Saturday, 25 February 2012

Enjoy the Success of Others

Ask any group of creative writers what they think success entails and no doubt one or two will avoid the issue, saying that success is irrelevant; they must write because they're not fully alive unless they do so. Others may go even further and admit that writing is cheaper than therapy. The more honest writers might confess to craving the approbation of their peers, and the pragmatists will be bound to respond that the one true measure of success is when somebody is prepared to pay for their work. Trouble is, in order to achieve success, however you define it, first you have to release your work to editorial and/or public scrutiny. And then wait…

While you're waiting and nibbling your fingernails down to your elbow, take a look around and see what other writer friends are achieving. But don't be envious. Provided you work hard, listen to criticism and don't give up doing what you believe in, no doubt it will happen for you in the end.

After all, the success of your friends is proof of what is possible. So enjoy it.

Right now I'm enjoying the success of two friends who are also members of my home writers' group, Verulam Writers' Circle. Jenny Barden's latest historical novel, Mistress of the Sea, has secured her a two book deal with Ebury Press. Actor and playwright Julie Mayhew has reached the short list of the Scott Prize for the second year running with her short story collection End Of.

My own start to 2012 has been far from impressive in creative writing terms. I spent much of January tying up lose ends of my old 'day job' for the UK tax department, HMRC, (no fiction there honest, officer). For most of February I've been dealing with an on-going crisis for a member of my extended family. This has involved travel, substantial expense and writing letters/emails whose cumulative word count would make an average length – if very boring – novella.

In fact my only new piece of creative writing so far this year has been a story for round one of the New York City Midnight Short Story Challenge 2012. I've just read that through again and I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for the results. Let's simply say that it reflects my state of mind at the time - most definitely not my best stuff.

I do, however, have two small successes of my own to record, although they were both written last year:

My Valentine's Day themed poem We Are One is up on Every Day Poets and a flash fiction story Tough Love is on Every Day Fiction.

Ah, well. Until I can get myself back into the writing zone, I'm pleased to be able to enjoy the success of Jenny, Julie and other friends.

Thanks for dropping by. Help yourself to virtual tea and biscuits, but don't forget to sign the visitors' book (comment), please, and turn out the lights when you leave.

Bye for now.