A Novel Idea

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An inspirational piece for me, for you?

Write well. Write often.

© the author. 2011.

 

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Here is a new inspirational piece. I hope this sparks a story idea for you.

Write well. Write often.

© the author. 2011.

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When I started this blog, I set myself the challenge of becoming a published author by midnight 13 April, 2011. At the time of writing, that’s just over 24 hours away.

Today is an important day for me. Not only because I’m about to draw the curtains on a year of (almost) full time writing. These last twelve months have witnessed me progress through my postgraduate degree, write my first first (and second) novel drafts, and make a handful of writing friends along the way.

I know so much more about publishing than I did a year ago. I realize now that the goal I set was unachievable given that I didn’t have a manuscript or a network of contacts. It can take a year just to edit a book once the contract’s signed!

While I haven’t published my novel yet, I have been published. To date I have had short prose and poetry and a handful of reviews in publications.

To have a book published, you must send it to a publisher. I have taken the soft approach and flung my manuscript (back when it was an incomplete first draft) into two unpublished author competitions with no outcome other than a lighter purse. I was mildly horrified to discover the winners had multiple books published (in another genre).  Either way it was beginner’s enthusiasm to thrust an unripe work upon an audience. We live and learn…

I do feel my manuscript needs 2-3 more drafts before it is ready for a publisher. I also have time pressure though. I quit my job to write my novel and finish my degree. If I don’t generate some money (through an advance or other windfall) soon, well, let’s just say I’ve already cut back on everything I could.

Eternally the optimist, I have created an opportunity for myself. Today is important because this morning I have coffee with a respected author in the field who has read the first few chapters of my novel. For free. I think I must remind them of their younger self in some way. Why else would they be so kind?

I’ve just got back from a walk in the crisp Autumn air. I needed to clear my mind. Be receptive to their jewels of wisdom. That’s when I walked into a giant spider web.

It was at knee height: I wasn’t completely daydreaming.

So I may not have a novel in the bookstores yet, but I’m about to receive honest professional feedback that will help make my book stronger.

That’s worth celebrating.

How do you measure success?

Write well. Write often.

© the author. 2011.

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I post a new inspirational piece each month. I hope this sparks a story idea for you.

Write well. Write often.

© the author. 2011.

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  • Comments Off on Inspiration (Visual Stimulation) of the month 022011
There’s a story here

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I post a new inspirational piece each month.

Write well. Write often.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2011.

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Have you ever wanted someone else’s life?

Maybe you have coveted something they have.

Are you happy with your own life?

My life is good. My life is tough. My life has purpose.

I will morph that temporary middle statement into ‘My life is comfortable’ or better in the next year.

Here I am in 2011 after nine months of practically zero income, unable to afford a daily coffee, but smiling more easily than when I could buy a round of drinks without a thought.

I’m trading money for time. Time to write the first of many novels that will, I hope, form my life’s work.

I came to the realization today that, unintentionally, I’m making one of the people most special to me unhappy.

Like me, they dream of a creative life. Their talent is writing for film. Instead they work to feed their family and keep the people they employ in work. They can’t just alter life without massive consequences.

They aren’t envious of me. Not jealous. Neither of these words adequately describe the feeling I glimpsed in their eyes today.

They want what I have: time.

But it is not mine to give them.

Worse than that, I know and love their family. Their situation has options, but fewer than I had.

While I pursue creativity and career change, I have made mine and my partner’s financial situation worse. Perhaps I will never regain what I used to earn through writing alone, but I will certainly try.

Could I have made the same decision if I was robbing a child of the best school or even a new bicycle to do so?

Are you happy with your own life?

Do you covet something another person has?

Do you want someone else’s life?

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2011.

Happy New Year everyone!

Image courtesy of Marina and the Diamonds band blog

http://www.marinaandthediamonds.com/blog.htm

I’ll be posting a new inspirational piece each month.

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2011.

2011 is the year I will land a generous contract for my first novel. It is the year I will complete my Masters. On a personal level, it is the year I will marry the love of my life.

These are my goals for this year. What are yours?

On New Year’s Eve 2009, I was in Paris. The goals I made then did not anticipate the upheavel and the opportunity that 2010 would bring. This time last year, I did not realize I would be writing and studying full time after abandoning a successful but unsatisfying corporate career.

We cannot know what lies ahead, but we can know what lies in our hearts and act accordingly.

My biggest lesson from 2010 was to trust in love. Sometimes your own steam will only take you partway up the mountain. A supportive life partner, who values your dreams as much as their own, can provide the encouragement that inspires you to find the last skerrick of determination you need to approach the summit.

Look at the relationships in your life. Are some in need of repair? Are some better left in the past?

If your art is your life, the people closest to you need to support your path.

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2011.

Season’s Greetings fellow bloggers, writers and inhabitants of this wonderful world. Here is a gift for you to do with as you please.

This picture stopped me in my tracks as I browsed through the local bookshop today. I hope it sparks a story for you.On the cover of Guy Bourdin’s ‘In Between’ photography book.

I’ll be posting a new inspirational piece each month.

Write well. Write often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.

Forget Santa. Oprah is coming to town.

My home town, Sydney, is rife with Oprah anticipation. Today’s paper has three separate articles on the subject in the same section. True friends were revealed and frenemies created in the tussle over the lottery tickets to be part of the studio audience. Tourism industry livelihoods are teetering on the success of cross promotions after a tough year of trading.

The doyenne of daytime television is due to land here next week. Her production crews have already arrived. Three shows will be filmed, airing in January.

Are Australians mad to be spending millions of tax-payer dollars on a media junket?

I must admit, I’m excited. I didn’t scramble over tickets to see her (but that is more indicative of being distracted with essays than of some deep coolness on my part). I don’t watch her show everyday. I just think she’s a good role model for women in business.

I credit her with reviving book clubs amongst ordinary people (anyone who can read, should).

I am agog with her ability to influence people’s tastes and purchases. Thank goodness her agenda seems genuinely positive.

How do you feel about Oprah?

Image courtesy of Oprah.com

I subscribed to her O Magazine when it was first launched – mainly out of curiousity. I still have some bookmarks with inspired quotes (no not of the Chicken Soup variety, more the classic literature and great minds type).

For example, one O Magazine bookmark bears this quote:

‘I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.’

– Montesquieu

Eventually I grew tired with the product placements and let the subscription lapse.

My Oprah viewing consists of author interviews or book club specials that interest me.

Oprah’s paid visit has caused much controversy here. A lot of people view it as a waste of money (how ’bout spending the cash on improving our health care or education? they say). A few people are actually enraged by the idea.

I’ve watched our tourist campaigns come and go. They’ve cost small fortunes and launched modelling or acting careers for their stars (or leveraged existing careers).

I’m very proud of our country, particularly of our culture and breathtaking landscapes. I’m happy to share this with others, especially when it preserves those wonders with much needed tourist dollars.

How much do you know about Australia?

Forget sex sells. Oprah sells.

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Oprahs-Australian-Adventure

Travel well. Travel often.

V.

(C) Copyright of the author. 2010.


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  • Violet: Thanks Alannah :) Apologies for not replying sooner: I'm finally catching my breath and the year is almost over!
  • Alannah Murphy: I remember your first post, way back when I had my old Here Be Dragons blog, and I am glad you are still writing. We all find out, sooner or later, ho
  • Violet: Good to hear that Aaron. Good Luck with your work.