Thursday, January 12, 2012

We can do it!

My good friend Mandy and I are planning to start teaching novel-writing writing courses soon. Here in South Africa there's a dearth of courses aimed at writers (or aspiring writers) of commercial fiction. Here, if you're a poet or write literary fiction dripping in political angst, you've got it made. Write commercial fiction? Not so much.

Another reason I see a huge need to pass on what I've learned over the last few years is that I really believe anyone can write a novel. (Can anyone publish? Well, that's a whole other blog post.)

But I very strongly believe that anyone who wants to write a novel can - and should.

We all started at that place where we said "I want to write a novel one day". Some of us did it because we had the discipline and focus to make ourselves sit down and write. Some of us needed a bit of a shove from friends or family. All of us discovered along the way that we had a helluva lot to learn. And hopefully, like me, most of us discovered that the learning is just as fun as the writing.

I'd particularly like our courses to be for those who need that nudge. I would absolutely hate for people to never follow their dream and end up regretting that they didn't do it, when all they needed was that little shove in the right direction.

Some people start with greater advantages and get there a little quicker. Some of us take a little longer to get there. But no matter how long it takes, we can all get there if we learn and we persevere. Don't believe me? Check out author Helen Lacey's call story.

The next part of why I want to pass on what I've learned the long, slow, hard way is, in Bob Mayer's words to "Write it forward". If I can help speed up someone else's journey just a little, I'll be happy.

So now I'd like to learn more about you. Were you a self-starter, or did you need a nudge to follow your dreams? Or are you still in need of a shove?


  1. wow, Romy! Lots of luck, so exciting. Will you do them online, or in a classroom?

  2. Self-starter her Romy...but took me years to meet some writing friends and then I learned so much...
    What you're planning to do is just awesome...

  3. Jo - we're going to make them in person 'classroom' style for now, but who knows that the future holds?

    Sri - way to go! You have my huge respect for being a self-starter.

  4. This is exciting news, Romy. Best of luck with this.