Friday, 16 October 2015

Coming up for air

Dark waters?
I haven’t been able to breathe for a while. I was holding my breath and waiting. Now the wait is over, well at least as far as the Hardcopy program is concerned. I didn’t make the next round. I am disappointed. I thought my proposal had merit and that my writing was strong. My confidence has taken a knock. I questioned my commitment and wondered whether I had been wasting my time. I have lost my motivation and excitement about the book.

Striking images
So I took a break from the desk to absorb this news. I filled my writing time with other things. I visited a friend’s farm and helped out with marking the lambs. I stayed with a couple of friends at the beach, played cards and chatted. I went to two house-warmings. I had a couple of lunches and walks with my family. I visited an exhibition, a new library, the plant conservatory and a couple of markets. I sought solace in the visual world, taking photos of these small events and posting them on my Instagram account – my ‘just for fun’ social media platform. I avoided the written word.

Cook books galore
Now it is time to get back to it. I’m not sure how I feel about getting back to the book, but I do have a new blog idea to explore which I am very excited about. I want to write about food, cooking and eating. I know it is a crowded space out there and I don’t have one particular angle to push. I want to write about the whole food journey – about growing, storing, transporting, preparing, eating and sharing it. Whether starting a new project is a wise decision will yet be revealed. It could be an unhelpful diversion or it could give me a gentle push back to my writing habits.

Back to your desk!
Part of me figures that as long as I am writing something it is all good experience. Right now the book feels like a heavy obligation, a stark contrast to the fun of developing a new idea. I figure that turning up at the desk is half the battle. Once I am here then something has to happen. At the very least a couple of bills will get paid and I’ll do some stream of consciousness writing to check in with how I am feeling. In reality perhaps it is that simple, just getting back to the basics of sitting here and typing away, at least til I can get my focus back again.

New networks
The other part of picking myself up and dusting myself off is of course reaching out to people. Writing is a solitary activity, but unsurprisingly weathering the ups and downs is not. I am very grateful to the friends and family who support me and encourage me to keep going. Without them it would be a much lonelier road. I am slowly developing a network of other emerging writers. There is the fun of going to writing events together, the challenge of giving and receiving feedback on each others' work and the comfort of sharing the journey with others who are in the same boat.