“I have an idea for a novel.” I say to anyone who will listen.
Once the laughter stops, once the look of incredulity has faded, once the awkward silence has lifted and once their own pitch for a best-seller has been delivered I am left feeling…awkward, unsure, disillusioned and full of doubt.
Filled with more doubt.
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
But still the notion persists.
I have…an idea.
I have a dream.
It isn’t a noble dream, it doesn’t concern the content of an individuals character or world peace. No, my dream is about a bundle of paper, bound and with a perfectly designed front cover (remember, only a fool does not judge a book by its cover) and a carefully selected photograph of me on the back cover. My name in a pretty font adorning the front. An invitation to appear at some literary festival to give a reading, to answer some questions about my “process” and then to sit in a signing tent while three or four people line up to have me scrawl my signature inside the front cover.
Then a friend reads something I have written and they say something encouraging. This friend knows what they are talking about and so I pay attention. Then they suggest I take part in a writing course. Their recommendation is “Write Here…” I take a look and then decide to do more than look. I submit 3000 words and wait.
A few weeks later an email arrives inviting me to participate on the course. I feel all warm and tingly inside. I think this is happiness. I’ve never been all that sure. The course will run over several weeks and will be taught by a real life author.
Someone who, like me, had a dream…and who, unlike me, has made the dream real.
The author is Kaite Welsh and she is a real writer.
She has written novels…historical crime fiction, bloody good books they are too.
She has written short stories.
She is a journalist.
Over the weeks though something else is revealed about Kaite…she is kind, informed, witty, helpful, caring, sweet, knowledgeable, clever and has a genuine desire to help me and the other souls on the course make our dreams real.
Each week we take part in discussions, writing tasks, listen to short, but oh so helpful, presentations from Kaite, dissect each others work and slowly, but very surely, something remarkable begins to happen; a gaggle of strangers becomes a collection of acquaintances and then something even more remarkable happens…we become, whisper it, friends.
People offer criticism, suggestions, ask questions, recommend books that may aid or inspire…it is a wonderful, delightful and inspiring thing to be a part of.
Now it has ended and all I have are the notes and the learning.
That’s not true.
I have some other things…an increase in belief, a genuine desire to move from dreamer to writer and a belief that with hard work and a slice of luck the dream could be made real.
I’m beyond grateful to Write Here and to Kaite and to my new friends.