22nd January 2018
A year ago today, I started my little experiment. I started documenting my writing career through daily blog posts. The idea was to make a ‘DVD extra’ of how my books came about, how other things in my life fed into that creative process. I wanted to document my writing career – the highs, the lows. And yes, along the way there would be days when it was totally non-writing focused… but that was kinda the point… to see how those days informed the writing or business decisions I made.
It was incredibly forward looking. Even if everything took off today, the stuff I wrote a year ago, probably won’t be of interest for another two years. It’s easy to stand here today and say think that no progress has been made, but that’s not true.
I’ve spent the year trying to gain confidence in myself as a writer. This has manifested itself in unusual ways. I found my swordfighting and writing symbiotically linked. I found the confidence of putting a true (warts and all) version of myself out there allowed me to be bolder in my writing and result in a massive improvement in the last draft of Black as Knight. I’m trying to get used to that confidence so that if things happen and suddenly I find myself under more scrutiny that I have the strength of will not to shrink back into myself but continue to make bold and honest (and possibly wrong) decisions.
I feel wiser for the experience, and more importantly, more confident. I don’t claim to have all the answers and am aware that there is so much I still do not know about publishing, but I feel that in this last year, I’ve put in a solid foundation upon which to build my career.
Writing is so personal. I think that’s what makes it so hard. Being able to stop writing for an audience and instead write for yourself is a challenge. Sure, you want to entertain, but there’s still part of you that needs to trust your gut and write the type of stories you’d want to read. That can sometimes mean you feel at odds with what you think the market wants, but I think the really good writers are the ones that are brave and do things a little differently, not to just be different but because they want to bring their honesty to the page.
And so, whilst a year old, The Climb is still very much a work in progress… because it’s about me, and I am so at the beginning of my career and what I want to do.
I still need to learn patience. I need to be able to take frustration and channel it positively. I need to continue to be honest and brave. I need to continue to fail, and more importantly grow from those failures.
Today I spent most of the day, updating my ToDo list and working on a whole bunch of tasks. In many ways, today felt more like the start of a new year than January 1st. I have exciting plans for 2018, some which will happen, some which will no doubt fall by the wayside.
Join me on the journey.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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