Starting from Scratch

So it’s been about nine days or so since my last blog post. I know right?! Time flies.

Although you have not heard from me for a little bit, I’ve been as busy as a Bajan red ant. Unfortunately, only a little of that busyness has been related to writing my book!

In the last nine days, however, three very important things have happened:

NUMBER 1: I launched my Instagram account for this project!

It’s true! You can connect with me daily by following me at olivia.n.d.burnett. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe that makes photographers glorified authors! In any event, I will attempt to woo you with thousands of words on my Instagram account on a more instantaneous basis than on this blog. Prepare yourself to be wooed!

NUMBER 2: A short prose piece I wrote at the end of August called “Making the Grade” earned a bronze medal at Barbados’ National Independence Festival of Creative Arts 2017 (NIFCA)!

As I told you in my last post, I’ve been desiring to write a book for eons. When the NIFCA season came around this year, I felt so guilty at having not written a book by now that I decided to enter a short piece. Clearly the guilt was so overwhelming that it didn’t make a difference to me that the NIFCA deadline for entry was only four days away and I had no idea what to write!

Now it’s been said that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Unfortunately, the universe has not conspired to help me obtain the ice cream I’ve so wanted in the last little while (or much else)!

What I have experienced, however, is that when you are heading in the right direction, God always finds a way to have His nod of approval manifested in the earth. I like to think of it as His way of saying, “That’s a good start; now keep going.” It’s often this early encouragement that you have to hold on to when things get tough, since most things of value don’t come easy. I’ve taken the NIFCA award as this early encouragement.

NUMBER 3: I am almost certain that I have decided the genre for my first book!

Implicit in the above statement are two important points. Firstly, I’ve determined that my first book will not be my last book. There will be more. I have already resolved that regardless of the response to my first book, I will do it again. I will try again. I will succeed again. Fear, therefore, has been deprived of its power in this endeavour. Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could take this approach in all areas of our lives? Appreciating for ourselves that no matter if or when we fall, we will keep going. Unwavering. Unceasing. Undaunted. 

Secondly, I’ve decided that as an author (has a nice ring to it right?) I do not want to be confined to a single genre. My first book will, of course, fit into the category of one genre or another (or maybe two or three). But my following books? Your guess is as good as mine! I want to be able to explore my creativity in different areas where ever possible. I am therefore putting my readers on notice that I do not want to be placed in a box, no matter how nice that box is. I’d like the freedom to write fiction as well as non-fiction; from dramas to self-help to mystery to biography. Why not some poetry while I’m at it?

After my first book, I’d love not to be relegated to the genre of that book. I find that authors often feel restricted by their readers, who may even scoff at any attempt by an author to write outside of the genre he/she is best known for. This, no doubt, has played a role in many authors writing books under pseudonyms. But aren’t we multifaceted individuals? Don’t our views and interests change over time? Why should our writings then remain static? 

Can you guess what the genre of my first book will be? Feel free to hazard a guess in the comments below!

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