Sunday, 9 September 2012

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

© Wandering Naval Gazer 

Looking back over this blog I noticed a recurring theme: I get the urge to write when I'm travelling by train. My new home means I can choose either a thirty minute train journey or a hour long bus journey to get to work. Way back at my first writing class in years (June 2009 for those interested) the tutor encouraged us to find a way to chip away at writing. One recommendation he made was to try and write whilst commuting. At the time I tried writing on the bus and all I was successful at was making my handwriting look even more messy than usual. It made me feel a little sick - the journey, not my handwriting.

Last week, I decided to throw a small notebook into my work bag. As the train clattered through the suburbs, I pulled out my pen and started to scribble down a story I had been tossing around in my head for some time. OK, the writing was not 'brilliant' but whose first draft is? Each morning last week I battled for a seat on the train, got my breath back and then opened my notebook to a new page. At the moment I'm working on a potential story to submit to this upcoming roller derby themed anthology. On Friday morning I started working on a piece for the current Write in for Writing's Sake  topic. The best time for me to write has been on the morning trek into work; strangely my brain seems to be rather awake before I've touched coffee.

On the return journey, I have been dipping my toe back into reading. Currently I am making my way through the magnificent Look At Me by Jennifer Egan on my Kindle. The equation is rather simple: if you want to write, you have to read. No wonder I could hardly pick up a pen when I was avoiding books. Last month, reading felt like too much hard work. Instead I channel hopped, filling my brain with whatever crap was being broadcast (apart from the Great British Bake Off which is allowed simply because it concerns a lot of sugar).

Some of you may remember my pancake person post . At the end of that post, I still had not decided which route I was going to take. However, I appear to unconsciously have made the choice to pursue writing. It is still one of my biggest regrets that I let my writing self slip away for ridiculous reasons (read: a boy paying me attention who turned out, in the end, not to be very nice) and my confidence took several knocks because of that. Anyway, enough of the pity party.

I am in the process of submitting my writing to various outlets using this nifty website called Duotrope. The site allows writers to search a vast database of publications that are looking for contributors. You can create an account which helps you track your submissions. In turn, Duotrope uses this data to create statistics for these publications such as submission acceptance stats and turnaround for feedback. There really seems to be a publication out there for almost every writer: the ocean is vast.

I'm rather looking forward to it :)

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