It’s time to close the door on the chilly wind of change nipping at our heels. Grab a mug of hot chocolate, a cup of frothy coffee like my Auntie Joanie used to make (ie hot milk shown the label of the coffee jar), or whatever beverage warms the cockles of your heart and draw a little closer to the wood burner.
Let us tell tales to give ourselves cheer. In short, tell us which piece of your own writing gives you a nice warm glow. What have you done to make yourself proud? Go on, blow your own trumpet. Was something you wrote when you were eleven? Was it seeing your name in print for the first time? Is something lying in your writing draw that you pull out from time to time and think, ‘That’s damn fine work!’ or is it the contract you’re just about to sign? Let’s remind ourselves of the joy of writing.
Many years ago I wrote 20,000 words of a novel called ‘Signs of Life’, I sent the first three chapters to an agent who rang me up the minute it landed on her desk and said, ‘Send me the rest!’ Er, small problem: the rest didn’t exist. I had a stonking beginning, characters I would know if they passed me on the street and a location I wanted to live in but I was so in love with the little I’d written I couldn’t get any further with it! At the same time my then marriage was going into meltdown and getting through each day was a big enough task in itself. Besides, I thought (oh, naivety of youth) I could always get another agent, couldn’t I?
When I revisit ‘Signs of Life’ I can see how dated it is and how much work I need to do to it and it goes back in the draw. In many ways it’s a big fat failure but it makes me happy because someone once said they liked it which in turn made me believe in myself as a writer. And, yes, it gives me hope that if I came close once, I might get there in the future. So don’t be shy, spread a little happiness, tell us about your favourite work and what it means to you.