I am lying in bed with my heart drumming out of my chest. I love to read grand tales of brave princesses and fearless warriors fighting against all odds for the sake of home and hearth, one’s country and loved ones… And although my life is a fairly easy one in comparison with no fierce and bloodthirsty enemies of any kind to face, I find myself commiserating with them, sharing the heady rush of fear and tension commingled with adrenaline on the eve of battle. I am lying in bed, unable to sleep, mouth dry, and heart beating-beating-beating, quite ready to drum out of my chest.
The reason is because I finally am about to embark on my personal great quest– my lifelong goal to become a published novelist.
As a child, I dabbled in creative writing at home and at school, and wrote a novella of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. I always thought writing would be something I did when I grew up, and as a child it was something I did for fun without giving more thought to it, that it’s never too early to start doing more.
As a teenager, I dedicated myself to writing a short story as part of my Higher School Certificate (the university entrance exam/assessment in a Australia). I regret to say I cannot find a final version of my short story, but I remember hating it and being disgusted by its lack of polish, it’s undeveloped characters, and a general feeling of “urgh”. Fortunately, despite my own lack of engagement with the entire piece, my assessment markers enjoyed it enough to give me a strong final grade. Still, the general feeling of “urgh” lingers. I’m grateful for having done the piece because it let me understand how very very much of a procrastinator I was, and to be extremely conscious of need for self-discipline. Yet I’ve never quite forgotten the feeling of “urgh”. I think it results from my constant deprecation of self and anything I create, but what if if those feelings are right and what I create might just suck?
I’m afraid that anything else or new I create will always be simply “urgh”, and I fear to show it to the world or to even create it.
For years I dallied. After spending my whole young lifetime wanting nothing but to write fiction, I instead studied accounting and business law in university. I stopped creative writing, and wrote structured essays, analysis and research papers instead. I began an accounting job during university and then after university, I continued studying and working to gain my Chartered Accountant qualification. And after 6-7 years of nothing much but academic writing and technical accounting work papers, I truly feared a lifetime of dreams and hopes would be crushed by the complete lack of creativity left in my dry lacklustre husk of a being.
I’m fighting to recapture the creativity that seemed to come so easy during my childhood. To throw off the shackles of technical accounting writing and recapture my dreams.
After playing around with half-formed ideas over the past 6 months that simply did not resonate with me, finally something has formed, created into the beginnings of an idea, a world and characters I believe in and want to breathe life into.
It’s almost enough to make me forget what “urgh” feels like.
So I lie awake, heart beating fast. Eager to face tomorrow’s battle and face this challenge to breathe life into this idea, my would-be child, bringing myself back onto the path I always wished to follow.
Please wish me luck. Thank you