New Start Old Beginnings photo was a gift from a fellow writer on the Faber Academy, Writing a Novel Course. It was a picture of how he envisaged the cover of my novel might look like.
Once my manuscript was finished and polished to the best it could be, I changed the title to the more fitting, The Longing, as my protagonist was longing for something she was determined to have for herself at all costs.
The Longing has had positive responses from Agents, and they like my writers 'voice.' Yay, say it out loud! As yet, I haven't snagged that elusive publishing deal.
Have I left it to late to focus on writing? I love being a writer and as much as I enjoy the rollercoaster of it all ~ the highs when you hit your groove. The pits when nothing is going right and my mojo has taken a hike. Whistling after it doesn't bring it back any quicker ~ it's hard work trying to be successful.
What does success mean to me? This is a question I ask myself all the time. I know I'm good at storytelling, though when I read some of my favourite authors like Maya Angelou or Donna Tartt, I despair. I could never hope to be as meaningful or as poetic with my words. I like to think my work will find a readership somewhere, no matter how big or small the audience.
I stopped writing for a while and I've been a bit tardy here, as I needed to recharge my batteries and get into the flow again. Recently, while searching for something else, I found hidden away a box within a box. Letters from my early teens when I had pen pals in Paris, Chicago and Athens. Oh the joy of rediscovering these letters, amazed that I still have them (thankfully).
One letter in particular stood out ~ I don't know if you can read what it says?
At 14 years old, I'd shared with Debbie, my Greek pen-friend, my wish to be a writer, and this was how she replied.
" The most interesting part of your letter was your wish to be a writer. Well, I think you have a really good pen as we say here, but you haven't yet the necessary experience. If you want to write a really good book, you must wait!!"
How right she was! There's nothing like life experience to inform your writing and fuel your imagination, and in retrospect I'm pleased that my life has developed in the way that it has.
So, Old Start New Beginnings sits on a bookshelf near to where I sit and write, inspiring me to keep going. It could also be a metaphor for life.