Adelaide Writers’ Week – On Writing

I had a good time at Adelaide Writers’ Week this year, though the 35 degree days did lead to a few headaches and a bit of heat exhaustion! I discovered a few new authors and was made both richer (in experience) and poorer (in book purchases) for having been there.

A funny thing that I noticed with a number of the authors was the concept of when they started to write. A lot of them did not start writing, or even think about becoming writers until their late twenties, thirties or even forties!

Having been writing books since I was in primary school, this shocked me at first. How can you just decide to write? Just knock out a book and get it published in a couple of years? I had been slogging away my whole life and still did not have a publishing contract to show for it.

Instead of drowning in my jealousy (I may have dog-paddled in it for a while) I kept listening, and a theme emerged, both in those who, like me, had always wanted to write, and those who came later to the idea; they all wrote a story.

Yes, it is a crazy idea; to be a writer one has to write a story and finish it. Sure, I have been writing most of my life, intensely over the past 10 years, and I have hundreds of thousands of word to show for it, but how many novels have I written to completion and put through at least one editing round? How many? One.

When you look at it like that it makes perfect sense, in fact the ONLY way you can become an author is to write a story, finish it, polish it and send it off. Everything else is just practice.

I may have seven novels on the go, but until I finish them, it can only ever be a hobby. That was my big take-away from Adelaide Writers’ Week. I’ve always laboured over the fact I need to write, but it is the finishing and polishing that I really need to focus on.

3 thoughts on “Adelaide Writers’ Week – On Writing”

  1. You’re only written one novel?! Poor you! 😉

    Seriously, don’t sell yourself short on how big an achievement that is. I know I certainly enjoyed reading for whatever that’s worth.

    Besides, 1 novel puts you far ahead of all the aspiring writer’s such as myself!

  2. Thank you, but I think it is a good goal to get more under my belt. The idea of FINISHING something has put a bit of a fire under me! I’m actually finding it much easier to come over and sit down at the computer with the target of finishing something than when I just had word targets.

    Then again, it’s only been a week 🙂

  3. I know exactly what you mean – not that I have seven novels on the go. But finishing novels is key. I realised about 2 years ago that I had to write more first drafts, because I LOVE the revision and polishing phase and could do that forever (as you know). But we need the whole package if we’re going to make it professionally. More complete first drafts is key!

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