19th March

I can’t have a high, without seeking the low.

There’s a strong streak of self-destruction that runs through me – it’s a parental influence and I’m well aware of its source – whereby I cannot experience success, no matter how minor, without immediately feeling a deep rooted sense of failure.

So, I have my first pro-acceptance, and immediately I’m looking at my other work and thinking, ‘Yeh, but that’s all crap, isn’t it. I should just give up. No one wants this derivative, single-dimension, turgid, typo-filled dreck. Grief! I can’t have a well executed original idea if I try!’

On top of this my glandular fever is spiking, so holding onto a single idea and manipulating it is a struggle (as is staying awake all day).

That all sounds kind of ‘Woe is me!’ And I suppose, to a certain extent, it is. But it is also writing honestly, laying out an inner part of myself that I don’t like people to see because it’s part of me I don’t like admitting to.

Writing is easy. All you do is sit at the typewriter (or keyboard), open your wrists, and bleed onto the page. Yeh. I don’t do that. Writing is a further exercise in not being me, in exploring realities other than my own. Is that why it’s a struggle? Or is it all the typos? The meandering sentences? Or how about the jejune ideas?

But I still want to write. Oh, a writer NEEEDS to write! Right? Meh. I don’t need to do anything, except breathe. But there are things I want to do to a greater or lesser degree. I want to write to a greater degree. I want to not suck at writing. I want to…

Yeh.

Today is low.

My ideas are weak. The execution is poor. My grasp of basic English shows me up.

This being the case I’m grappling with a blank page, and writing. Writing, with words, and words. The best words (I have all the best words).

Because, while I have a self-destructive streak, I also have a very, very strong ‘Ain’t no-one tells me what is what.’ Especially where that no-one is me.

16th March

I received an acceptance, and a contract. My first pro sale. That’s significant. It’s only a three hundred word story, so not likely to make my fame or fortune. But it’s the next step up the ladder.

Currently I have 11 pieces out for submission. The last four or five I think are heading towards the territory I need them to be, but we’ll see what the editors have to say.

As part of the continual effort to move forward I’m doing a tuition with Richard Thomas. This was a backers reward for the new magazine Gamut which he is launching with a stellar cast. I suspect I chose the wrong tory for us to workshop, but it already I have added a new process to my writing structure, and look forward to incorporating it in my next project (which as of yet is not decided on).

Let’s see what happens next.

March 2nd

I did some editing. But only a smidge.

Then I played about a bunch on @LossLit 

And a killer story idea strikes me, like a flat iron upside the head. Not the words that make the story, just the bundle of bones that make the skeleton, and not even all of those. The heads there, the legs too. I have arms,pelvis, and spine. But the ribs, where the heart sits, is missing. Not so much missing, as not yet present. In a moment of sense and clarity I’ve recorded what is available and that should allow me to tease out the the rest if it remains elusive.

AND, I’m firing up the printer, so I can edit on paper.