Butterflies

Having an idea is great. An idea that lasts in my consciousness for more than a couple of days is rare. I have thoughts and dreams everyday like all people but generally after I put some thought into my idea it pitters out. For some reason the spark for Dusk Travellers stuck. The more I thought about it, the more character's started to come to me. A narrative started to form even before I started writing.


I hadn't written anything since I was 17. How would I start? How and where do you begin? I researched how to write through podcasts, the net and writing groups on Facebook. The only thing that I hadn't done which would help was writing. I had a decent enough laptop that we bought for the kids to do their home work during COVID. There was no excuse not to write or even type a synopsis but inside my mind I made plenty of reasons why not to.


Being a terrible speller I was not confident if I could write anything that was coherent. I began to get nervous and have butterflies in my stomach. The nerves were there every time I went to bed. They were telling me that I should get up and just write something, anything. I have always had nerves or butterflies my whole life. When I was cooking big numbers each day as a chef where we would do over 200 covers for each service I would get butterflies'. I found through my career that this feeling keeps me on my toes, it gives me an edge. It makes me care.

I have learnt to lean in to this bag of nerves and harness it. I would need to do the same with Dusk Travellers.

Having time off to recover from chemo was my chance to start to write. Taking the kids to school again and helping tidy the house was all that was required from me by my amazing family. I wasn't ready or able to go back to work and I didn't want to waste the chance by watching Netflix and playing games all day. Mentally I needed to be more productive. Being sick and seeing what can happen to other people, my life perspective had slightly changed.

I was still myself, I think. The edge I had or always feeling that I needed everything perfect at home had softened. Being a stay at home dad during the day and working a few shifts a week at night meant that I, like everyone else was always busy. Honestly though that is the way I liked it. Finishing tasks, keeping the house clean, going to after school activities was what I really enjoyed. Then it all just stopped, I had no choice to stop.


When I realised that I could do more than just empty a dish washer each day I opened the laptop and started to write. At first it was nonsense and the page was full of red lines with mistake after mistake. The first chapter of Dusk Traveller took me forever. I would write one paragraph, delete most of it and then walk away. I don't know what I was expecting but I was not enjoying writing at all. I still liked my idea but that feeling was fading away as I had nothing concrete to show for my labour. Looking back now I didn't put as much effort in as I thought I did. Like anything in life, you have to work at it. My life experiences had taught me that I never get it right first time. Practicing and keep on working away at your goal had worked for me in the past.


Being a terrible speller I was not confident if I could write anything that was coherent. I began to get nervous and have butterfl in my stomach. The nerves were there every time I went to bed. They were telling me that I should get up and just write something, anything. I have always had nerves or butterflies my whole life. When I was cooking big numbers each day as a chef where we would do over 200 covers for each service I would get butterflies'. I found through my career that this feeling keeps me on my toes, it gives me an edge. It makes me care.

Once I got to around 10,000 words I noticed another problem that I hadn't thought about. What is the overall story of my book, where do I want it to go? Another issue I had was continuity. The more I read my book there were errors everywhere. There was no way that I could remember everything about each character and their back ground story.

I found a way that worked for me (not sure of it is the right or wrong way) and I will talk about that next week.

Once again thanks for reading

Cheers Carl


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