Breathe Issue 09

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’

The Breathe team have been swapping famous first lines as we ponder what many (including us) see as a life goal – writing a novel. But that’s as far as we’ve got. None of us has a manuscript waiting to get the green light from a brave publisher.

As for most people, lack of time, confidence and impetus all come into play, but there’s a bigger stumbling block: where do you start? Help has finally arrived as published authors share their stories, tips and inspiration, while Christine Boggis’ free Notes for My Novel booklet is full of inventive ideas to get the creative side of the brain whirring.

Yes, finding time to write may still be a problem, but perhaps it’s better to be spontaneous and just do it – to go where the whim takes you and do whatever feels best, be that starting a book, taking a new route to work, going for a run or attending an event where you don’t know anyone. This can be difficult, especially for life’s worriers, but living for the moment can bring new friends, wonderfully unexpected experiences and a wider knowledge of the world around you.

It’s quite possible, of course, that ditching your duties and acting on the spur of the moment might sometimes land you in an awkward position. The thing is, it won’t be the end of the world. And if anyone criticises you for your joie de vivre, suggest they at least first read Anne Guillot’s tips for giving feedback in a constructive and positive fashion, before pointing out (politely) that on this occasion their concerns are misplaced.

For our part, the Breathe team are always open to wise words, especially if they will help us achieve our dream of one day penning an opening line as compelling and brilliant as Daphne du Maurier’s in Rebecca.