So I'm back. s'up Sergei? How's it going Webcrawler?
Has it really been 2 years? Wow. Time really does speed up as you approach decreptitude. Now I know you'd love me to tell you everything I have been up to in that time - it wouldn't even take that long, sadly - but I think if I focus on stuff affecting my writing I can condense it still further.
So to dust off an old metaphor with a bit of help, a lot of effort (18 of the 22-odd months I was out) and a generous sprinkling of fortune I made it to the Kingdom of Betterjob. The rumours that the streets are paved with new and interesting people seem to be true so far - I just need to make sure not to P*ss them off. Also I reckon I have found the secret passage to Semi-Retirograd. It's a long way away though - through a block ed tunnel that will still be several years in the digging, but it's there. So it looks like I managed to stay on course long enough to get somewhere, and I am pleased with that. It's not where I want to be, but it's closer. :)
What next then, I hear you both cry. No idea - stop pressuring me, I cry in response. I've only just made one decision - gimme a break! What I do know is that I have some time, I have lots of ideas and I still want to write. I do I just. Can't. Get. The Rust. Off.
It's fear partly. You see I have discovered the wonderful and varied world of podcasts in the last few months. I have learned French. I have learned how we're all going to be ruled by robots (stay tuned for more on that). And I have listed to Brad Reed's 'Inside Creative Wiring' podcast. Which is excellent, but also scary, because it has reminded me how little I know.
Right from Episode 1 I felt like I was walking off a cliff edge. Fictionalising your audience. (What just as worrying is that I had to go and look that up.) It was about ways of placing your reader in the thick of the action, through ways I have already forgotten. I did none of this. Nor do I do any mis en scene. I don't even have much of an idea what my theme is - let alone how to support using the various extraneous parts of my characters, settings etc. And this is only at podcast episode 5. Out of 37. If I took on 20% of those podcasts that makes me about 3% competent.
I've had time to reflect on this now, and have realised a few things. Firstly a lot of these episodes have a lot less implicit criticism of my writing in them. The one about grammer for instance - my grammar's not too bad - and not just because of my scrupulous daughter proof-reader. Secondly - and more seriously - I am throwing up barriers because I am scared to get back on the old literary horse. The way I combat that is goals. I have a goal now. I need to finish a draft of the short story I have been kicking around for months by Christmas. Short stories - I have realised - are a much better for learning one's craft - and for fitting in all the other stuff that comes with this like trying to hold down a job/get published, or more realistically get anyone to read what I've written without me paying/emotionally blackmailing them.
So we're off. I'll see you in 6 weeks time . Wish me luck !!