March 11, 2020
My writing journey goes something like this…
I’ve written a terrible children’s novel back when every writer and their dog were penning stories similar to Harry Potter. I knew it was terrible but it was my first and I finished it. Yea me. That manuscript went straight to the shelf, where it will eventually decompose and become a blank page for another writer in the future.
I was more serious with the second, believing that I had to write something grand and literary, something serious that will leave readers thinking. A much, much better attempt and much, much more serious but still not my best. I could possibly edit the hell out of this one and make it marketable but it, too, will likely become another blank page.
My third was a supernatural young adult story. Probably quite marketable but I’m not eager to get on teen adventures any longer. There are simply too many of them and I find it made me more reserved than I prefer. It sits on the shelf beside the other two.
My fourth book was a horror. I tested my legs with this book. I was braver and much more confident. I loved writing this book but it is also on the shelf because I still felt it wasn’t my best first foot forward. With the knowledge and experience I have today, I’m likely to seriously revisit the work, clean it up, and send it out into the world.
My latest manuscript is a satire. I also loved writing this book. It was fun. I found I was freer with this one. With small exception to my fourth book, it’s the first instance where I wrote what I wanted to write, without expectation, without trying to neatly fit it into a genre category or mainstream cutout. It’s funny and strange and even uncomfortable at times, but it’s mine and I’ve grown quite fond of it. Writing about a guy who tests drugs for the Canadian government, my computer is full of research and articles on the legalization of marijuana, various aphasias, the workings inner workings of Parliament, and architectural gems in less affluent communities in Ottawa. This one may not win a Nobel or Pulitzer or even merit recognition from local writing groups, but the unique voice of my protagonist is something of which I am specifically proud. We’ll see what readers have to say when the book is released in the summer. I’ve asked my beta readers to be ruthless. Their watchful eyes are helping me to polish the project. So far, I’m told it’s pretty good, which is a small ego pat until the real reviews come in.
While I wait, I’ve decided to move on to another project. We lived overseas for 2 years and I’ve been dying to write a satire on diplomatic life. Just a few pages into Sir Brian Barder’s What Diplomats Do, and I’m already hooked. Stay tuned…