On My Self-Imposed Writing Apprenticeship, by Fiona McDonald
Everything has been sent off and the waiting game begins. Do not sit by the telephone, do not hover over your email, do not ring the publisher. So what do you do?
You begin writing your next book if you haven’t already. The chances of getting published with a first novel are slim. Put all that effort down to learning, training, gearing up for the real thing and forget the story that has gone out into the big wide world to seek its fortune.
I’ve just finished a twenty week novel development course and have just signed up to do it again. Why? Because I need that discipline. And I want help with my next story. This is all part of my self-imposed writing apprenticeship.
I have always wanted to be a writer, particularly a writer of fiction. I tried writing and sending off manuscripts. I have got lots of rejection slips. Then I got a couple that were quite encouraging inviting me to send anything else I’d written. Stupidly I gave up and went and did something else for some years.
Now I am back and have managed to get nine books published but only the last one is fiction. I have had to work my way up the field. My little novel is for children and now I want to write for an older audience. The story I sent off at the end of the novel development program was not complete. Even the outline was a bit wobbly, all done in too much of a rush. Now is my chance to try again with something bigger and better. I’m also going to sign up for a Kate Forsyth fantasy workshop in November, this is all in my business plan to become a professional writer.
Through my little successes and my slowly growing list of publications I have been invited to be the writer in residence at a three day camp for gifted high school students. I see this as the completion of my first step as a writer and from here I hope to make that steady climb up the perilous mountain to reach its sparkling summit within my lifetime.
I invite you all to join me.