A lot of people lately have been asking ‘how my writing is going?’ They sidle up to me at parties, or over lunch or in the playground at school, and ask with genuine curiosity.
Not a lot is happening – nothing to write about, so to speak – hence my absence here recently.
A lot of writing seems to be waiting.
Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting for someone to contact me to say one of my many pitches has been accepted. Waiting for the next big thing…
It’s all very passive, and unless you are really motivated, it would be too easy to spend most of your writing life waiting for things to fall into your lap.
At any one time I have multiple articles and book submissions out in the world. I would like to think they’re just about to fall in front of my future editor, someone who will be grabbed by my opening line, who can’t put it down until they get to the very last word, who any minute now will be reaching for the telephone to contact me.
Or perhaps my submissions have already been glanced over, and consigned to the virtual rubbish bin, and the only sign I will get is a beep in my phone indicating that the three month (or six month) ‘waiting’ period is up, and it’s time to submit somewhere else.
A lot of writing is waiting and silence.
But I am not sitting around in a festy glum. Not all the time anyway. I am off to Sydney soon for a masterclass in children’s literature, where I hope to hone one of my stories to a more polished level, so that when I next submit it, I might get that phone call instead of the silence.