This post starts with a small celebration dance. You can’t see it, but you can imagine it I’m sure since we’re all creative people here, one way or another.
I finished the Fiction part of my Master’s with an 83% mark. This is actually a massive deal because Fiction is my secondary genre and not one I’m good at. I suffered from terrible writing block when it came to delivering a short story for the course. It was so bad I required an extension from my tutor after telling her that I was well and truly stuck and didn’t see a way out of it. She was bloody fantastic about the whole thing (good of her, since I was basically drowning in self-pity) and gave me an additional two weeks past the deadline to sort myself out.
During this stressful writer’s block, all the friends I tried to gather sympathy from were useless: “you’ll manage, you’re amazing”…etc…which only made me eat even more chocolate than usual because I wasn’t managing and they were being completely unhelpful (bless them!)
This is where the people you know—who actually write—come in, because they can understand like your other friends can’t.
Tom, (Idle blogs of an idle fellow) after I told him of the torture I was enduring, sent me regular texts over a couple of weeks to ask how the writing was going and to offer to read anything I had so far. Which was great except I had nothing for him to read. Absolutely fuck all. In the end, spurred on by the thought of yet another text of his asking how the story was going and me embarrassingly replying again that, er…it wasn’t…I tentatively started writing, going back to an idea I’d had a couple of years ago.
Which meant that the next inquiring text from Tom could be answered with: yeah, actually I have something and I’m going to send it to you.
So I did and he said he liked it and his feedback was encouraging enough that it took me out of the rut I was in.
So, this might not have been immediately obvious but this post is actually a post of thanks dedicated to various people, starting with Tom.
I don’t think many of the people who read my blog know of Tom and it’s a crying shame because he’s a great writer. He’s talented and he’s witty and that’s a winning combination. He recently had his first novel (The Life Assistance Agency) published and when I stupidly left it on one of the dreadful southern trains I immediately bought another copy because I was only halfway through and I needed to read the rest.
When I texted Tom to tell him about leaving his book behind (and something not terribly funny about “funding his lavish lifestyle” since I had to buy it again) he replied in typical Tom fashion: “I’m happy for you to keep losing-and replacing-my book. This (not at all) lavish lifestyle needs funding.”
And that’s why I like him, because he is funny as well as a great writer (also he has the best hair in the whole of London—not a verified fact, just my personal opinion)
So, anyway, Tom gave me a bit of a kick-start with my short story and that was nice, but then the always amazing Candice was the driving force behind the rest of it. She basically told me to put my phone away and forget about any possible distraction (Hannibal included, sob) and I know it all sounds pretty obvious but I’m the worst procrastinator ever, so I needed someone to just tell me what to do.
Candice was so encouraging that I sat down and thought: “I need to write this and write it well just so I can be deserving of the faith she has in me…and forget the bloody Master’s.” Thanks to her support, I managed to finish the story and consequently sent her my unedited mess which she read—she also gave me a bunch of great suggestions that were all in line with what I thought needed to be changed-or added or whatever-so that was another confidence booster.
I think pretty much everyone knows Candice but if there’s anyone who still doesn’t, she can be found here: TheFeatheredSleep
and this is a link to her books (they are bloody terrific)
She is a queen as far as I’m concerned, such a talented writer and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have her in my corner. That 83% as well as the fantastic feedback I got from my tutor on my work is largely thanks to Candice pushing me and having faith in me when I really didn’t think I could come up with decent material. So, thank you my amazing twin, and I’m sorry (#SorryNotSorry) for all the gushing.
I wish I could take you all to the pub with me since I clearly owe you drinks but you’ll be there with me in thoughts as I proceed to get quietly and pleasantly buzzed. Cheers to all the creative people out there, we can be mightily difficult but we are fucking amazing too. (Again, not a verified fact, just my personal opinion)