Monday, 8 August 2016

Facing the truth

So in my last post I said that I was going to start writing again and I had every intention of doing so, but in all honesty when the winners of the short story competition for which I had been short listed some weeks ago, were announced and I wasn't among them, my confidence and yes, my ego too, took a huge hit. Then depression started to kick in and I found myself once again questioning whether it was worth carrying on trying to write. It wasn't arrogance or anything like that, I just literally had a good feeling about that competition and thought that this was going to be the one where I'm placed in the top 3 and can reignite my writing career, but it just wasn't to be.

Part of me wants to quit writing - why put myself through all this agony and self-doubt for very little if any reward? After all, it always seems to be a struggle to find enough time to write and I often find myself feeling guilty when I do eventually manage to carve out a few hours for myself, but as most, if not all writers will tell you, and many of you who visit this Blog or follow me on Twitter are writers, writing is a compulsion. It is something that drives us. We have to write. I know I do however much I might ponder quitting. I'd never be happy. It only takes a browse around a book store or a decent film to reignite that passion to write. Sometimes it's something as simple as my copy of Writing Magazine dropping through the door. Reading about other people's experiences and tribulations and realising that you're not alone, can sometimes be a huge help.

So this morning I have dusted down my spreadsheet containing all 200 of my short stories and have consigned all but 2 of them to the "retired" folder, meaning that I won't try and submit any of them to any more competitions in the future. If they haven't been good enough so far they're unlikely to be good enough in the future. It's time to start with a clean slate and write some fresh material. That's probably long overdue anyway. The only exceptions to this are the 2 stories which have already been submitted to competitions. Neither of these announce their short lists until the end of October fro memory so the best thing I can do is forget all about them, dust off my keyboard and write.

After all, I am supposed to be a writer...

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