Inspired ….

A number of your comments on this blog have thanked me for ‘inspiring’ you.

Which is lovely … and something I’m extremely proud of.

However, I have to admit to feeling increasingly uninspired in recent months.

Just to recap my situation for those of you who haven’t read my entire blog … I’m a 27 year-old Cambridge law graduate.  I passed up a career in law for a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, and then disappeared off around the world on a rather extended second gap ‘year’.  Two and a bit years later, and I’ve written three novels, got myself an agent … but am still not published.

Of my two and a half years away, I spent a year travelling across Australasia and South and Central America, all by myself, before installing myself in Whistler, Canada, where I have worked as a live-in and live-out nanny.

But that time is coming to an end … fast!

My plane ticket home is booked for April 27th, and whilst I’ve had an agent for over a year, getting signed to PFD feels like my last tangible writing achievement.  I finished my first novel Flicker almost two years ago.  I know it’s a slow process, and those two years haven’t been without major developments, but still … I’m a month from going home, and if I’m honest I guess I’d always imagined returning home with my first book deal firmly under my belt.

Flicker was sent to publishers last November.  And over half are yet to reply.  Whilst all of the rejections I’ve received so far, have been rather positive and encouraging … they were still rejections.  And I’m not feeling overly heartened by the fact that the other six publishers are in no rush to respond …

My second book, The Dream Navigator, will be sent to publishers in the next few days, but it’s hard not to feel despondent. after getting my hopes up when I heard Flicker was finally being sent off.

So … I’m returning home unsigned.  And unemployed!

Uninspired.

I’ve spent the past few weeks, wincing at job pages.  Trying to find a day job that inspires me, recognises my academic background, but that forgives my lack of professional expertise.  Easier said than done … And while I may have been happy working as a nanny on the other side of the world, being back home and babysitting for a living seems like selling myself short.

So there I was … uninspired, and panicking that my dreams of becoming a writer are all for nothing … Worrying that my only chance to make it as a writer involves making coffee for editors, and working eighty hour weeks for literally nothing … (more on that later!).

The problem with my background is that writing isn’t my only option.  Every now and again the sensible voice inside me reminds me that I don’t have to completely turn my back on my academic background … that the Magic Circle Law firms are still there, and that I have the gift of the gab to glaze over my four year ‘sabbatical’ ….

But I don’t want to be a lawyer!  I dismissed that career years ago … and found a vocation that I love … and truly believe I can succeed in.

I just have to keep working at it.  Like all of you, who have read my blog … I’m almost there … but not quite.  And I need to believe in myself to continue  on that path.

Where did my inspiration come from?  What was it that made me realise I’m not ready to give up on my dream just yet, and that just because I’m leaving the protective bubble of my gap year, and returning back into the harsh light of my ‘real world’, doesn’t mean I have to abandon the thing I’ve spent the past two years working towards?

Last night I watched the Adjustment Bureau.  Easily the best film I’ve watched since Inception.  I love films that make me think, and stretch my imagination.  Partly because that’s the kind of fiction I like to write.  And partly because I just love stories.  Stories are my life.  Whether books, movies, or trashy American TV … I love stories!  And as I sat in the cinema last night, watching an amazingly well-told and thought-provoking story, and at the same time watching the rest of the audience enjoying that story … I was inspired.  I wanted my stories to touch people like that!  I want to sit in a cinema, and know the story inspiring and captivating every member of the audience, started in my head!

I want to share stories with the world!  I like to write … whether fiction or non-fiction, a journal, a blog, a news article  … but it’s the stories that are my passion.  And I want to dedicate my life to telling those stories …  In novels, and screenplays … and maybe even in good old trashy American TV!

Nut the Adjustment Bureau inspired me for another reason.  The film focusses on the idea of destiny, and having a pre-ordained path in life.  And it’s message is a positive one of taking hold of your own life, and determining your own destiny with your own actions.  Truly writing your own story.

What better message for uninspired me, than to be told to take the reigns of my life, and make things happen?

Ok, so Flicker has been at publishers for a few months …  Who cares? It’s my first novel!  And not only did it get me signed to an agent, but she thought it was good enough to submit to some of the world’s biggest publishers!  And in not one of my rejection letters, did those publishers question why Lucy thought it good enough to send to them!

