"Not beginning protects you from the disappointment – no, shame – of reading what you have written and finding it rubbish. It also prevents you from an equally disturbing possibility: discovering that you can write. What then have you been doing all those years? Success or failure can both be avoided by never starting at all – this then is the spell that procrastination casts."
That's exactly how I've felt, really until I got into blogging. Having a reasonably regular writing outlet like the blog where I write, proof and edit has been a big part of getting over the fear of writing that first sentence. NaNoWriMo offers a further incitement to keep going with it. Like with the Writers Challenge bringing me new followers to write for, committing to something which insists that you write everyday like NaNo is a fantastic way to begin to flesh out your novel, to write freely without plan or plot or editing to hold you back and is, at least in theory, a device for getting you first draft down on paper. I'll be keeping you up to date on how the theory plays out, and if I find myself stuck in the editing loop, or if I manage to just go with it, warts and all. On the up side, I have a fantastic support network here in Dundee of fellow creative writers who either are or have participated in NaNo and who are excited and enthusiastic about me finally getting writing creatively in a serious, committed way. I've already had offers of help in the form of tutoring and forming a writing group, just from telling people that I'm all signed up and ready to go.
And speaking of a supportive literary scene in Dundee, this week sees the return of the wonderful Dundee Literary Festival and the launch of New Writing Dundee Six. The ethos of the creative scene in Dundee to encourage emerging talent is exemplified by the Festival School which took place at the beginning of this week and the new issue of New Writing Dundee, where first time authors and poets as well as established names re published together. The publication launches on Saturday 29th October at 7.30pm in the Dalhousie Building with Books, Food and Music.
I'm incredibly proud of the publication, of the literary vibe in Dundee this week and being a part of it. Watch this space for photos and reviews of Literary Festival events coming next week.