes and had let life get in the way. That weekend I decided to give it one final push. I cancelled all my plans, including a date, and planned to just sit and write. I had started with the idea of doing a couple short stories based on teen issues dealt with in a fantasy world. I had half of one story and I was tired of writing it. It was an intense and emotional story so I decided to try to write something light instead. I ended up writing about four other stories and only doing a couple pages on each. I was stuck, so I decided to go back to my creative writing course and just do some right brain free writing. I started with a completely random crazy story and just wrote without any planning or clue as to what I was actually doing. To be honest I thought I was mostly procrastinating. You can imagine my surprise when this nonsense story was the only one I actually finished (although I now have a good start on the others). It was 12,500 words. I started writing on Saturday morning, by 1 am I had completed this story and was at a total of 22,000 words for Camp. I woke up on Sunday and did the final batch to finish Camp with a week to spare. I could not actually believe it (I think I checked and rechecked the word count a million times). I had done it. I was thrilled beyond words. I proved to myself that it is possible. I don’t think I would do that much in a day on a regular basis, I would like a social life after all, but I know I can. I am feeling so inspired and proud. It is not about the certificate or bragging rights (which are awesome) but the fact that I proved that I am capable of much more than I ever thought possible. I went on my kind of Camp (not bugs or creepy wood noises) and I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, all from the comfort of my bed (with plenty of Hot chocolate and an electric blanket).
I am a writer…Hear me roar
It took me a long time to comprehend what this truly meant. I published books when I was a child so I was already an ‘author’, but was I a writer?
For a long time, I didn’t write due to setting up a business and other excuses. I missed it. I didn’t realise how much I had missed it until I started to actively write again. I realised all the excuses standing in my way were actually just mental blocks: I felt that writing was ‘just for me’, a fun activity and so it should be last on the to-do-list. That meant I never got to do it. Then I had the opportunity to join a writing collaboration effort and I was forced to write more. I realised how wrong I had been.
Yes, writing is for me and fun but it is also a vital part of who I am. I need to write and I love it when I do. I am a writer at heart. I love expressing my ideas and when I am in the ‘writing zone’ the world just falls away. This can be scary when there are work deadlines to meet but it is rewarding too. I still have to force myself to just start writing sometimes but once that first sentence is written, I am transported to my own world: The world of writing.
This passion, this craving, this unending need to write is what makes me a writer. It is not about being an author and being published or even if anyone ever reads my writing. I write for me. I write because I need to, love to and want to.
I write because I am a writer.
Far too often we are so busy writing for school or work that we have no interest in picking up a pen ever again. We feel mentally exhausted and stressed about the work we still need to do. It is more important to finish that six page report than write down a story that is hovering in the back of your mind. So we shove that creative spark to the bottom of the to-do-list and move on.
Yet that story does not want to be silenced. It remains there like a small mosquito bite that you can’t help itching occasionally. However, unlike a bite, this is one itch we should scratch.
When we write we are using our right brain, our creative side. We need this side to be active in order to use our whole brain and to fully reach our potential. If we allow that story to come through, we might lose a bit of time but we will increase our brain function and improve our being. Add to this, the added stress relief and enjoyment. I think the better question should be ‘Why wouldn’t we write?’
One small step for a computer whiz, one giant leap for a newbie like me. I am finally stepping into the exciting (and slightly intimidating) world of Blogging.
I love the idea of being able to share my thoughts with people from around the world and to read their ideas in return. This is truly becoming a connected world.
The world has shrunk in the last few decades, in my lifetime in fact (27 years). We have access to a global network like never before in history. We have a world of information at our fingertips that is more than anyone would have believed a hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago. I sometimes imagine what it would be like if someone from the past were to travel to our time.. Would they think we were insane? Would they be scared of what we can do or think we were some kind of gods? What would they think when they saw that we were talking to small boxes in our hands or even sometimes, to thin air? That we can trap tiny people in boxes and make them act out shows for us. That we can write letters using strange machines and have them read by people across the world. That we can know in an instant what is happening around the world, even their weather. This is the kind of knowledge only magicians or seers are supposed to have.
Yet we take it for granted. We need to learn to respect this amazing gift and use it wisely. So wish me luck, for my first foray into this magical world.