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An insight into the mind of a writer

Well, an insight into the mind of this particular writer anyway. I have heard many writers say that in order to write a book, in order to write anything in fact, you must live and breathe the act of writing itself. The greats have spent years perfecting their talent, honing their skills until they produce a masterpiece. Some may never write what later generations will look to when they talk about classics, others may write just one in their life. Those lucky few, the truly gifted, will inspire and emote with every sentence they put to paper.

I am under no grand allusions that I will be one of the lucky few. As readers of this blog will know, I am the master of one thing; self deprecation. But for perhaps the first time ever, I am satisfied with the world that I have created in Lonely as a Cloud. More than satisfied; I am proud of it. Proud of myself. I have gone back to read it in the months since I wrote it and a part of me cannot believe that I was the one who wrote it. There's two possible reasons for this; either my work is genuinely decent or I have finally developed some faith in myself. I feel it is a little of both.

I don't live and breathe writing. I enjoy it certainly, and I love reading, but I have never written a story before, not even a short one. I dabbled in poetry in my teenage years (God awful stuff) and on the few occasions that I have tried to write a story before I have always succumbed to the dreaded writers block, partly because of a lack of faith and, if I'm honest, partly due to laziness. Or apathy. I didn't believe in the story so I couldn't follow it through.

Somebody once said that we all have a story within us. Perhaps Lonely as a Cloud is mine. It was amazing how easily the narrative flowed everytime I sat in front of my laptop. The idea of writing a novel is overwhelming, so I broke it down into manageable chunks. I set myself a task to write at least five hundred words every day. And once I had started writing, it was difficult to stop. Fragments would pop into my head at the most inopportune moments. It illustrates the importance of keeping a notebook (or ipad for the technologically savvy) with you at all times, although if you get a sudden spark of inspiration while you are in the shower, you are just going to have to remember it!

The act of writing itself was a little strange. It took a long time for me to actually start writing. I'm a master of self deprecation but also of procrastination (damn you internet!) so time was wasted. A lot of time. However, once I had gotten into the right mind set, the average time to write five hundred words was twenty minutes. That's it. Twenty minutes. There are over 80,000 words in the book so that is 4000 minutes. Sixty seven hours. If I could have actually sat there and written it in one go it would have taken me under three days. The lack of sleep would have changed the quality of the writing admittedly (try writing when you are half asleep) but I'd have already written dozens of books by now!

Now that I have caught the writing bug I hope that I can write more books. I truly enjoy creating an imaginary world, and I already know I am capable of writing something that will move people, Or as my little brother said when he was reading it. "|You've already made me cry twice damn you"

Emma x


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