Friday, March 10, 2006

Crown Chronicles 4: Brighter Side

Word count: going down

Right, that's enough feeling sorry for myself. Especially now I know I've got some extra hits via the forum for students of the Open University's A215 writing course, who are no doubt about to be propelled into party mode as the deadline for the first assignment passes at midnight.

Of course, for the tutors with 25-odd assignments sitting in their inbox, the fun is only just beginning...

I've been able to talk to some writer friends and they've calmed me right down. Before I was published, I honestly expected other authors to be very bitchy and it's been one of the best surprises to discover that so many of them are immensely kind and supportive. Perhaps it's because the nature of our work is so solitary...and we need our friends when things are going slowly, but also to celebrate when it's going well.

So here are Kate's Glass-Half-Full Top Five Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Writer:
  1. You get to make invent entire universes where people get what they deserve. Not that I have a God complex or anything, but there are few things more satisfying than being able to ensure that What Comes Around Goes Around.
  2. It doesn't matter what you wear. Yesterday at work a colleague admired my trousers. When I told her they came from Sainsbury's (their short-arse fit is the perfect length for me) she looked faintly horrified. When you're a writer, no-one can see your supermarket own brand clothing, except on the very occasional days when you're wheeled out by publisher etc to prove you exist. You can even do it in the nude. Though laptops get rather hot on the underside so not all that advisable in my book.
  3. When it's working, there is nothing on earth like it. Flow, they call it. When your characters and settings take on proper lives of their own, it's the best feeling. There's even a certain satisfaction in taking a clunky sentence and wrestling it into elegance.
  4. Writer Chums. See my comment above.
  5. Saying something and knowing it will last forever: I don't imagine that people will be reading my work in the next century (sometimes, I wonder whether they'll bother next week) but the good ol' British Library keeps a copy of all published books and there's something rather lovely about your words being made into a physical object that so many people have backed and believed in and collaborated on to make it real. Every single individual has a unique take on life and it's a wonderful privilege to have my particular quirky world-view turned into a book.

OK, those are enough to be going on with. You get my drift...all occupations have their ups and downs but having the right attitude can turn a terrible down into a tiny dip. And the ups will take care of themselves.

What do YOU do when you're on a low with your writing? I'd love to know.

Dental update, cos I know you care: am getting used to my little stumpy tooth. Will miss it when it's been covered in a huge new fake version.

Lovely Link of the Day:

I'm feeling inspired by the warm feeling I got from other writers, so here are some communities. The TrAce site is an online writing community and site based at Nottingham Trent University and has some fascinating insights into process and technique. WriteWords is an excellent UK writers' resource, though there is a payment for some of the information including the agent directory and many of the forums. I like Great Writing, which emerged from the old BBC Get Writing site (which has lost its forums, but still has some fantastic tools and resources). Have I missed any?

1 Comments:

Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Hi Kate
Firstly, just want to say that I think it's fab that you now tutor for the OU. I have been studying with them for a few years and will finish my degree with A215.
I agree, it is incredible how supportive other writers are, isn't it? I haven't had anything published yet (it doesn't help that I have yet to write something, lol) but I have spoken with a few 'real' authors (yourself and Philippa Gregory included)and writers are indeed lovely people; full of advice for those brave enough to ask.
Thanks for the links, particularly the Great Writing one. (I used to love the Get Writing community).
Hmmm... what do I do when I am on a low with my writing? This has been a permanent state for me for some time now. I am giving myself a good kick up the backside and just writing (starting with commenting on your blog - does this count?) and as from yesterday I started my own blog.
When I am in the fortunate position of working on something specific and I feel it isn't flowing I drag myself away from the computer and do other activities that give my mind room to brew on it.
Speaking of which, I guess I'd better stop rambling on here and consider rambling on my own. (It's scary stuff in the beginning, this blogging, isn't it?)
Take care

Sue

8:56 am  

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