Recently writing has been a little... frustrating. I have not yet turned to drink or drugs (unless you count coffee and biscuits) but the experience has left me weary and not a little sluggish; that is to say, I have felt like a slow-moving creature trying to get to the Other Side whilst in constant danger of being squashed. Why? It's simple and it's complicated.
There it is. But one single sentence cannot express a whole world of feelings behind that decision. This particular story has been on the go with the excellent, Kathyrn Robinson at Cornerstones for nearly two years. The other week, I sent it off for what I hoped was the last time. When Kathyrn's e-mail came back, it did not begin with the hoped for line,
'Yes! That's it - you've nailed it!'
Instead it was muted and advised still more work was needed. My insides sank (insides really do that) and in truth, I could hardly bare to look at what she said. I spoke to Kathryn and we talked it through. There was something missing, a connection that had not been made, an emotional spine. Still. And that was when I made the decision to stop. It was doing me no good and the story no good.
It was a small bereavement but it was my bereavement and keenly felt.
So, I retreated for a while and brooded on my lost story. All that pointless time and energy. All that wasted love and craft. I wanted to cling on to it. Surely it was good enough? I've read stuff and thought I'd written better. But I actually knew that Kathryn was right, it may well have been good enough but it wasn't brilliant. She advised patience, told me that (eventually) I'd feel good about being free of this story. I said yes but didn't really believe that I would feel anything as postive as good or even resigned to the fact. It felt like I was the only one to whom this had happened. Ever. Woe is me. I am undone.
Then I went on a real retreat with the SCBWI. I'd booked it ages ago, the idea being that I should work, work, work on my...well, my work. It didn't quite go to plan since I did No Work Whatsoever.
|With Christina Vinall doing no work whatsoever|
What happened to me happens to other people as well!
|Only connecting with Anita Loughrey and Benjamin Scott|
I have begun something new and it's still a pleasure.Yay.