Stop me if you think you've heard this one before.
I had a good idea for a novel. I started writing. I wrote about 20000 words. Then I gave up. I put it on the shelf, so to speak, and had another idea. I thought: This time, I'll finish it. This time. This is the one. I wrote about 30000 words. Then I gave up. It went on the shelf with the one before (and the one before that, and the one before that). My shelves are seriously creaky with the weight of past attempts. I was about to write 'failures' there, but I guess anything you can learn from is not strictly speaking a negative. What did I learn?
I learnt how to put up shelves properly.
No.Not really (although there's a tortuous analogy to make in there somewhere about structure and support I suppose....). What I really learnt is that the next novel I attempt really will be the one I finish, because I've finally understood that to make the thing work is to sit down and actually plan out the damn thing before writing a single word. The reason I stopped in the past was because I had no idea what was supposed to happen next, who the characters were or where...I...was...going. I always thought I could be one of those people you hear about who just sit down and effortlessly toss off a masterpiece first time. It didn't cotton after the first attempt this miracle for me might not happen. Or the second. Or...you get the picture.
So now I'm here, humbly holding my idea in my hands, hoping to be let in and welcomed as a writer. A writer who wants to get it right this time. A writer who is prepared to swallow his pride and admit he doesn't actually know everything.....
Looking forward to meeting all of you here and sharing ideas around this virtual table. Mine's a beer though.