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