Earlier today I worked on some of my memoirs and I was surprised by the difference I felt in my own writer’s voice. I have a theory that the exercise of writing my novel has changed the way I write.
A lot of people have told me over the last year or so that you get better at writing. That like most other things you get better with practise, but I think a little part of me still assumed that it was mostly talent and you could just polish it up with practise.
I have not started to edit my novel, I’ve decided to give myself the full month of December to recover from it and start in January, but when I do read it over, I hope that I will be able to see the gradual shift in my voice.
When I was writing the last section of the novel I felt like I had a better grasp on it. I felt like the words came out more naturally and in more pleasing arrays. I feel like my skills as a story teller are becoming more honed; the embellishments that give interest and the details that add meaning are coming out more easily.
There is an added incentive to start working on editing my novel in January however. I have signed up to go to a Penguin Books workshop on the 19th and part of the deal is that I will have the opportunity to meet with one of the people from Penguin to pitch my idea, so I’d better have something to give them!
Usually I think they expect the first few chapters and a synopsis, I’m sure I’ll have time to produce at least that and hopefully more given that I will not have any university commitments.
If I add up all the time I spent on the novel, the time I spend writing these blogs, all the time on my memoirs and other writing projects over the last year or so I’ve probably done well over two hundred hours of writing. When it’s all added up to a number like that it doesn’t really sound like that much. It’s one internship, six weeks of full time work, or about a semester and a half of uni, but it still feels like I’ve accomplished something.
I will have to keep working away at it, apparently one has to accrue 10,000 hours practice at something to become an expert. At the rate I’m going it will take me 50 years, but that’s ok, because I don’t do it for that, I do it because I enjoy it.