Thursday, 1 October 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 1: Will Write For Shoes (or Yarn)

It seems fitting to commence blogtoberfest, a month long writing gig, with a post about writing and in particular, about a writing book.

A parcel came in the mail yesterday from The Book Despository.

This is a book 20-something Bells would never have even looked at. When I was writing in my 20s, I was going to be a Serious Novelist. A Literary Novelist. I'm not laughing at myself (much) when I look back. I still love serious, rich and powerful literary fiction. I still call Margaret Atwood pretty much my favourite author and someone whose career I would most love to emulate.

But the sad fact is that when I write, or try to write, Serious Literature, I become quite depressed and anxious. It's all that hanging around in often intense emotional spaces, and most importantly, hoping to make something Worthy from my words, that does my head in. Or did in my 20s. It's very hard to write with Virginia Woolf looking over your shoulders; or George Eliot reminding you of what it is you most want to write. For me, that's a surefire path to a certain level of unhappiness and suffering and not the kind I might have once considered romantic or even obligatory in the Aspiring Author. Nope. Just misery with very little success.

In the intervening years, I've read and enjoyed my fair share of Chick-lit. Not all of it. Some of it is quite silly and don't even get me started on chick-lit that addresses trying for a baby or infertility. Nasty stuff. But the best of it has warmth and heart and humour and cleverness that's almost impossible to resist. Ireland's Marian Keyes does it best.

It's not a certain path for me and since the idea struck me a couple of weeks ago, I haven't written a word, but that's ok. Many, many books marinate as small ideas inside the author's head for a long time. I don't have a hook yet. I don't have anything resembling a plot but that comes with time.

For now, I have a little more procrastination time in the shape of Will Write For Shoes. But I'm going to imagine it's actually called Will Write for Yarn, because that floats my boat a bit more than shoes and, I suspect, my heroine will feel the same way, oddly enough, given I'll be aiming for Knit-Lit meets Chick-Lit.

I'll leave you with a new Alice shot. I had the day off yesterday to help my sister Fee while she packed up her house for moving. I got the oh so difficult task of minding Alice while the packing happened all around me. I passed a very pleasant hour looking down at this.


Love. Love. Love.