In my writing life it is hard to know where exactly I am. With my poetry I would fall into the 'intermediate' category if I was attending a course. I don't think I could consider myself an advanced writer until I'd won a big competition or had a book published, or at least poems published in one of the more literary magazines.
With story writing I am a beginner. I haven't attended any courses or workshops in story writing. Oh, yes I did one term at adult education classes which covered general creative writing. For a long time I lost the interest in writing stories. My stories didn't fit the usual women's magazines criteria and I didn't want to write romance in particular anyway. So I stopped. When I do write stories now I write what I want to write and for my own pleasure. At present I don't see me submitting them anywhere, partly because I don't feel I have all the 'tools' in place to write something that will hold others interest. And I am not ready for classes and workshops on story writing. Poetry is what interests me the most and that's what I concentrate on. Anything else is just a little bonus and break from poetry.
Flash fiction does interest me and I am beginning to write a few. I'll come back to this in an other post.
I am on a journey with my writing and I feel I have passed the first two crossroads (though I'm not sure how many crossroads there are but probably another three or four until I get to where I want to be). It's strange because sometimes I'll go ages without anything happening and then all at once I get three acceptances. It's a funny old life!
I am certainly moving forward but I know I also have to be more actively involved in the writing world. I do have a plan which is a work in progress.
My writing has peaks and troughs. There are times when I can't seem to get a thought on paper. I'll go round it for days and it just won't work so I leave it. Another time the whole piece seems to write itself, like I'm on fire and I am so proud of it and cannot believe I've actually written it. Then I have days when I seem to write nothing but rubbish, cliches all over the place. Not that I throw anything way because even in the rubbish there may be one line or phrase that I like and will use elsewhere.
Reading poetry by others can often get me back to writing. An acceptance gets me back to writing. Certain things do happen that will help me get back on track when I'm down about rejection or am not able to string a sentence together. Thank God for those times! If I look back over the last two/three years I know I have come a long way but I also know I have a long way to go!