Sunday, 30 August 2009

Wot I Thunk About Writing

This blog has been rather quiet. I have an extremely bad habit of picking up new things with enthusiasm and then dropping them when other things happen. Mind you, real life has been hitting me with the shitty stick of late with Him Indoors not being very well, two deaths in the family within a week and all round stresses of everyday life.

Excuses, aren't they fab?

So my five week writing class trundled to an end. In the final week I had written a short story that I was rather chuffed with and received extremely positive feedback for. That has been sent off to a writing journal for the editors to consider publishing. Fingers crossed, tis has been a while before I've felt confident enough to send anything away to be published, hell written anything good enough to be sent away.

And, dammit, writing has been rather good fun. Last weekend I spent some time alone, staying in Edinburgh and taking in parts of the Festival. This seems to worry some people, my father especially for some reason, but I rather enjoy spending time on my own. I like being able to have four pieces of toast with chocolate spread for breakfast, I like deciding where to go for dinner, I like being able to sit in a park bench in the sun and write for hours without having to answer anyone or field worried "Where are you?" texts. Asides from the crapness of the hostel I was staying in (which would have been better if they invested in some double glazing) this trip is something I'd consider doing again.

The concept of writing retreats is something I had always poo pooed. "Oh yes, Fanny and Artemis were telling me how they were meditating on the post-modern themes within poetry written on birthday cards. Must go, we have a class at 2.43pm helping us to discover what surrealism is." And these retreats are not cheap, oh no. A quick glance through ones listed in the back of various writing magazines show people are charged a pretty penny for the privilege of sleeping in a tiny room and to shit in a bowl.

Now now, madam, you're being harsh. Surely this isn't always the case? Anyway, a writing trip spent somewhere on my own is something to consider. As long as I don't develop a life damaging condition like George Orwell did.

Back to the point in question and stop rambling. A couple of Mondays ago I attended the launch of Cargo Publishing, a new publishing house based in Glasgow. I remember being asked a couple of years ago if I wanted to perform some of my work at one of their artist nights, when they started years ago. I said no, too afraid I hadn't written anything substantial in years. The teenager that had spent hours living with made up characters had retreated. (On an aside, please do read Cancer Party the first venture from Cargo. More info can be found here. Any book black listed by the Scottish Catholic Alliance sounds like a damn good read to me).

Back to the rant from someone the wrong side of 20 (soon to be 25 *panics*). There has been a little spark of confidence put back into my imagination. Him Indoors has been partly responsible for that. Look at other people's work. Learn from it. And say in a loud clear voice:

"I can do better than that."

Here's hoping the next quarter of my creative life is more productive than previous years.

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