Monday, 2 January 2017

The Next Decade of Writing: Focus

Exactly ten years ago, I woke up to see Captain Jack Harkness kissing the real Captain Jack, in the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. Within a few days, a friend showed me how to set up a Livejournal account, and I became Avon09, writing Torchwood fanfic.

I don't have many regrets about the last ten years; from my degree to being published, I have had a rollercoaster of a decade. But I do have one regret about my writing. I wish I'd been more focused.  I think a lot of fanficcers will recognise the sheer joy I had in writing, when the words flowed late into the night, fuelled by coffee and comments from fans eager to read about their OTPs (one true pairing). I wrote whenever I had the opportunity and it was so easy. I really miss the sheer output I managed in those early days.

Initially, I focused on drabbles, and I really struggled to write anything longer than a couple of thousand words. Once I moved into the Supernatural fandom, and into J2 AU (Jensen and Jared,
alternate universe), suddenly my whole world of writing opened up. I wasn't confined by canon (the material accepted as officially part of the story in an individual universe of that story). I could write anything I wanted. I poured my heart and personal confusion into Nothing Ever Happens, and my love of all things cowboy into Morning Report.
Only now, after a decade of writing, and nearly seven years of being published, I wish I'd got into 
crime and thrillers a lot earlier. They are my passion. But I have to acknowledge that if I'd done that, The Sky is Dead and The Layered Mask wouldn't have been written. Nor would Hairy Harry's Car Seat or Frankie & Al.

On the one hand, I feel I would be further along in my writing career if I'd been more focused, and on the other, these were the voices in my head. time to move on. I've done my apprenticeship. Now it's time to get my arse in gear. I want to focus more in this decade. I need to stop playing around with so many styles.

The bunnies in my head are mainly mysteries. I have notebooks full of them. I could write for another ten years and not finish them all. That's exactly what I'm going to do. Let the words flow again. Where's my coffee?

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