To Write or Not to Write?


If anyone is out there reading this then I’ll begin my very first blog post. Well that’s not strictly true as it’s actually my third. The first blog was written two years ago on what inspired me to write my first novel and the second was last year when I reviewed the Film, Suffragette.

Ah there’s a theme here I hear you say, Suffragettes. Before I explain further I’ll begin at the beginning. I’ll tell you how my writing journey began, while trying to disguise the scary feeling that no-one will be reading this blog post, no-one at all.

My writing journey began in two thousand and four, after I decided to attend a writing course at the local college. I’d tried writing short stories before but never found the courage to have a proper go at ‘this writing lark,’ and because of job and family commitments, writing was always on hold.

I digress. The day of the course arrived and I felt nervous, I’d had no time to prepare I told myself. What preparation I needed I didn’t know. To find out if I could write or not? To Write or not To Write?

I told myself I had to attend the course, as it would push me into doing more than just dabbling in a bit of prose, when I had a spare moment. It would spur me onto bigger things. Or… assign my writing to the bin forever (more likely).

The course turned out to be good, the teacher was helpful and the other students friendly. I felt I was making progress in my writing. Every week we were given homework which we had to read out in the class, this was nerve racking.

One day the subject of the homework was to write a monologue. We were each given a person and a situation to write about, and mine was: ‘someone who’d been captured and  about to be tortured.’ My heart sank, this was a dark subject and not my kind of story at all. How was I to do this? Thankfully the words came easily and I called my story: The Red Shoes.

The theme of the story was moving and I soon realised it would be hard to read this aloud in class. I overcame this by reading it constantly to my long–suffering family. The time came to read it to the class and I managed it fine. There was a hushed silence when I reached the end of the story and I was full of pride, until one student said in a very loud voice, “Yeah but it isn’t a monologue is it?” What’s that they say about pride coming before a fall?

After the writing course ended I decided it was a novel not short stories I really wanted to write. As you will see from my previous blog post, (a whole year ago) I’d had an idea for a contemporary novel, and the research led me to the Edwardian era. This spiked my interest in how women lived then and the fight they had for the vote, making me realise the contemporary novel needed to be historical.

After completing another course, this time online, I finally finished my book. With my novel ‘Bird in a Gilded Cage’ now a finished manuscript I began submitting it to publishers and agents. To my great disappointment I had nothing but rejections. What to do next I wondered?

Self-publishing was my next step. I had spent five long years writing the novel and by publishing it myself it would have readers. Which also meant I could get on with writing the next one. Since then I’ve written another novel entitled ‘Amethyst’ which is a dual timeline story, featuring WW2 and present day intertwined. It’s set in Brighton and a small village called Isfield.

So that’s my writing story so far. I’ve recently returned from the Romantic Novelists Association’s annual conference (I joined their New Writers Scheme last year). While there I pitched Amethyst to an agent, who gave me some valuable feedback on improving the structure of the book.

I’m now in the middle of structural edits on Amethyst and also planning my next blog post as we speak. Is that the truth or fiction I hear you ask? To Write or Not to Write that is the question. I promise you I’ll be back next month when the fun will really start. I’ll tell you all about my struggling writers stuff (not always huge fun but definitely a challenge), and about becoming a biker’s moll. Now that’s got you wondering hasn’t it?

Thank you for reading this blog post (if anyone did) and look out for Sue’s Scribbling this time next month when I’ll definitely (promise) be blogging again.

A link to the short story The Red Shoes can be found at:

Find Susan at https://www.facebook.comauthorsusangriffin

Twitter: @sugriffinwriter


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