It’s October and, if you’ve been in the writing community for more than approximately 24 hours, you’ll most likely know that it means November’s NaNoWriMo is on the horizon. Rendering this month “Preptober”.
Now, I’m not going to lie, as a pantser I generally don’t go in for too much preparation at any time but this year, having had the most difficult writing year since I began to take it and myself seriously in 2019, I’ve decided to jump right in.
And just how is this rookie planner aiming to use her prep month, I hear you ask? Will I be defining the project’s central themes, organising plot development and charting character arcs? No. I’ve chosen to begin by writing a writers statement.
First of all, you might be wondering what a writer’s statement actually is.
Similar to an Artist’s Statement, a writer’s statement is a declaration of genre, thematic and stylistic intent. And probably not the first idea one might turn to prepare to write a novel.
But my choice is not quite as strange a place begin as it may first appear. I don’t want to bang on about it, but this year has been troublesome on the writing front: I’ve struggled to find both time and motivation to write and then there was my health (as I talked about in a previous post). And, as always, lack of writing leads me to question every aspect of my writing. The confidence crisis is real, folks.
What gave me the idea to write a statement? In order to adddress this slump I’ve been trying to reignite my creative spark by attending lessons on Daisie, one of which was about creating an Artist’s statement. And it got me thinking about how I could use it, or something similar, in my own creative life.
I researched writer’s statements and asked other writers about their experiences with them and it seems that, for the majority of writers, the statement is usually made as part of an application for an educational establishment or a grant etc and not used in quite the same way a visual artists would use it.
But I’m not going to let that deter me. It will, of course, need adapting but I like the idea and have a feeling it will prove useful for future me.
My idea is that a writer’s statement will help to return me to writing and to centre me. Stating, with confidence, how I want to be known, what I write (in literal, metaphorical, thematic terms), what that writing conveys and how that makes an audience feel will, with any luck, give me the foundation on which to build my writing in the future.
So far I’ve managed a garbled first draft. I know it’s a continual work in progress, changing and flowing with the changes and tides as my work develops, so whatever I settle on will only ever be a draft version. But still, it’s all over the place. Parts feel ridiculously banal, and parts super pretentious.
But it’s a start.
And I’ll continue to work on it. And obviously, share on my about page when it’s ready for new eyes,
Have you ever written an artist or writers statement? How did it work out for you? Are you going to try?