I’m 27 years young … as I observed in The Life/Writing Balance most authors are in their mid-thirties when they write their first novels.  The past two years haven’t been my writing career … they have been my first steps on a path which will hopefully last my entire life.  And I shouldn’t abandon that path just because the first steps are turning out to be a little tougher, or longer than my impatient excitement can handle!

So I am writing my own story, and determining my own destiny … by believing and investing in my ability.

I go home in a month’s time.  But that isn’t the end of my dream.  It’s the start of a new chapter.  Where to next?  Well I’m thinking a screen-writing course in the States so that I can turn My Ten Future Lives into a screenplay …  and hopefully one day sit in a cinema, and stare up at my own story.  And more importantly, stare around at the people touched and moved by that story!

C-C xx

 

 

 

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12 Comments

Filed under C-C Lester, General, Unsigned Author Commentary, Writing

12 responses to “Inspired ….

  1. Jess Witkins

    Keep us posted on your journey. Don’t forget, you posted before that what made you an author was having loyal readers, and we’re here for you along your journey!

  2. Thank you Jess 🙂 C-C xx

  3. I think you say it best and know what direction you are going in when you state, “The past two years haven’t been my writing career … they have been my first steps on a path which will hopefully last my entire life.”
    So, your first steps are just that…the foundation and the entry into your dream.
    Now, just keep taking those steps!! 🙂

  4. Reading your story is like looking into my own life…those wonderful moments when you feel the touch of destiny, the shadowy outline of the person you are supposed to become. And then all the rest comes back in: the endless forest of wonder lost in the trees of everyday life. I for one think you life has been inspirational so far and that ‘what next’ attitude is something we can all learn from. And last but not least, to be a writer all your have to do is pick up a pen, or spread your fingers over the keyboard. Anyone reading what we write is a bonus, we write because we have to, we don’t know how to live any other way.

    • Thanks Mark 🙂 I love that line about the outline of the person you are supposed to become! Was literally sitting in the cinema (alone, because I was trying to set two of my friends up, so insisted I watch a different movie to them) and just had this amazing recognition that stories are what I love. I’d hate to go to the cinema in twenty years time and think to myself ‘if only …’
      And you’re right about being a writer regardless … most days I get to to the end of the day and literally HAVE to spill out the dialogue, or sentence, or story idea which has been rattling around my head all day!
      Thanks again,
      C-C xx

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  6. For most of us, the road to writing success is a long, sometimes-thrilling-but-semi-brutal slog. At least you got an early start. I didn’t; I worked a practical day job and raised 2 kids first. Considering how much time each step in the process takes, I wonder if I’ll live long enough to see my efforts come to fruition! That’s on my bad days. The rest of the time, I just believe.

  7. CD Wood

    I couldn’t help but consider the tangle-of-mind one must encounter after graduating from a degree, only to realise that they are not interested in pursuing it in reality. I know little of journalism, but the life in professional services is something I am all too familiar with.

    Life in a law firm is not unlike the life and times of an accounting firm. There are the subtle differences. However, both seek the glory of capitalism; above all else, they are in the business of profit. They exist for the primary purpose of generating profits that are as high as possible for a minimal number of partners. All else comes second; including sleep.

    This does not sound like the person I know in you; pursue your passion. Any half intelligent student can become an accountant or a lawyer. In fact, 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea wouldn’t dent the population. On the other hand, there are few that make it in an authors’ domain.

    Let’s not forget, a traveler knows that the destination is never the climax of a story. The journey will keep the readers enthralled forever! Enjoy the journey… The destination may come one day, but I hope that you can enjoy the passion of writing until that day arises.

    When you find your destination, I hope your passion remains and a new journey begins. However, if you would like to settle for the destination today, you might as well be a lawyer.

    xx

  8. Cheers Drift 🙂
    I think you’re right. And I think I ought to keep that in mind and keep documenting the journey. Also, have discovered I can make a fairly decent living as a nanny and first aid instructor whilst on that career, so hopefully no dire rush to become a ‘suit’ just yet …
    Charly xxx

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