|Surrounded by amazing supportive friends|
Firstly, it was wonderful to see brief and tantalizing snippets from so many people. But then it was the comments I got on my few lines by friends who I respect and admire - they were so enthusiastic - all wanting more. The way Trafficking is set out it wasn't feasible for me to use that so I used my new work in progress which currently only has two chapters written - Persephone's Pegasus - so it is very raw and I don't often share this early on. But it reminded me of how good it felt to have feedback on your work. It gave me a new impetus and thanks to a snow day the uni was closed and I was able to do a bit of my own writing when I had finished what I needed to. It felt good. I realised how much I miss writing when I can't get to it. It makes me feel whole again and lifted my spirit enormously.
I have watched a good friend, who has been through a difficult year which has impacted on her time and ability to write, find her writing mojo again and the work she is producing is outstanding. It is something that I have come to accept, if you are a writer you have to write to feel well and good about the world. Matt Haig spoke about his battle with depression and how writing helped him in a post he did for the Book Trust. It was powerful and humbling piece to read.
Never underestimate the importance of support when you are writing. It can come in all sorts of forms. I know some will disagree but Facebook and Twitter can be a great support. I have made some fantastic friendships through Facebook and keep in contact with many, many writers from all over the world. I had the joy of a fascinating conversation about metafiction in children's literature with the inimitable Philip Ardargh earlier this week. It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Facebook. Critique groups are another great source of support whether face to face or online. And of course there are groups like the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators who provide support too. (Also look at the Golden Egg website to see what support you can get there) Just remember to keep writing and keep talking about it. And if you have friends who write remember they need support too.
As all writers love cake and I am midlife (sort of) here's My Friend the Chocolate Cake with A Midlife's Tale