Monday, 19 December 2016

A New Beginning

A New Beginning…

which if you think about it is a bit of a silly phrase. Aren’t all beginnings new in one way or another? Am I guilty of an overuse of adjectives – not quite as bad as the dreaded adverb but coming close sometimes. Since I cannot find anywhere that new can be used as a noun I will explain rather than apologise.

New Friends

But first, the ending. The last three months of 2016 have been full of excitement and trauma, if not in equal measure then certainly in impact. We have been blessed with a beautiful grandson. We had a wonderful holiday where we made friendships that I hope will last even across the Atlantic. We celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary and two birthdays. And sadly we suffered two bereavements within the space of a fortnight.

December brought a change of direction in my writing life and in the past couple of days I have drawn up the outline of a completely new book and written part of the first chapter. Now here’s the thing. People who know me will be aware that I usually begin a story and carry on until it’s finished, bringing in sub-plots that occur to me as I go along, though the main plotline is always in my head from the moment I start. This time it’s going to be different! I think! Well, I’ve said that before haven’t I? But it’s a new book, a new year, a new frisson of excitement. My online dictionary defines frisson as  a sudden, passing sensation of excitement. I hope it doesn’t pass. One of the thrilling things about writing is the discovery of new things, things that before had no shape or substance. Things that become real as they appear before you on the page. That isn’t to say I don’t have my troughs. Those days when I think I’ll never have another idea; that I’ll never write again. But the frustration of typing lalalalala several times usually puts paid to that and leads to something a little more interesting. Well, anything would be, wouldn’t it?

My new strategy is to attempt a mixture of ‘as it has been’ and ‘how it will be in the future’. I don’t have it in me to chart meticulously before I begin a new novel. If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that I lose the essence of what makes me a writer if I try too hard to follow a pattern. But not all patterns have to be complicated. Just a few jottings about each chapter will, I hope, keep me on track, prevent me falling headlong into those troughs or hitting a brick wall. It’s a sort of obstacle course. As a youngster I always loved taking part in sports and I’m a lifelong fan of quizzes. This obstacle course will be a metaphorical combination of both and I am ready to attack it with enthusiasm.

Thank you for being with me this year. 2017 is just over a week away. A New Beginning. Bring it on!