I had to take part in a mock interview with a much-respected colleague as a demo for newer MA students. I was simply supposed to speak about my work-in-progress.
I really struggle to tell a story in mid-field, as it were. I can give you the grand sweeping overview – girl with magical powers has to choose between saving her mother or saving her city – or the close-up detail – Georgiana plays knucklebones with her friends the Blewcoat Boys. Anything inbetween I still find appallingly difficult. Before I’ve even opened my lips, what I have to say sounds so lame, I just dry up. And when I do venture something, it’s just plain wrong: not what I was asked to do.
Those around me could not have been more supportive. No-one tried to make me feel pathetic – I was surrounded by encouragement.
But I still couldn’t do it.
Having been told it was both easy and an essential skill didn’t really help. Nor having it demonstrated with admirable skill by others. Currently, I feel an utter failure with no future in writing.
I know. Ridiculous. But it is how I feel amongst the tears.
But I’m still carrying on. I watch my friends stream ahead of me with book deals and agents and distinctions and just plain skill. I just crawl a bit further.
Give me a wave when you pass.