A year of Riewriting – we are the choices we make.
I have always been able to take pleasure in the simplest of things. This probably explains my reaction today to the electronic book return at the university library. Whilst the other students returned their books and then quickly got on with their day; I watched in awe as my paperbacks were sucked into the system, absorbed by a blinding light and then seemingly teleported back to the bookshelf.
Back in the olden days, when I was an undergraduate, the only way to return your books was via the angry dragon at the information desk. You could literally see the smoke rising from her nostrils as you approached and she was forced to put her little index cards down and deal with your inconvenient interruption.
I have often thought about the angry dragon. Or should I say dragons, because I have come across more than one of them in my time. How do people get so jaded that they forget how to be nice? I know a world full of overly happy people would just be freaky, far too Stepford Wives, but surely a bit of respect for our fellow kind never hurt anyone?
After all, ‘we are the choices we make’. The people we choose to love; the passions we follow, the frown we choose to wear. Our actions define us. Through these actions we write our own story and if the plot isn’t working isn’t it time to at least add a new sub plot.
In terms of my sub plot, it is almost exactly a year since I started to develop it. I remember how nervous I was posting my first blog post and making it official: I was going to re-write my story through telling stories.
And I have. Yes, I am still as far as I ever was from being published but that is okay. This was always about more than that. It was about being who I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do…managing my own evolution.
I made a commitment back then to let my narrative emerge. I didn’t imagine for one minute that this would take me down the road to being a campervan owning creative writing student with a new found passion for Young Adult fiction, but there you go, your choices sometimes take you by surprise.
I have learnt so much over the last year. Most of all I have learnt that writing too is fundamentally about choice. Plot, structure, point of view: I now have the confidence to make the choices I feel are right rather than being off railed by the technicalities.
That is not to say, I think I can ignore the rule books. But the knowledge I have gained over the the last year means I now truly understand the options I have available to me. As I enter another year of riewriting, my response to this will define me.
 Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go, (Walker Books 2008)