When the lovely Fiona Robyn invited me here to talk about my writing, suggesting that I might discuss ‘looking back and looking forwards... about what you've learnt about writing during 2011 and how you'll use it during 2012’, I wasn’t sure how to begin.
Tumbling into 2012 (is it a helpless, headfirst reckless plummet, or more of a small, jarring bump, like misjudging a chair?) I’m not very sure about anything much at all. 2011 has brought me the happiest of times, and also some of the hardest.
There has been writing and reading, readings and workshops. Brilliant friendship and tons of fun. Through various literary events, mainly arranged through my Dawning publisher, the wonderful Weathervane Press, and the inspirational Nottingham Writers’ Studio, I have met many fabulous new folk. I’ve also found out more about the people I already loved, along with uncovering several startling facts (if they can, in fact, be called ‘facts’) about myself.
It’s been busy.
Alongside completing my third novel, ‘The Lives of Ghosts’, I’ve decided to make writing as large a part of my life as I can – a bigger, wider thing than the books themselves (although having the books out there is undeniably great). And in a funny way, everything has seemed abruptly bigger. Brighter. Although everything, I have discovered, is apparently so much smaller and shadowed too.
In November, unimaginably, I lost the best writing buddy in the entire universe. Sometimes, there are not words.
It is hard not to deal in clichés (they’re everywhere, like the plague, ho ho), but genuinely, the more you learn, the less you know. And honestly, life is truly way too short.
There are not words.
Regardless, I continue to grab at them. I’m writing and writing and writing. Still writing!
And all over again, I’m reminded of what that means to me. Writing is essential, not simply as a creative outlet, but as a survival technique. More important than tea or chocolate, or even whisky.
So, hello 2012! I’m falling into you, whether I want to, or not, whether I’m ready, or not – if I’m caught or if I crash. It will, whatever, be OK.
Hello notebook and pen, hello pencil! Hello laptop, and days that will stubbornly keep on going, turning into one another as compulsively as pages.
I appear to be ready. I am utterly unprepared. Anything might happen – here’s the brink. Good luck!
Good luck to you, and also – love! And great writing, escaping, for you, always xx
This blog is part of the 'Looking Back Looking Forwards' series edited by Fiona Robyn between the 1st and 7th of January. What did we learn about writing and about ourselves in 2011? How will we use this knowledge in 2012? What do we hope for? Do join us and write your own post, tagged with "Looking Back Looking Forwards" (don't forget the quotation marks & capitals). Read other's posts here (or by clicking on the tag). I'll be featuring a small selection of your blogs during the week. Enjoy.