Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Ten Years Ago...

On this day, ten years ago, the first episode of "The Worst Witch" was broadcast in the UK. Anyone reading this who's unaware of the connection between myself and "The Worst Witch" can read all about it here.

I've been thinking about this anniversary for a while now, wondering how I should mark it. Considering the huge effect the show had on my life I felt like I should do something for today. Last week I was on leave from work - I had my day school at the Open University for my Creative Writing course, which I did some work on during the week. Before this week I was thinking of writing a story for my site for todays anniversary, but any ideas I had for it just weren't that strong, and so I abandoned the idea.

The course, though, is going really well, and I feel like I'm really going somewhere with it and will learn a lot from it. It was actually "The Worst Witch" that got me writing as much as I have done in the first place.

After the second series of the show I started to write a "Worst Witch" fanfic for my old website. I planned to do a twenty chapter story, writing and uploading a chapter each week - a big undertaking. By the time it came to do chapter six I was starting to tire. I was just about to put up a message to say that chapter six was going to be postponed. But then I saw the following message in my guestbook from a visitor in Australia (and this is a direct quote):

"YOur site is cool, even extreme! I nearly die each week waiting for the 'worst witch on holiday' stories, i have to wait until saturday because of the time line! Keep up the great work,"
To read a comment like that, to know that there was at least one person out there that appreciated what I was doing, spurred me on. I went ahead and wrote chapter six there and then, and didn't look back. I finished the story, and followed it up with four more - all in all I wrote over 100,000 words of "Worst Witch" fanfics in an approximate 18 month period. They weren't the greatest stories ever written - they were in effect first drafts with very little editing done on them. But they were a start, and I learnt a lot about writing by doing them. I've been writing ever since.

As those of you who have read my journey contained in the link at the start of this post will know, the show had a big effect on my life, and I took a lot from it. Two years on from that journey I still look back on the show, and still occassionally think about it's star, Georgie Sherrington, and about everything that happened back then, together with my hopes and dreams at the time... But, whilst it is important to look back on our pasts, to honour it and make sure we never forget it, it is also important to move on and look ahead to the future.

But there was still the question about what to do for this anniversary.

As I was leaving the office after work today I started humming the theme tune to myself. As I did so a story came to me. I thought about it on the train. By the time I got to Oxford Circus I pretty much had the plot sorted, and by the time I got home it was fully formed in my mind. It was the perfect way to mark today. I went straight on the computer, wrote it, and uploaded it to my site. And now you can read it here.

I know it's not necessarily my best writing, but, like my original fanfics, it is effectively just a first draft, but I think it says all that it needs to say.

And so with the past remembered and honoured, it's time to look forward. My OU course is going well, and I've made a lot of friends on it. And it's now just a week and half to go until NaNoWriMo, and I can't wait to get started. I have a feeling that the novel that I'll write in November is going to be pretty good...

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