This need to never give up

Last September at the Festival of Writing in York I was seated at a table with participants from my online self-editing course and with course leader Debi Alper. Also at the table was a quiet young woman with inquisitive eyes and an about-to smile. Her name is Mandy Berriman and I´ve linked her name to a blog post that will inspire anyone, not just those hooked on writing, and will give readers a book to look out for. Thank you, Mandy, for never giving up, and bravo!

Never give up is something I have always believed in. But it’s easier for some things than for others. And as the never time gets shorter as I get older, I wonder about the value of deadlines. Unfortunate vocabulary perhaps, but words seem to choose themselves in the context of what´s lying underneath, the taboo of our own mortality.

Mandy´s blogpost touched me and moved me to find actions to never give up wanting to touch someone, for that one touch makes it all worthwhile.

And here I come up against another mantra rife among writers, and rightly so. Do not work for free. Some even say it devalues your work if you give it away and hurts things for other writers trying to make a living. I don´t really agree with the former as not everything for me is measured in money, but I would hate my actions to hurt other writers.

I’ve always had a day job and still have one and hope to continue with it for as long as I can, albeit with fewer hours a week now. But I’ve never given up on my writing, although I am getting tired of needing to submit my shorter works to competitions, etc. I just want to touch someone. And I need to see my work with the eyes of a fresh reader.

Enter Wattpad. I have placed a work in progress called G.U.T. both as a WIP on this site and on Wattpad. I can step back and continue when I can. If just one reader stumbles upon it, well that´s great. They may even let me know with a thumbs up or a scowl. On Wattpad there will be readers who do not know me and may like my words. I´ve also placed there a 1996 draft of a novella called Sensually Simmering, a romantic culinary road-trip through France. (It was written with a poet who passed away a few years ago, so I have only used the prose, which I had originally supplied to the project.) Seeing the work again with fresh eyes will help me revise and also help me gauge how far I´ve come.

People say only post your best work. But work is one´s best at different periods of time, and older works may trigger new approaches. They may also show someone starting out, that at one time we are all beginners.

I´ve also collected all my flash pieces that were longlisted at Ad Hoc Fiction, and even one that wasn´t, as well as ones adapted beyond the 150-word length and sent elsewhere, some even lauded. I´ve collected them all at Wattpad under Prompting Flashes. Perhaps a new spin on words may touch someone.

This touching someone, I think, is perhaps my need to justify why I even started out writing, why I continue, and why I will never give up.

So until next, onwards!