Saturday, 10 May 2014

Support

Hello again. I'm afraid I had such nice comments about the last blog post and so much fun doing it, that I decided to give it another whirl...this could become a nasty habit. But don't worry, I'm not going to start moaning on about supermarkets or wind farms (hate the former, love the latter BTW!) I am going to focus on writing, perhaps with the odd diversion...maybe.

So I was musing over what my second blog post should be about and it occurred to me that as a 'new' writer , support is sooooo important, no matter what form it might take.

When I first restarted on my writing adventure I decided to take a creative writing course, at that point it had been years since I had actively spent time writing, would I remember how? And nobody had ever read anything I had written and I wasn't sure if it was all a colossal waste of time or something worth pursuing but just for my own amusement. When I found out my tutor, Julia Williams was not only a great writer but  had previously been an editor at Scholastic, I knew I was going to be in good hands and hopefully learn something along the way.

Julia was soooo encouraging and positive about the first few pieces of work I submitted that I thought I must actually be doing something right, although of course deep down something told me she was just being nice and I still didn't really know what I was doing.

It was Julia who encouraged me to consider writing my book and to think about submitting work 'that's the best way to learn about writing,' she told me, and she was right. Julia was one of my first 'encouragers' (yes I made that word up - get used to it!) and I shall forever be thankful to her for all the advice, feedback and support she has given me in the last few years and for telling me to just get on and do it! (she used slightly more colourful language than that, as it happens)

When I started to write my book, there were only a handful of the most trusted people that I told, not even close members of my family knew, why? Because I was convinced people would laugh at me, and think it was a massive joke. But bit by bit I have 'come out' as a children's writer, and people have been wonderful about it. Nobody has laughed at me (at least not to my face) and they now share each new exciting step on the journey I am taking with my story.

Getting support from people who know what they are talking about is a good idea, no matter how scary it might seem. As you will know I am very lucky and proud to be part of The Golden Egg Academy  I first made enquiries about the academy in the summer of last year, and even before I had submitted work and been accepted (one of the biggest shocks of my life!) I found the community of other 'eggs' and the editors so welcoming and encouraging that a lot of my fears were chased away by their advice, kindness and humour (Oh, and jaffa cakes!)

I am about to embark on mentoring with the amazing Bella Pearson, and I feel so very privileged to be able to work with such an experienced and talented editor, who has also been wonderfully encouraging and enthusiastic about my story, characters and the world I am creating. I have to pinch myself a few times a week just to make sure I am not in some extended edition of a dream!

I hope I have been able to offer back just a teeny-tiny portion of the support all these people have and do give to me often.

If you are embarking on a new venture, whether it's a creative one or not make sure you have a team of 'encouragers' around you, even if it's just one other person. We are all our own harshest critics, so listen to the support of people you trust whether they are old friends or new. You never know where it might take you!

Here's some inspiring and stirring music to encourage you!