So, I have taken the plunge. In September, I took a massive step into the real writing world by joining twitter and setting up this blog. I let you lot read my words. Real people – would read – what I had written. This involved a lot of hyperventilating, then excitement, then self-doubt and then looking at everyone else’s ‘like’ counters and wondering what are they doing that I wasn’t.
I realise it isn’t a competition. Everyone is so nice in the #writingcommunity but it doesn’t stop you wanting people to like your work. There are prompts that get a lot more traffic than others so you know that some of your work is read through searching that prompt and other prompts just aren’t that well known. There’s also the fact that the #writingcommunity is huge! Post at the wrong time and you just get instantly shifted down the feeds as a million-million other writers post. But it still doesn’t stop you wanting to know why oh why don’t more people like a certain tweet story. I’ve noticed that if I tweet a horror genre with demons then the likes are a lot more forthcoming. Maybe we’re all just a little twisted 🙂 Poor Todd on the other hand, is feeling a little neglected no matter how much I like writing him.
Then come the writing competitions. I’ve entered a few. I’ve had none long-listed. I know I’m at the start of this journey but I’m also a bit of a perfectionist and want to get things right first time. Like immediately. Or I get grumpy. So here’s where the plunge comes into it. Unless a competition comes with feedback (which many don’t) or you pay extra for it (which is pushing the budget somewhat) how do you know why you aren’t placing? Is the story good just everything else really, really good. Or, perhaps, just maybe, what you’ve written is rubbish. This was where I found myself. Believing that perhaps I just wasn’t that good after all. Now at this point I could quit, go back into my hole and write only for me. Or I take a friend’s advice and join a writing group.
I tried. There wasn’t one.
So I made one.
ARGH!!!!! Not only do I have to let real-life people, who are there in front of me and can actually see me, read my work, but I’m in charge and can’t hide in the corner!! Thankfully, after an initial meeting, all things are looking good. However, I have just sent everyone a sample of writing for them to read and feedback on next meeting. Right now I feel fine, there are still a couple of weeks. I’m imagining the nausea will kick in at some point closer to the time. If all goes well, I shall probably be on here telling you about what a great experience the whole thing was and how it has really helped. Unless they hate it. In which case, I shall never speak of this again…
Be thinking of me…