This week we are proud to feature Charlotte West, author of Growth. Charlotte speaks today about her writing journey, how she started the publishing process and her advice to aspiring authors!
I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was a little girl. My great grandmother was an avid writer, with my whole family always expressing similarities between her and myself. She was a huge influence on me and my writing and was an inspiration. I remember my grandmother showing me old scraps of paper or used envelopes with delicate scribbles and poems written by her and they were so beautiful. My parents, too, were a huge influence. They were always reading me stories throughout the day and before bed; from Harry Potter to Jane Austen. My passion for literature is wholly with thanks to my family.
Before getting published, I was always scribbling and writing anything that popped into my head. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and feel the urge to grab my notebook and write – my published anthology is only a short sample of how many I have, with probably hundreds hidden away in notebooks. I used to dream of being a published writer but never knew how. I never wrote with the intention of getting published, however; it was a lot more spontaneous than that. I only seemed to write when I felt great surges of emotion and I still find it incredibly difficult to write without this today.
The publishing process was a great deal easier than I expected it to be; there is a lot more support given to you than I first thought. For example, I was walked through every process, step by step, and I wasn’t overwhelmed with an abundance of information. It was broken down into small, easily digestible chunks and it made the entire process fly by. It wasn’t always easy, though.
Editing was potentially the trickiest part of the publishing process for me. I’ve always struggled to read my own work, finding it somewhat upsetting or, in some cases, awkward. Having to read and re-read over and over again your own work can be incredibly exposing, but very rewarding. It made me learn a lot more about my own work and how I can improve in future. In a way, it forced me to become better.
I learned to be a lot more critical with my work. It is so important to read through your writing and analyse it to make sure it’s perfect. Becoming a published writer has been a huge confidence boost for me, and has inspired me to explore my writing a great deal more. I want to experiment and try out new styles, hopefully with the intention of writing more.
Nothing can describe the feeling of opening up my box of books for the first time. It made the whole process become so real and I’m not ashamed to admit there were a few tears. It had never truly surfaced with me before that I was going to have a publication to my name until I opened them up. Holding my book in my hands was such a proud moment for me and my family. It was then that I realised what I had achieved and how far I’d come.
Get yourself a copy of Charlotte’s book, here!