Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Growing with Experience
My writing has taken a considerable leap in the last year. Not because I discovered some magical key, but last year I realised that just writing when the inspiration struck and working haphazardly wasn't going to give me the writing career I envisioned. So I began a more disciplined approach - okay, still working on the discipline bit. I realised that my writing practice, even if I didn't have a completely finished project to show for it, wasn't wasted. I had learned more with practice. But not enough. So I began connecting the dots of all the things I have learned. I am still doing that. And learning more. While I know that the learning would never really end, I do hope that I will get to a good enough level where I am happy sending out my books in the world. Then I read this... "There is no doubt in my mind that I have found out how to begin (at 40) to say something in my own voice; and that interests me so that I feel I can go ahead without praise." - Virginia Woolf When Woolf wrote this, she had already published several books, written countless articles and stories, reviewed books for The Times, and overall was far more involved in the literary world than I would ever be. It made me think about the value of experience, though I must admit that I can't think for myself that I will be fine finding my own voice at 40, because currently being 40 seems quite a way away, and to even imagine that my own writing will not satisfy me until then seems like walking on a road of failure. (Here I must say that it is nothing to do with being how old you are, but rather how long you have to wait before you get to where you want to be) It's a bit bleak way to look at it, but so is always is. One always dreams about the shiny future; hardships we only observe in the past, looking back in retrospect to see how they make us grow. While I know that I shall continue to write no matter what, because I do that for myself, success most certainly matters. I want to have my hard work paid off. And it's a vicious circle really that until I can make a living wage from writing, I cannot spend more time writing because I have to work. Are you one of those writers, to whom only the writing matters and not the success? Would you keep writing, no matter how long it takes to get published?