Hey there readers!
This is my 150th post at body, remember. This little project that started with a tag line – all the things we remember to forget – and a post about endings:
… or earlier still, when I sat up in bed one morning struck by the idea for a novel where the lover dies on the first page. Or earlier than that morning even, when I fell into mad, true, ridiculous love for the
first second time and the world turned into a mass of metaphor … and not a little pain. Or before that. Back when everything starts – as a kid, lost in my head, wondering about life and love, and quietly sure it was going to be something bigger for me.
Why do we write? Why do you write? Anais Nin said it is to taste life twice. I think it is as much to taste something new, to explore the life not yet lived. Or perhaps just this life, differently. As a kid I rode horses, and I would spend hours wandering around the countryside and my head, creating a new character for my favourite TV show or picking up a story thread from whatever book I was reading at the time. Taking what I knew – and pushing it further. I never really did have an imagination. Just curiosity and a heightened empathy for the human experience. And always, always that desire for something more.
Why do we stop writing? That is as much the question. I have drawers full of notebooks, scribbled lines and crossed-out confessions, but for the longest time I could not get past these beginnings. I wanted everything I wrote to be perfect. And so I stopped writing anything at all. I wanted what I wrote to be beautiful and fully formed from the start, I wanted to write like Anais, or Alice Walker, or Jeanette Winterson, the women whose words could break me apart with their impact. And because I couldn’t approach their genius, I wrote nothing.
Until body, remember. Until the exercise of writing this blog. 150 posts in and everything is different now. Or back to what it was when I was a kid, riding my horse across that wild Antipodean land and turning everything into a story. I write every day. I write imperfectly. I write the occasional sentence or paragraph that I’m actually proud of. I write to tell you something. I write to tell myself more. I am inspired and frustrated and committed. I’m a writer. I am a writer!!
And that book idea that struck me in the chest all those years ago, well it is finally here. For all of my readers who have watched me make my way toward this, I wanted to share the first 15,000 words of body, remember with you here:
Link to the first 8 chapters: http://authonomy.com/books/55304/body-remember/
Aaaaaaahhh! I cried yesterday when I put it out there on Authonomy. Maggie Valentine and her story that started off as mine, but became that something (so much) more. The novel itself is nearly done, it now features three strong, passionate female characters (and one dead lover!), and as I edit the existing content I’ll put more of their stories online. I had to take a deep breath and do it. I was ready.
Which brings me to the point of this 150th post. Do the thing. That thing you have always wanted to do. That thing that has followed you. The ‘if-only’ thing. The ‘next year’ thing. That project, that dream, that desire. Do the thing!! Start. Start now in fact. Because to start is to change every thing. And you never know where that beginning can take you. The story really does expand. Once you’re in it. Once you are doing the thing.
Oh! And if you are going to fall in love – make damn sure it is a love worth writing about 😉
Thank you more than ever for coming along for the ride xxx