My writing life
I’m talking about my children’s’ book. Yesterday I finished redrafting and have a second draft for further editing etc. I was hoping to get it done by the end of May and I’ve done it with a little time in hand. One reason for this astonishing speediness is that I wrote the end much more recently, after having received some feedback, so the last few chapters needed less re-writing and restructuring. So I’m going to take a little break now and get back to a bit of poetry before starting the third, and I hope the final, draft in June.
Otherwise, my week has been almost, but not quite (see below) barren of all writing. After managing to write a poem almost every week this year to take to my writing group, I have just dried up completely. Actually I really enjoyed going to the group simply to listen to other people’s writing for a change.
Of course this block had to happen just when it started to rain and I could take a break from the garden. So sitting at home with the rain hitting the windows and watering the vegetables nicely, I turned in desperation to one of my writing books, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is always a source of entertainment and good advice. She says that if you get a bit stuck then the thing to do is keep on writing and wait for the next thing to turn up. A friend of mine, another writer who is currently working on novel, came round yesterday morning and we were chatting and laughing about Gilbert’s notion that all the ideas are floating about looking for a writer who will take them on. It’s comforting to think of them out there and all you have to do is grab one as it goes past!
Big Magic is not a book to read from end to end, but one to dip into for inspiration because that’s what it’s about. Other than that I’m just reading for entertainment at present and browsing Waterstones for new buys. Although these fallow times can be frustrating there is evidence to suggest that they can be the source of a whole new rush of inspiration. I hope so.
Hare in the Headlights
Well this one jumped out of the bushes at me! On Thursday afternoon I received an email reminding me that I had offered to spend time tomorrow meeting and greeting at the Quaker Meeting House as we are having a ‘Celebrating the Meeting House’ event and are inviting all the users of the House to come and enjoy it. With nearly a hundred bookings a week from cryptic crosswords to archaeology and yoga, it’s very busy place. The organiser also sent me a list of all the users and invited me to write a poem for the occasion. So, I got a commission out of the blue. I wrote the poem this morning and will be reading it tomorrow and might put it up on my website for all of you to enjoy. That’s the thing with hares, they turn up in the most unexpected places.