I acknowledge my debt to Lord Byron
Like most writers I know, I struggle with self-belief. I have so very little in print, and none of it ‘commercial’, that I find it increasingly hard to call myself a writer. Thus I often I refer to my B&B as what I do when strangers ask.
Kind people suggest I self-publish.
I have tremendous respect for those who do – but whilst I don’t rule it out for some work, it’s not my dream. On one hand it would be very hard to reach the children that my novels might suit, and on the other, I yearn for the validation of a publisher willing to take a risk on my creativity.
Still – I do write. I write my first drafts for myself. I write all sorts of bits and pieces when revising or waiting for feedback or between projects. I have any number of scraps and small tales in the multitudinous notebooks of The Garret. There’s a file on my computer called Lockwood’s Bazaar too.
They all pine for readers.
A story doesn’t truly exist until someone responds to it. It’s like a soft toy waiting to be loved into existence. Imaginary worlds become manifest in the space between the teller and the listener.
Now my stories are many and varied. Some of them won’t be to your taste. Some of them won’t work for you.
But oh the joy you give me by making the effort to read my words! You will always be welcome at The Garret – whether you read one tale or twenty.
I am so grateful. It’s a reason to keep going and striving to improve and holding up my work to see what people think. Your comments are warmly appreciated – all feedback helps. If you can see what I can improve, please tell me. If you’ve liked something, the kindest thing is to share it with those who might like it too.
“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.”
― John Cheever
Thank you for keeping me from being alone – with especial thanks to Candy Gourlay, April Irwin, Pat Walsh and Jeannie Waudby.
Oooh I love that John Cheever quote. I recently had a similar (though it might not sound like it) epiphany. As a writer who is published, I find myself writing only the one thing, the one commissioned by my publisher, and because it’s a novel and because I’m a slow writer, I increasingly feel trapped in a cave (I know, I know, it’s a nice cave). I realised that since I became a published author I haven’t given myself permission to do anything just for myself. Recently I began reading a favourite author’s new anthology, bits and bobs that he wrote both on request and for the heck of it. I realised I should relax. Why not write for the heck as well as the readers of my books? I’m going to try … but first, I’ve got a deadline! I look forward to reading your stories, Philippa. Bring it on!
Good luck with the deadline Candy and thanks for taking the time to comment.
Perhaps the Muse likes us to write some things just for her?
Exactly how many of us feel! Even those of us who have attempted self publishing, even if only for short story collections. I now consider myself as a pariah of the industry and have been unable to submit work to some agents/competitions who frown on anyone doing it for themselves 🙁 The Daily Mail is a great example of that. Agent lead next great bestseller competition, deadline Saturday, but self published authors need not apply!
They are fools for leaving folk out. Good luck, Mike. You’ve far more of a business head than most.
Thanks for commenting!
Never ever give up ! I always enjoy reading your stories. All the best.
You are so kind. More coming!