Opinion

First dream, first word, first step – why not give it a go?

by
September 28, 2016

You know — sitting back at a lake house, drenched in serenity, the words magically spilling from mind onto the paper — that sort of dream.

My mum tells me the day I learnt to first write words was the day I started writing stories.

Stories, admittedly, that were very hard (possibly impossible) for anyone but me to understand or read.

Now that I’m older and (a little) wiser, I realise the dream I had of becoming an author might be a dwarfed reality.

As it turns out, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Still, when I was given the opportunity to interview successful Bunnaloo author Fleur Ferris, I had a million questions ready – including how to get published.

And Fleur did not disappoint, she answered them all in a long one-on-one interview (which is all in April’s edition of Bella).

Here we have a woman who managed to write a young adult book which is being read not just in Echuca-Moama but in schools across Australia.

She managed to capture the real-life fear of children being lured by online strangers.

Having read her novel Risk, I can tell you her writing is compelling and will keep you reading.

When I opened her book, I planned to read a couple of chapters before calling it a night.

But I didn’t put it down until I was three quarters in — and that was only because it was 2am.

The next day I finished it and marvelled at what a wonderful job Fleur had done.

During her interview I asked Fleur what she would say to an inspiring author and her advice was enlightening: ‘‘Don’t be afraid to write a bad book,’’ she said. ‘‘Because if you are, you will never finish it.’’

Those words resonated with me, even relieved me, and are still with me. But not for the reason you might think.

My dream of becoming an author might never eventuate. I’m not worried about it either, because truly I love my job.

But Fleur’s words inspired me in a wider sense.

How better off we all would be if we waltzed into scenarios with that mindframe.

Forget the possibility of failing or making a mistake — just give it a go and write the book.

The first novel Fleur sent out was rejected by four out of five publishers.

But she saw that as a challenge, not as a defeat.

Instead she went back to her computer and wrote Risk in 35 days.

Not a bad effort.

I’m not saying we all have a hidden gem-of-a-novel tucked behind our insecurities.

What I am saying is you might surprise yourself if you just give something a go.

All you have to do it take that first step.

Write that first word.

The rest will come.

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