I entered my first writing competition yesterday – one with actual prize money if you win. It was a drumroll moment – I have never had the confidence to date to submit anything I’ve written. I just came to the conclusion that I have all this stuff lying around from years of indiscriminate scribbling – why not submit it and see what someone else thinks?
I also recently submitted a dark little ditty I wrote at 2am one heartburn morning in bed when it became a clear case of sit up or throw up. I chose sit up and while waiting for the Gaviscon to take effect, I wrote down what I saw. It’s a little surreal, and not to everyone’s taste, but it’s mine and like a newborn baby duckling, I love it dearly. Luckily I realised a long time ago that not everyone will think what I write is interesting, informative or funny (my poor blog stats are clear evidence of that!). That’s OK. In any case, my piece went up on a flash fiction website on Tuesday and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a bit chuffed to see my name in print – even if only for 24 hours on the internet.
At the same time, I seem to be having something of a creative Renaissance. I have been working hard on my “novel” – I don’t want to put too much pressure on it by actually calling it that yet, hence the quotation marks. The words are leaping easily and smoothly onto the pages, and after almost three months I have made a breakthrough in the plotline that might just see me with a first draft in the next couple of weeks if I can maintain the pace. So. Exciting times!
I promised myself in January that I would make time to write this year, and I am surprising myself and my slightly bemused family with just how much I really do enjoy doing this. I found myself really “in the zone” the other evening – the house burble and family mutterings dissolved completely away and there was just me and my flying fingers at the computer, doing my thang! It was brilliant and weird in equal measures. Like discovering I can play the organ over a quick cup of coffee one morning. Or suddenly wearing a beret. It’s not what I do, surely, but apparently IT IS! My son told me I looked very sweet, tip-tapping away and lost in the moment; doing something I love. Bless him!
The children have, of course, laid claim to any potential literary prize money much as they do any spare salary, coins left unattended on the dresser and most of my meagre savings. The prize money is the focus of their excitement, not mine – I just want someone who knows about these things to like what I’m doing. I must admit though that I now feel duty bound to win the competition or I will be “letting the kids down”. No pressure there then!
I don’t yet know if I have what it takes to make anything commercial of this writing malarkey but I’m sure as hell enjoying trying to get there. So, watch this space and who knows? There could be two very happy and slightly richer little noseminers in the house come the end of August. Or not.
Either way, there will be one very contented Mum. For the moment obviously – this is still ME we’re talking about!
PS One last thing, must mention picture credit to Freshverse.com