I'll take you back nine years (so long ago its just silly) and show you a younger, dumber, fresher me that had the crazy idea that he would write a novel.
I look at him and wonder what was going through his mind? Was it thoughts of jewels on every hand and diamond encrusted toilet seats? Endless parties and awards and money being thrown at him from anyone that had any? Did he think it would be easy? Did he see success as a formality yet to be actuated but never in any real doubt? No. No, I remember back and recall a dream. A simple one that didn't really escape past one simple goal.
I wanted to write a book.
I settled on an idea so simple that it really was perhaps about as pure an idea as I'd ever had, it wasn't cash (though I wanted to escape the conventional work scene), it wasn't fame, it wasn't to be awesome... it was just to start and finish a book.
To cut a long story short I wrote one. I was a house husband at the time and I crammed in all the hours I could while dealing with the two children we had at the time (that's changed just a bit!). It took a long time and it was a tough slog but I got help from my wife, my parents and the kids, and they made sure I got the time I needed while working around my other commitments and a year after I started...it was done.
Now came the hard work. I picked it apart and gave it to my wife who was wasn't thrilled with the quality. She presumed it would be, well, better. I assured her I was now going to put colour into my sketch. I was going to buff it and shine it and place trimmings and hang curtains and just make it better. I'm not sure she believed me but she said 'okay' and so I started again.
I attacked the book and it was indeed like the shell of a building, waiting for chippies and plasterers and painters and metalworkers and labourers to carry all the shit away. It was a work in progress. I attacked it in the ring, it in the Crimson corner and me in the regal blue one. With gloves on and gum shields in we beat the hell out of each other but after another four months the fight was done. I printed it out and lay it chapter by slaved over chapter on the floor. Then I complied it all into one bulk and set it on the desk.
158,000 words. Drink that in. I had added forty thousand words and it was better. It was a far better book!
I re submitted it to the person I trust most in the world and she took a very long time to get to reading it again, but eventually she did and she confirmed it was indeed better. It was a good day.
I then set that sucker down and sat back and said I was going to send it out but I never did. I told people I did, but I didn't. Why didn't I? Whats the worst that could happen? Well, I could be rejected.
Skip forward and its still here. Its sitting in the corner of the room and its still not sold but I tell you what it isn't if you like? Its not shit. I know. I pulled it out from the computer and had a read. I like it. Not all of it, but certainly enough.
This is what I have decided to bring to the Script Fenzy. My first book. I'm converting it to script form and giving it some love. Love I should have given it years ago.
Maybe this isn't a step forward, perhaps this is what I needed; a step back. A time to look at what I have accomplished before but more importantly to look at why. Why I started this in the first place.
Since I started this I've written two books and three screen plays. None of them have been bought or published. None of them have been optioned or applauded and none of them have won any awards...but then perhaps up until now I haven't understood what this journey was really all about. It is of course about self.
I hope to sell these stories now and make money, to take the step that is logical. To become a published writer with enough revenue coming in to say that this is my job. I want all that yes but if it doesn't happened, as it doesn't for so many, then maybe that's okay. It wont stop me trying but the real reason I do this is to get the noises out of my head and perhaps if I just keep doing what I'm doing and send it off? Maybe I will get there.
I've been reading something I wrote a life time ago. It feels like my future.
Be excellent to each other.