Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Desperately seeking other writers

Writing can be a lonely job, apparently. (I'm still at the point in mothering where it's hard to use the toilet without company, so it doesn't bother me, yet...) 

I want to meet more writers, though, and commit more to my writing - it's so easy to let your dreams slide when you're trying to juggle so many high-priority things that your own stuff feels a bit like selfishness. 

I've signed up to some creative writing classes which are being held locally, and which fit into my week perfectly, while Chickpea is at playgroup. I really had no excuse. I start tomorrow, so I've painted my nails in preparation (an important part of feeling confident enough to face a room full of strangers). I've also dug out my Swanwick Summer School notebook, to make me look like I'm taking my writing seriously, and a pen with a lovely smooth flow. 

I'm feeling a little nervous - only a little - and quite excited at the possibilities. It's another of those little moves outside my comfort zone that I keep trying to make, and which are generally quite rewarding even when they give me a knotted stomach. What if everyone else is incredibly talented? What if they all think I'm rubbish? What if the course isn't what I expect? What if it's just a displacement activity that takes me away from the real graft of editing and polishing my work-in-progress?

Worst of all though - what if I don't have to walk into a room full of strangers? What if I'm the only one who is free in our little village and its locality at 1pm on a Thursday afternoon in October? How awkward! And my nails would be wasted...

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Foggy night

Today is short-listing day. Every time my phone has pinged, I've checked my inbox, with unrealistic optimism. But now it's late, and I've got to accept I'm not getting an email.

I'd love to know how close I got - whether I was literally only long-listed because I avoided common faux-pas, or whether someone actually liked my story. When you get a silent rejection, the questions go unanswered.

I'm already brushing myself off though. Perseverence is my word of the day. Just because I didn't get through this time doesn't mean I won't, eventually.

(I just wish I could get more help finding some street signs, so that I'd feel a bit less like I'm trying to navigate through a foggy night with my satnav down.)

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Flying high

In the midst of a difficult day last Friday, I opened an email in my inbox without noticing who it was from until it popped open with the wonderful news that I've been longlisted in the most recent competition I entered, the Dragonfly Tea short story competition.

It was like a shot of adrenalin; I flew high all day. It's hard to know exactly how big a compliment it is, and the short-listing won't be complete until the end of next week. I allowed myself to start to dream, though...if I could be short-listed, it would make my year.

See how afraid of disappointment I am? How lacking in confidence in my own skills? I think it would be ridiculous to aim for winning. I'm content to settle for short-listing! Perhaps it's time to make my expectations a bit higher and push myself a bit harder! Fear gives us lead boots, and I'm trying to unlace mine so I can leave them behind.

Fingers crossed...