Friday, 26 May 2017

The importance of feedback and at a crossroads

A story in itself - a tidy pile. Not working on anything!
One of the short story competitions I entered this year offered feedback. I'd forgotten all about that aspect. I was longlisted but that's where it ended. A couple of days ago the feedback came through. I was pleased to see they liked my take on the subject but what they said was that the ending let it down - a bit too rushed and unsatisfactory. This was so useful. I had struggled with the ending so my gut instinct had been right at the time, yet I saw no way of improving it. At some point I'll take it apart and see what I can do and re-submit it somewhere else. That's the plan anyway. One day.

It would be really great if competitions offered feedback like this, though I know with all the entries they get it must be impossible. Maybe they could just feedback on the longlisted ones, those that didn't quite make it. I find getting proper feedback difficult to obtain so to get some 'expert' feedback has really helped.

At present, apart from maintaining my blogs I'm not really writing at all. I worried about this for a while - I'll lose the knack - my ideas will go - but I need this time. I was/am stuck at a crossroads not really knowing what to do. The pleasure I found from writing had gone and became a chore - the creative flow stunted. Instead I have chosen to do some learning and am working my way through a bunch of writing tutorial videos from The Writers' Workshop. They have been so enlightening. This is obviously the right way for me.

I don't know what I do after I've completed the course. I have a vague idea that I will take some of my competed novels apart and see if I can save them using the techniques I am learning. I may have to be brutal (not my thing). Or I might just have to ditch them and start afresh.

I've stopped submitting things (this has been a very lean month - just two submissions) and I am not really looking to submit on the scale I was. If something feels right I'll go for it. I do still enjoy writing to the picture prompt of Visual Verse once a month. For now that's enough. I am using this time to do a few other things - I've picked up an old book on the German language to try and re-kindle that. Having taken the pressure off by not forcing myself to write I feel better. Sometimes I think that this might be it and I might not write again. Strangely this doesn't bother me. It did, terribly at first - it was like a bereavement - but now I'm laid back about it all. For the moment I am enjoying learning the craft through the videos. What I do afterwards I don't know. It's a long way down the line anyway. I have to rediscover the fun of creative writing. Without out there's no point. I am hopeful I will find it again. I will know when I'm ready and right now I'm enjoying a break, reading other's work and relaxing doing other things I enjoy. I even thought I might dig out my old guitar!

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