A story writing tip from a star procrastinator

Last Sunday morning I woke to find, to my surprise and delight, that my husband had taken all three kids to work with him giving me a delicious spanse of unplanned time.  What to do?!

I, rather surprisingly, chose to fill this time by starting to write a book.

I have wanted to write children’s books since I was a child.  As a young whippersnapper I was both a ravenous reader and writer of words.  I spent every spare minute either drifting off into other worlds (often with a mere sliver of light through the bedroom door to sustain my reading), or creating them for myself.  I like to think the words I penned at this time weren’t too shabby as my teachers used to keep my works to show others.  As a result, I have none of the stories I wrote from age 6-10.  My favourite story, which I remember with great fondness, was about a world within a box.   Unfortunately that’s about all I remember of my youthful storytelling.

Well, that would be aside from the story I wrote when being lazy one day which was a blatant rip off of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fir Tree about the poor Christmas tree who gets cut down, his subsequent adventures and final misadventure.  My teacher clearly hadn’t read the profoundly talented Mr Andersen.  She thought my tale an utterly brilliant example of personification!  What talent I had!

Why is it surprising that I started writing a story last week?  Because, sadly, after the age of 10 my writing gradually slowed down over the years to the point recently where my writing was limited to writing brochures, marketing letters and the like in my working life.

I am very proud (this is probably pathetic for any proper writers who happen upon this) to announce that I wrote 2,565 words last weekend!  I started on a proper story! Callooh Callay!  And I can’t resist telling you it’s about a girl called Maya, who is 10, has enough spunk that I’d like to meet her, and who is in possession of a slightly tarnished halo that you might see reflected in her shiny silver Converse boots.

You may have noticed that I carefully called this post a story writing tip, singular.  My tip, for any other of you with tragic unfulfilled literary ambitions, is to write.  Write for yourself.  Write anything. Write something you’re passionate about and the words will flow.  To paraphrase from the brilliant and sadly recently departed Ray Bradbury “You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Oh, and the truth, which those of you with an eagle eye and mind have already gleaned, is of course that this whole post is a fantastic example of my skills in story writing procrastination, nurtured over many years.

Have a lovely weekend all 🙂

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