I am the most fortunate woman. The writing world is chock full of amazing people, but I have to say, I could not be surrounded by better people. Liberty Henwick and I met on ChapterBuzz.com writing our very first novels in March 2016. We won and had #1 books (hers is still #1)
Thank you, my dear friend, for walking this journey with me. This post is a nice cool drink of water as I feel like I’m running a marathon at a sprinter’s pace. Cheers!
There’s only one way to write a book… By Liberty Henwick
I’ve been faffing about all morning NOT managing to write anything for a guest post on Dacia’s blog and now forty minutes before the kids get in from school I’m actually sitting down to write. That’s pretty indicative of the way I go about writing pretty much most of the time. I make coffee sit, at the computer and check Twitter, Facebook, my blog, the internet and the entire universe. Then I go and do some washing up, sweep the floor, put on the wash and make more coffee.
Now today you can throw filming myself talking about how I met Dacia into the mix. It has been a technical process that has perplexed me; and so at long last I am left with nothing other to do than to write this.
I’m not sure why it’s still so difficult for me to sit still and get those words out. I have been writing a blog for two years and it doesn’t seem any easier. I should probably lock the door and switch off the wifi. Or put some heavy duty Velcro on the seat of my chair and the seat of my pants.
Actually what I’d REALLY like is to go to Italy for a month or three with my laptop and notebooks. I know there are retreats there where writers from around the world gather to do their ‘thang’. Another writer in a Facebook group I’m in who lives in Dublin (about 90 minutes from where I live in this sunny south east corner of Ireland) once shared photos of his trip to one such writer’s retreat. It looked so lovely I hated him immediately for having been there.
Perhaps one day when I’m retired, my four young kids have moved out and my husband is off sailing the world in his dream yacht, I will be overlooking a balcony festooned in red geraniums feeling the warmth of a Tuscan breeze wafting the drapes.
It’s quite astonishing really then if you think about it that Dacia has managed to write a book and a half while working and raising two little kiddos at the same time. She’s super determined and disciplined – were those skills learned in the military or did she enter the military because she already had those traits?
Whichever, they have been necessary skills to enable her to keep writing amidst the busyness of life.
She has inspired me to write and to keep going even though it’s been a tight squeeze fitting it in some days. I know that we all march to the beat of a different drum and we have to write at the pace our lives allow. And yet there needs to be a level of discipline in order to keep going. There’s only ever one way to write a book and that is to write a book!
I fell in to this business of writing relatively late in life, at the ripe old age of 44. I started a blog having absolutely no idea what I was doing or where it would lead me. I just loved that process of putting down words and being lost in them, of rearranging them to tell a story and even allowing the story to emerge itself when you hadn’t planned what to say.
I had spent most of my adult life working as a graphic designer and the process of drawing, painting or designing is just the same as writing. You may start off with a vague idea in your head but when you sit down and allow that idea to develop, it then takes on a complete life of its own. It gains a bit of momentum and then by the end you sit back and look at your baby and say “My! What a fine young adult you turned in to”. You’re not even sure how it happened – you sort of helped along the way but the life of the created thing was beyond you.
During the process there’s a stretch of time when time itself doesn’t exist, it passes you by without you being aware of it or anything else for that matter. After three hours you may discover your stomach is gurgling loud enough to scare the cat and you can barely stand straight with the need to pee.
Going back to the dream about my future in a retreat, I haven’t quite told you the ending yet. I imagine that at this exotic destination, sometime in my future, I will be writing my fourth or fifth novel. My sojourn will be tied in with a visit to Cannes in France where I’ll rendezvous with my husband who has moored his yacht somewhere down on the sea front. Our children will all arrive one by one and meet us there too. One will have backpacked, two would have jetted in and the last arrives on a camel. There we’ll take our front row seats at the Cannes film festival because a producer somewhere has finally turned my book into a film and here we are at the premier screening.
Perhaps you have a dream to write too? Don’t give up on that idea of a story, or on your dream, even if you feel as if you are taking baby steps and what you’ve done so far is rubbish. The only way to write better is to write more and as I’ve said already, there’s only ever one way to write a book and that is to write a book.
But now, the kids are arriving any minute…
I finally managed to make a couple of videos just chatting about how I met Dacia and our journey in writing together. If you can bear to watch them I ramble a bit about how I didn’t know I had a story in me but then realise at the end I more than likely do.
Bio: Liberty lives in Ireland although she was born in the UK and spent 24 years growing up in South Africa. She’s still growing up actually. She’s a wife, mum of two teens and two tweens, writer, women’s ministry worker and graphic designer. She is writing her first novel and in the meantime she blogs at https://libertyonthelighterside.com
You can also follow her on: https://twitter.com/libertyhenwick https://www.facebook.com/libertyonthelighterside/ https://www.instagram.com/libertyonthelighterside/ https://www.pinterest.ie/libertyhenwick